First Edition Books for Sale Online
Raptis Rare Books maintains an extensive collection of rare and first-edition books from a variety of authors and publishers. Navigate through our full selection of first-editions below to find a particular item you're looking for, ask a question, or order online today!
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“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying": The Works of Oscar Wilde; One of 80 Sets Bound in Japanese Vellum
London: Methuen & Co, 1908.
First collected edition, one of 80 sets on Japanese vellum, the rarest and most desirable of Wilde’s works. Octavo, 14 volumes, bound in original vellum, gilt titles and tooling to the spine and front panel with the design by Charles Ricketts, top edge gilt. “The text is taken in most instances from the last editions issued under the superintendence of the author. In some cases the volumes contain additional matter which had not previously been reprinted, while some of the volumes contain matter here published for the first time” (Mason). In near fine condition. Rare and desirable, especially in this condition.
Price: $27,500.00 Item Number: 103150
Rare French Military Artillery and Fortification Manual with text in manuscript and technical drawings throughout
Metz: Ecole Royale de l'Artillerie et du Genie, 1818-19.
Rare early 19th century French military manual created in manuscript for the Ecole Royale de ‘Artillerie et du Genie (School of Application of Artillery and Engineering of Metz) containing lessons and technical drawings in the mechanics of artillery and construction of temporary and permanent military fortifications. Quarto, ten volumes bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards with gilt titles to the spine and front panels, text in manuscript with technical drawings throughout. In near fine condition, internally exceptionally clean. A rare and desirable piece of 19th century French military history.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 109852
First edition of the second book on architecture published in America: Owen Biddle's The Young Carpenter's Assistant
The Young Carpenter’s Assistant; Or, A System Of Architecture, Adapted To The Style Of Building In The United States.
Philadelphia: Benjamin Johnson, 1805.
First edition of the second book on architecture published in America, second only to Asher Benjamin’s Country Builder’s Assistant’ published in 1797( Shaw & Shoemaker, 8018). Quarto, bound in full calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, illustrated with 44 engraved plates, 2 folding. In very good condition. Scarce with only 2 copies having appeared at auction in the past 50 years.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 117672
“NIELSEN’S MOST SPECTACULAR AND CELEBRATED BOOK”: SIGNED LIMITED EDITION OF EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON
London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1914.
Signed limited edition of one of the most important and impressive books of the Golden Age of book illustration. One of 500 numbered copies, this is number 41. Quarto, original vellum, gilt titles and decoration to spine and front cover gilt, top edge gilt, pictorial endpapers. Signed by the illustrator Kay Nielsen. With 25 tipped in color plates. In near fine condition. A very nice example. Laid is the original notice for the Leicester Galleries exhibition held in November and December of 1914, where the watercolors for this book were offered for sale.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 69026
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1940.
First edition of the lavishly illustrated companion volume to Disney’s animated musical masterpiece. Quarto, original cloth, pictorial endpapers, illustrated with 16 mounted color plates. Presentation copy, signed and inscribed by thirteen people (including Walt Disney); all who worked at Walt Disney studios in the 1940s. All of the inscriptions are to Jodie Ferguson Brudge, who was a secretary at Disney Studios, and upon her leaving to get married, raise family, she asked those that she worked with to inscribe her copy of Fantasia. This work contains the following inscriptions and illustrations, inscribed by Walt Disney on the title page, “To Jodie Best Wishes Walt Disney.” Page 10 has an original full-color illustration by Milt Banta of a card game between Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Milt Banta, with the inscription “Best Wishes Always Milt Banta.” Page 14 has a full page original illustration by Russ Dyson of a “ye olde family tree” for the Ferguson [Jodie] and Dyson branches. On the Dyson branch is a self-portrait of Dyson as a bird, with the inscription, “I Hope the Ferguson Branch Doesn’t grow any Larger! Good Luck – Russ Dyson 1/18/46.” Page 57 has an original watercolor of a tree branch and paint container, and the inscription: “Jodie – If you ever run across any automatic paint brushes like these – let me know. – Claude Coats.” Page 82 has a twenty-six line inscription that is warm and thoughtful from Ben [Sharpsteen]. Page 95 has an original color illustration of a frog fishing and the inscription, “An ‘Good Fishin’ to you all the time – Jodie. Hugh Hennesy” Page 102 has an original color illustration of a self-portrait of Bill Berg, with the inscription “Good Bye Jodie – We’ll Miss You!!! Bill Berg.” Page 118 has an original illustration of a self-portrait of Jerry Hathcock waking from a nightmare, with the inscription, “Gad!! What a Nightmare! Maybe Jodie is smart to leave. Good Bye + Good Luck, Jerry Hathcock.” Page 119 has an original illustration of a bouquet of flowers, that has been drawn into the hand/wing of the printed ostrich, with the inscription: “Best Luck and Good Wishes Jodie. Phil Barber.” Page 121 has an original illustration of a self-portrait of J. Eric Gurney who is holding a banner that reads, “Best Wishes to Jodie.” The opposite end of the banner is being held by the printed hippopotamus. Page 126 has an original illustration of a self-portrait of Nick Nichols (being held aloft by the printed elephant), with the inscription: “Bye Bye Jodie Come Back And Work For Me Again. Best Nick Nichols.” Page 159 has an original full-page illustration of Jodie as a centaurette, with the inscription, “G’bye Now. Lots of Luck an’ Stuff to Jodie. George Rowley.” The verso of the rear free endsheet contains an original illustration of a guitar player in a pancho and sombrero with the inscription, ” Good Luck Jodie. William de la Torre.” An excellent example in a very good dust jacket. A unique piece of Disney history.
Price: $14,000.00 Item Number: 96808
“It's in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present": First Edition In Parts of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield; from the library of Steve and Peggy Fossett
London: Bradbury and Evans, May 1849 - November 1850.
First edition in the original monthly parts of “the most perfect of all the Dickens novels” (Virginia Woolf). Octavo, original blue-green illustrated paper wrappers, twenty parts in nineteen, frontispiece, vignette title-page and thirty-eight additional inserted plates. In near fine condition, an unrestored example of Dickens’ classic work which is virtually complete with all preliminary advertisements with the exception of the slips after plates parts 9, 13, 14, and 16; all front advertisements in part 11 and the “Household Words” advertisement in part 15. With all of the rear advertisements with the exception of “The Theory of Musical Composition”, “Illustrated Weekly Journal” and “Penny Maps” in part 15, and all advertisements in parts 2 and 8. Housed in two custom full morocco and chemise boxes. From the library of Peggy and Steve Fossett with their bookplate to the pastedown. Scarce and desirable in the original parts which were “much read and roughly handled,” with “fine, clean and unrepaired copies difficult to procure” even in 1932 (Hatton & Cleaver pp.253-272; Sadleir 686; Yale/Gimbel A121).
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 96035
“It's in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present": First Edition In Parts of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield
London: Bradbury and Evans, May 1849-November 1850.
First edition in parts of “the most perfect of all the Dickens novels” (Virginia Woolf). Original serial issue. Twenty parts in nineteen, octavo four to thirty-two pages of preliminary advertisements; text continuously paginated 1-624; eight leaves of preliminaries follow text in final part. Frontispiece, vignette title-page and thirty-eight additional inserted plates, the majority with tissue inserts as issued. Original blue-green illustrated paper wrappers. Several backstrips chipped at head and foot; some light soiling, wear at hinges; some parts skewed. In excellent condition, an unrestored example of Dickens’ classic work. Includes the scarce insert “Lett’s diaries” advertisement at end of Part VIII, which unfolds to a 26 inches, with ten specimen diary leaves. According to Hatton & Cleaver, this is a “particularly scarce” insert. Hatton & Cleaver, pp. 253-272. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise box. A very nice example.
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 91369
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all": Complete Works of Oscar Wilde; One of 52 Copies; Finely Bound In Full Morocco
London: Keller-Farmer Co, 1907.
The Astral edition of Wilde’s works, one of 52 sets, this is number one. Octavo, 15 volumes. Bound in full morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, floriated corner devices in gilt, red and green, raised bands, moire silk endpapers, top edge gilt. With photogravures in two states from paintings, photographs, and drawings (4 of which are by Aubrey Beardsley). In near fine condition. An exceptional set.
Price: $9,500.00 Item Number: 104968
New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1937.
Early printing of the author’s second novel, which went on to become an international bestseller and a film based on it appeared in 1933. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed on the half-title page (translated from the French), “For Colonel Donovan, In thanks for his warm home, his fireplace, and the peacefulness of his river house. With all my friendship, Antoine de Saint-Exupery.” The recipient William Joseph “Wild Bill” Donovan was an American soldier, lawyer, intelligence officer and diplomat. He is best remembered as the wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War II. He is also known as the “Father of American Intelligence” and the “Father of Central Intelligence.” The CIA regards Donovan as its founding father, according to journalist Evan Thomas in a 2011 Vanity Fair profile. In the article Thomas observed that Donovan’s “exploits are utterly improbable but by now well documented in declassified wartime records that portray a brave, noble, headlong, gleeful, sometimes outrageous pursuit of action and skulduggery.” A statue of him stands in the lobby of the CIA headquarters building in Langley, Virginia. A veteran of World War I, Donovan is the only person to have received all four of the United States’ highest awards: The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal. He was also a recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart, as well as decorations from a number of other nations for his service during both World Wars. Near fine in a very good dust jacket.
Price: $7,800.00 Item Number: 92462
SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF PORGY AND BESS; SIGNED BY GEORGE AND IRA GERSHWIN, DUBOSE HEYWARD, AND ROUBEN MAMOULIAN
GEORGE GERSHWIN. LIBRETTO BY DUBOSE HEYWARD. LYRICS BY DUBOSE HEYWARD AND IRA GERSHWIN. PRODUCTION DIRECTED BY ROUBEN MAMOULIAN,.
New York: Random House, 1935.
Deluxe limited edition of Porgy and Bess, number 55 of only 250 copies signed by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward and director Rouben Mamoulian. Folio, original full red morocco, raised bands, top edge gilt, illustrated. In very good condition with light rubbing and wear.
Price: $7,500.00 Item Number: 98943
"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision": First Edition of Dali; Signed and dated by him
France: Draeger, 1968.
First edition of this lavishly illustrated work by Salvador Dali. Quarto, original illustrated boards, 271 illustrations, with 80 color plates and 23 in toned gravure. Boldly signed by Salvador Dali opposite the title page in red paint, “Dali, 1971.” Dali has added a crown to the flourish in the letter ‘D’. Arranged and edited by Max Gerard. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Housed in the original slipcase.
Price: $6,000.00 Item Number: 95382
First edition of Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Cup and the Falcon; inscribed by him and with seven lines of verse in Tennyson's hand within the text
London: Macmillan and Co, 1884.
First edition of this collection of two Tennyson plays. Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles to the spine. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “Frederick & Jane Locker from Tennyson.” Tennyson has also inscribed seven lines of verse from the original manuscript of The Cup on pages 80 and 81, inserted in the concluding speech of Synorix, “Nay, rather than to clip the flowery robe of Hymen we should add some golden fringe of gorgeousness beyond old use to make the day memorial, when Synorix, first King, Comma, first Queen o’ the snow here the richest lot from fate, to live and to die together.” In fine condition. Bookplates to the pastedown. Housed in a custom morocco and chemise case. Rare and desirable.
Price: $5,500.00 Item Number: 100620
First Editions of each volume of Lewis' Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan, The Panjab, & Kalat; from the library of Adventurer and Aviator Steve Fossett with his bookplate to each volume
Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan, The Panjab, & Kalat, During a Residence in those Countries.
London: Richard Bentley, 1842.
First edition of this narrative of Lewis’ travels between 1826 and 1838 through Balochistan, Sind, the Hazara, Afghanistan and the Punjab. Octavo, four volumes. Bound in full morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, morocco spine labels, gilt ruled, marbled endpapers, illustrated with engravings, folding map. From the library of James Stephen “Steve” Fossett with his bookplate to the pastedown of each volume. American businessman and record-setting aviator Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in 2002 in his 10-story high balloon Spirit of Freedom. He completed the 2002 trip in 13 days, 8 hours, and 33 minutes and set records for both the Longest Distance Flown Solo in a Balloon and Fastest Balloon Flight Around the World. Fossett was also one of sailing’s most prolific distance record holders set the Absolute World Speed Record for airships with a Zeppelin NT in 2004. He received numerous awards and honors throughout his career including aviation’s highest award, the Gold Medal of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which he was awarded in 2002. Fossett disappeared on September 3, 2007 while flying a light aircraft over the Great Basin Desert, between Nevada and California. Provenance: from the library of John Archibald Shaw Stewart with a gift inscription to him on the front free endpaper of volume one, “from his sincere friends William Thomas Markham and Charles Henry Mills on his leaving Eton, Xmas 1845.” An exceptional association with noted provenance.
Price: $5,500.00 Item Number: 95145
London: Doves Bindery, 1906.
Quarto, bound in full green morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, all edges gilt. With original caricature and artwork by architect Addison Mizner. Entries dated between 1906 and 1929 and about two-thirds of the leaves remaining blank. Mizner’s contributions include to the guestbook include three self-caricature sketches and also a watercolor, each signed by Mizner. Besides Mizner’s contributions, there are two other watercolors, one a cameo of a bucolic classical ruin, another, a dog looking out onto a panoramic view of pines and the coast, undoubtedly a view from a Farmholme prospect, or nearby, before it was overrun with suburban development. And there are several other fun drawings, including ones of a race car and of a plane. Mizner is credited with pioneering the Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial stucco architectural style in Southern Florida, and also Southern California and Beverly Hills. As virtually integral as this style has become to these places and elsewhere, before Mizner designed the Everglades Country Club’s clubhouse in Palm Beach in 1918, the prevailing style there was Victorian Queen Anne and Colonial Revival shingle homes such as one would have found in Northeastern resorts. Admiration for the Everglades clubhouse made Mizner the go-to architect for millionaires who competed against one another through the 1920s for the most impressive mansion in Palm Beach, formerly primarily a hotel resort, and his style was emulated by other architects hired to build less august developments. Among his legacy is the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Mizner, though, was not your typical nose-to-the-grindstone architect but also a highly colorful figure, famed as a raconteur, a co-author of the satiric “The Cynic’s Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1903” and many sequels, and a bit of a scoundrel, who with his brother was implicated in some shady transactions relating to the Florida land boom of the 1920s, and this served as the basis for the Stephen Sondheim 2008 musical, “Road Show”. It is the social animal that Mizner was, someone who was able to exploit social connections, that should give this guest book a certain resonance to those fascinated by him and his career. Also, Mizner was a somewhat unconventionally trained architect. He didn’t go to a modern sort of architecture school, but apprenticed in an architectural office, and perhaps it was unorthodox training that later made him so much an original, and eccentric, architect, famous for glitches in his designs such as stairways that went nowhere. But he was regarded as a highly proficient draftsman and talented artist, abilities perhaps all too in short supply in the architectural profession, and here are examples of his quick dash art that provide some delightful corroboration of this reputation. Another guest at Farmholme was Ethel Watts Mumford (Grant), his co-author, who in one place contributed four lines of comic verse and a drawing of two monkeys. Other guests included Elisabeth Marbury, the prominent theatrical agent and lesbian lover of Elsie de Wolfe; Mary Livingston Hunt, of the Old Knickerbocker Livingstons; and many others who were undoubtedly secure in their Social Register bona fides — people with names such as de Forest, Alsop, Callander, Ogden, Hotchkiss. Whoever many of these people were, the same people came back again and again over the two decades, suggesting a close knit group of friends. While many of the entries are just autographs, sometimes accompanied by an anodyne sentiment, not a few are accompanied with a few lines of appreciative verse or snippets of musical notation. One guest, an Eduardo Bucco left several entries in Italian verse. The painter of the watercolor cameo signed in reverse — one needs a mirror to make out the name, which looks something like Raymond Tumball. As august as Farmholme must have been, based on its guests, bits and pieces hinted at in the text of entries, the painted view, the exquisiteness of the guest book itself, we were not able to discover anything definitive about the estate.
Price: $4,800.00 Item Number: 81005
First Edition of The Savoy Cocktail Book; Inscribed by Harry Craddock to the Headwaiter of Sovrani's Restaurant
London: Constable, 1930.
First edition of this iconic, definitive text on cocktails. Octavo, original half cloth, pictorial endpapers. Illustrations by Gilbert Rumbold. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Robert Best Wishes and luck with the shaking – Harry C. 1931.” The recipient was a personal friend of Harry’s and Headwaiter employed in the 1920s at Sovrani’s Restaurant. Giovanni Sovrani was employed at The Savoy in London which he left in 1927 to open his own restaurant in Jermyn Street in 1927. Laid in is a note of provenance from the recipient’s son explaining the casual nature of the inscription which differs from many of Craddock’s more formal and flourishing inscriptions. In very good condition. Laid in is a Bar exam, World-Wide Bar Guide: Famous Drinks From Famous Places, and Fleishmann’s Mixer’s Manual; each illustrated in color and in near fine condition.
Price: $4,800.00 Item Number: 96515
New York: The Century Co, 1904.
Early printing of John Muir’s classic work. Octavo, original illustrated cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Mr. H. H. Smith, with best wishes & many pleasant memories, John Muir, August 1906.” In near fine condition. Rare and desirable signed.
Price: $4,500.00 Item Number: 92812
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind": Rare Original July 21st 1969 Delaware Evening Journal Front Page; Signed by legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong
Wilmington: Delaware Evening Journal, July 21, 1969.
Rare original Delaware Evening Journal featuring the headline “Eagle Jets Safely Off Moon; In Orbit for Rendezvous”, a front page article on the Apollo 11 moon landing, and large photograph of Neil Armstrong collecting dirt on the lunar surface. Boldly signed by Neil Armstrong on his photograph. Below the headline is Armstrong’s famous quote, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Articles featured on the front page include, “Neil, Buzz Leave Prints on Moon”, “Kennedy Charged in Crash”, and “Luna 15 Lands On Moon, 500 Miles from LM.” In very good condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 29 inches by 21 inches. Rare a desirable signed by Armstrong.
Price: $4,000.00 Item Number: 100158
Rare original playbill signed by Marlon Brando, Katharine Cornell, Cedric Hardwicke, Oliver Cliff, Wesley Addy, and Mildred Natwick
Playbill Incorporated, 1946.
Rare original playbill from the 1946 production of George Bernard Shaw’s Candida starring Marlon Brando and Katharine Cornell. Octavo, original wrappers, illustrated. Boldly signed on the front panel by Marlon Brando, Katharine Cornell, Cedric Hardwicke, Oliver Cliff, Wesley Addy, and Mildred Natwick. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable signed by the entire cast of this important production.
Price: $3,000.00 Item Number: 96045
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all": The Works of Oscar Wilde
London and Paris: Methuen Charles Carrington, 1907-22.
The works of Oscar Wilde, bound in the original cloth, one of 1000 sets made on handmade paper. Octavo, 14 volumes, original cream cloth, decorated and lettered in gilt, top edges gilt. One of 1000 sets of this edition on handmade paper. In near fine condition.
Price: $2,800.00 Item Number: 111362
"In Loves fair garden-close I wander free, so take your guerdon elsewhere, lovely June": First edition of Joyce Kilmer's Summer of Love; Inscribed by him to fellow poet and critic Thomas Walsh
New York: The Baker & Taylor Company, 1911.
First edition, first issue of Joyce Kilmer’s first book of verse. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to fellow poet and literary critic Thomas Walsh, “To Thomas Walsh, With appreciation of his roast of this book, and the sincere admiration of Joyce Kilmer, June 20, 1913, Brooklyn, NY.” A scholar of Latin American and Spanish literature, Thomas Walsh published four books of poetry and wrote many short articles and reviews, including several for the New York Times. With Walsh’s bookplate to the pastedown. Octavo, original cloth. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise box. A nice association and uncommon signed as Kilmer was killed in World War I.
Price: $2,500.00 Item Number: 92792