Rare Americana Books, Manuscripts & More for Sale Online
If you’re looking for first edition books celebrating the American experience, you’ve come to the right place. At Raptis Rare Books we maintain an extensive collection of rare Americana, books, manuscripts and more. Browse through our entire collection online, use our sorting tools or search to find exactly what you’re looking for then call with any questions you may have or order online today.
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First Octavo Edition of the The Birds of America from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories; In the Rare Original Publisher's Morocco
New York: Published by J.J. Audubon, 1840.
First octavo edition of this landmark work. Octavo, bound in original publisher’s morocco, 7 volumes, gilt titles and ruling to the spine, marbled endpapers, complete with 500 hand-colored lithographed plates by J.T. Bowen after J.J. Audubon; woodcuts in the text. From the library of Boston businessman and Ambassador T. Jefferson Coolidge, with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Coolidge was born to a prominent Boston Brahmin family and was a great-grandson of the 3rd United States President Thomas Jefferson, through his maternal grandparents, Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. and Martha Jefferson Randolph. His uncles were Thomas Jefferson Randolph, George Wythe Randolph, Andrew Jackson Donelson, and a relative of Calvin Coolidge. He was an uncle to Archibald Cary Coolidge through his older brother, Joseph Randolph Coolidge. He was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as United States Ambassador to France on May 12, 1892, a role his great-grandfather had held from May 1785 to September 1789. Coolidge presented his credentials on June 10, 1892 and he presented his recall on May 4, 1893, terminating his mission. In 1898 and 1899, he was a member of the American delegation to the commission to resolve the Alaska boundary dispute. Historian Ernest May says Coolidge was, “a prototype member of what today we call the foreign policy establishment.” In 1898, Coolidge donated a collection of Thomas Jefferson’s personal papers to the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. The collection contained more than 8,000 items: Correspondence, including 3,280 letters that Jefferson had written and 4,630 letters that he had received; Jefferson’s garden book (1766-1824) and farm book (1774-1824); annotated almanacs from 1771-1776; account books for 1783-1790; manuscript expense accounts from 1804-1825; notes on the weather spanning the years 1782-1826; plans of American forts in 1765; law treatises, 1778-1788; legal papers, 1770-1772; and Jefferson’s 1783 catalog of his personal library. In near fine condition. An exceptional set with noted provenance, rare in the original publisher’s morocco.
Price: $75,000.00 Item Number: 111832
“AMERICA’S FIRST GREAT SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTION”: Rare First Complete Edition of Franklin's Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Made at Philadelphia in America
Experiments and Observations on Electricity made at Philadelphia in America… To which are added, Letters and Papers on Philosophical Subjects. The Whole corrected, methodized, improved, and now first collected into one Volume, and Illustrated with Copper Plates.
London: Printed for David Henry and sold by Francis Newbery, 1769.
First complete edition of “the most important scientific book of 18th-century America” and “America’s first great scientific contribution” (PMM). Octavo, bound in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, morocco spine label. Advertisement & errata leaf inserted following preface. Illustrated with 7 copper-engraved plates, 2 of which are folding. In very good condition. First editions are rare, exceptionally so in a contemporary binding.
Price: $40,000.00 Item Number: 116750
"The first surgical work by an American and printed in North America": John Jones' Plain Concise Practical Remarks, on the Treatment of Wounds and Fractures
Philadelphia: Robert Bell, 1776.
Exceptionally rare edition of the first surgical work by an American and printed in North America. Octavo, bound in nineteenth century three quarters morocco over marbled boards, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, frontispiece. Jones’ work was the accepted guide to surgical practice during the American Revolutionary War” G&M 2155; Austin 1843; Evans 15100 and 14814; Sabin 94063 and 36524. In near fine condition.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 91322
"No one quality by itself makes a good man or woman; many are essential; but three especially - courage, straightforward honesty, and common sense": Rare autograph quotation book lengthily inscribed by Theodore Roosevelt as President in addition to many others including William Howard Taft, John Muir, John Burroughs, and Bernard Baruch
ROOSEVELT, Theodore; William Howard Taft; John Muir; John Burroughs; Bernard Baruch et al. [Olga Roosevelt].
Olga Roosevelt’s autograph book, lengthily inscribed and signed by Theodore Roosevelt as President of the United States, William Howard Taft as Vice President of the United States and several other famous figures of the era, including naturalists John Muir and John Burroughs and financier Bernard Baruch. Octavo, bound in full vellum with hand painted decorations to the spine and panels, patterned endpapers. Inscribed and signed by Theodore Roosevelt with a lengthy quotation, “No one quality by itself makes a good man or woman; many are essential; but three especially – courage, straightforward honesty, and common sense. Theodore Roosevelt July 23rd 1903.” Inscribed by William Howard Taft “For Miss Olga Roosevelt with best wishes of William H. Taft May 23 1910.” Inscribed by American naturalist John Burroughs, “The most precious things of life are without money & without price John Burroughs Sept 8, 1903.” Inscribed by the President of Cornell University and United States Ambassador to Germany Jacob Gould Schurman, “Beauty, graceful manners, good temper, common sense, and a kind heart: these are the qualities that make a woman to be beloved and powerful. J.G. Schurman East Hampton September 14th 1903.” Additionally inscribed by Alfred W.S. Garden, American diplomat Robert Underwood Johnson, American screenwriter Daniel Carson Goodman, and American naval officer Leigh Carlyle Palmer. Signed by John Muir and signed and dated by Bernard Baruch “B. Baruch Jan 20th 1920.” From the collection of Theodore Roosevelt’s niece, Olga Roosevelt. Roosevelt was the heiress to a fortune of several million dollars left her by her mother. She made her debut in Washington in 1908 and married Dr. Breckenridge Bayne in 1911. In very good condition. An exceptional collection of signatures with noted provenance.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 116342
“AMERICA’S FIRST GREAT SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTION”: Rare Fifth Edition of Franklin's Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Made at Philadelphia in America
London: For F. Newbery, 1774.
Rare fifth edition of “the most important scientific book of 18th-century America” and “America’s first great scientific contribution” (PMM), with two engraved plates (two folding). Octavo, bound in contemporary calf, red morocco spine label. In very good condition with light toning to the text. Rare in contemporary calf.
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 110364
"Reader if thou wilt do the fame, thy profit will be as great as mine": Exceptionally rare printing of Benjamin Franklin's An Old Man's Experience, or Poor Richard's Maxims Improved
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Rare printing of Benjamin Franklin’s An Old Man’s Experience, or Poor Richard’s Maxims Improved, published under the pseudonym Richard Saunders in full, “An Old Man’s Experience, or, Poor Richard’s Maxims Improved. Reader, if you buy this Book, and seriously consider its contents, though it cost thee but a Trifle, it may save thee Many Pounds.” Small octavo, original wrappers as issued. No publisher or date listed. In very good condition with tape repair to the spine and rear panel. Exceptionally rare, no other copies matching this title and pagination have come to auction.
Price: $7,500.00 Item Number: 96182
Apollo Astronauts Signed Reunion Poster; signed by 18 Apollo Astronauts and from the collection of Frank White
Rare original poster from The Apollo Reunion July 16, 1986 in Washington D.C. Signed by 18 Apollo Astronauts: Buzz Aldrin, Charles Conrad, Ron Evans, Stuart Roosa, Richard Gordon, Charlie Duke, Michael Collins, Walt Cunningham, James Lovell, Donn Eisele, Bill Anders, Alan Bean, Jim Irwin, Al Worden, Rusty Schweickart, Alan Shepard, Gene Cernan, and Harrison Schmitt. From the collection of Frank White, author of ‘The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution’, a seminal work in the field of space exploration and development based on White’s interviews with 31 astronauts. The term “Overview Effect” describes the cognitive shift in worldview that astronauts experience when they see the Earth from space and in space. Framed. The entire piece measures 22 inches by 17 inches.
Price: $5,000.00 Item Number: 105483
Portrait of American astronaut Neil Armstrong, boldly signed by him. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 13 inches by 11.75 inches. Rare and desirable signed and uninscribed by Armstrong.
Price: $4,800.00 Item Number: 117764
Forest, Lake and River: The Fishers of New England & Eastern Canada; From the Library of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
Boston: Printed For Subscribers, 1902.
Limited to 350 copies this is number 106, from the library of President Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt with their signature to both volumes. Thick quarto, two volumes, original full tan reverse calf with hand painted salmon-fly designs and embossed cartouches on both front covers, beveled edges, leather straps with snaps, silk doublures. Each volume is on handmade paper and richly illustrated with 75 full-page illustrations of fish and flies, and numerous in-text photolithographs of fishing holes and tackle. Contributors include such notable anglers as William Harris, Archibald Mitchell, John Quackenbos, and George Van Siclen. In very good condition. Books from the library of the Roosevelts are scarce and desirable.
Price: $4,500.00 Item Number: 92756
"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 18th century Homann Heirs map of the Western Hemisphere. One page, the map depicts in detail North and South America as well as western portions of Europe and Africa with a large decorative cartouche. Homann’s second map of the Western Hemisphere, the present map provided new details in the interior of North America particularly along the Mississippi River. At the time of publication the Northwest coast of America and the Northwest Passage were still undiscovered. In fine condition.
Price: $3,500.00 Item Number: 120497
"No nation ever demonstrated its aspirations and abilities as dramatically as did the United States when it landed the first men on the Moon": First edition of Apollo Expeditions to the Moon; signed by Apollo Astronauts Michael Collins, Walt Cunningham, Charlie Duke, Fred Haise, Dave Scott, and Al Worden
EDITED BY EDGAR M. CORTRIGHT. [MICHAEL COLLINS; WALT CUNNINGHAM; CHARLIE DUKE; FRED HAISE; DAVE SCOTT; AL WORDEN],.
Washington, D.C: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1975.
First edition of this profusely illustrated collection of essays documenting NASA’s Apollo Missions. Quarto, original illustrated boards, pictorial endpapers, illustrated with photographs, charts, and maps. Boldly signed by six Apollo astronauts on the title page, “Walt Cunningham Apollo 7 LMP”, “Al Worden Apollo 15 CMP”, “Charlie Duke Apollo 16 LMP,” “Dave Scott Apollo 15 CDR”, “Michael Collins Apollo XI CMP” and “Fred Haise Apollo 13 LMP.” In near fine condition.
Price: $2,000.00 Item Number: 117362