Framed Autographs and Historical Documents
Raptis Rare Books maintains an extensive selection of framed autographs, manuscripts, signed and inscribed photographs, and historical documents.
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Rare Isaac Newton Manuscript highlighting his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for hundreds of years
Rare full page folio autograph manuscript entirely in the hand of Isaac Newton, father of physics and modern science and author of important texts such as the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Opticks, and many more. One folio page with Newton’s handwriting and emendations on both the recto and verso. While Newton is mostly known for his scientific and mathematical pursuits and is considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time, his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for centuries, were as brilliant as his science and an extension of his search for truth. Many believe theology was actually his first love, as he wrote more about religion than he did about science. Of Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he stated, “When I wrote my treatise about our Systeme I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the beliefe of a Deity and nothing can rejoyce me more than to find it useful for that purpose.” He wrote in the Principa, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. . . . This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all. . . . The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.” While he believed in a supreme God, early in his career at Trinity College, his theological research of original texts led him to believe that authentic Christianity had been corrupted by the early church fathers and that the brand of religion that was now accepted as orthodox by the Roman Catholic Church, and to some extent by the Church of England, was not completely true. He discovered that the final phrases of 1 John 5:7 ‘and these three are one’ was not present in any Greek version that he studied and came to the conclusion that it was a deliberate addition to the text to provide justification for the doctrine of the Trinity. He concluded that the orthodox notion of the Trinity was a fictional story that was invented in the early fourth century. This document is very important, as its contents deal with these controversial issues. Written in English and some Latin, he writes concerning an Epistle of Emperor Constantine regarding the Arian debate and the Council of Nicea, which laid out the famous doctrinal statement, the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed was adopted to resolve the Arian controversy. The Arian leader, Arius, a clergyman of Alexandria, “objected to Alexander’s (the bishop of the time) apparent carelessness in blurring the distinction of nature between the Father and the Son by his emphasis on eternal generation.” In reply, Alexander accused Arius of denying the divinity of the Son and also of being too “Jewish” and “Greek” in his thought. Alexander and his supporters created the Nicene Creed to clarify the key tenets of the Christian faith in response to the widespread adoption of Arius’ doctrine, which was henceforth marked as heresy. Because of these views, Newton’s theological writings, were marked “Not fit to be printed.” They were placed in storage and were not made available to the public until the economist John Maynard Keynes and Jewish scholar and businessman, Abraham Yahuda, acquired many of them in 1936. There are very few of these original writings left in private hands, as the majority of the manuscripts are in the permanent collections of the Cambridge University Library, Kings College Library (a gift of John Maynard Keynes), Jewish National and University Library (now National Library of Israel), the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the Foundation Martin Bodmer in Geneva, and the Grace K. Babson collection now housed in the Huntington Library in California. Matted and framed with both the recto and verso visible. The manuscript measures 11.75 inches by 7.5 inches. The entire piece measures 23.5 inches by 19.5 inches. A scarce piece of history; essential to the collector interested in both Newton’s scientific and theological endeavors.
Price: $150,000.00 Item Number: 119750
Rare large etching of Albert Einstein done by well-known artist Erich Buttner. Signed by both Einstein and Buttner. In fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 12.25 inches by 15 inches. An exceptional piece. In the 1920s he created a series of portraits of his friends and fellow artists including Lovis Corinth, George Grosz, Arno Holz and Heinrich Zille. He produced a very fine book of exlibris (bookplates) in Berlin 1921. This book contains the exlibris of Albert Einstein 1917, probably Einstein’s only bookplate. The etching measures 12.5 inches by 9.5 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 18.75 inches by 15.75 inches.
Price: $14,000.00 Item Number: 112748
Color photograph of President Kennedy meeting with astronaut Wally Schirra and his family in the Oval Office, affixed to its original mount. Boldly inscribed, “To Commander Walter Schirra—and his family—with esteem and best wishes, John Kennedy.” Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 16.75 inches by 16.5 inches. An exceptional piece linking these two great American icons.
Price: $12,000.00 Item Number: 80092
Etched portrait of Albert Einstein by well-known Polish-American Jewish artist Lionel S. Reiss. Signed by both Einstein and Reiss. In fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 13.5 inches by 16.5 inches. An exceptional piece.
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 87430
Black and white silver gelatin photograph of Albert Einstein. Signed “A Einstein 52.” Group portrait showing Einstein standing between Talmudic scholar Tamar de Sola Pool and Hadassah National President Rebecca Beldner Shulman at his Princeton home in June of 1952 during a celebration marking the commencement of building of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem. The photograph measures 8 inches by 10 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 13.5 inches by 15.5 inches. An exceptional photograph of Einstein, rare and desirable signed.
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 51046
Rare autograph letter signed and entirely in the hand of Sigmund Freud to his colleague, fellow psychiatrist Dr. Karl Fahrenkamp
Rare autograph letter signed and entirely in the hand of Sigmund Freud to his colleague, fellow psychiatrist Dr. Karl Fahrenkamp. Dated June 9, 1929 and on Freud’s personal letterhead the English translation of the German text is as follows: “Very esteemed Doctor: I accept the photos with thanks. Basically, one cannot say anything else about their representations than what once was said in a simple way by a student in an introduction to a composition: ‘Already the old Romans knew about love.’ The most beautiful picture you sent is of a drink container of the King. I myself have such a delicate piece in my possession which Prof. Delgado brought to me from Lima. Very cordially yours. Sig. Freud.” The recipient, Dr. Karl Fahrenkamp, was recognized for his work on psychosomatic illnesses. Freud and Fahrenkamp both based their theories on the functional theory of organic disorders, or the argument that external causative factors could act as a major cause of psychological imbalance. Fahrenkamp was strongly influenced by Freudian views and explored the influence of emotions upon bodily disease in his work on psychosomatic illnesses. The letter was also, notably, written the same year Freud published one of his most important and widely read books, Das Unbehagen in der Kultur (The Uneasiness in Civilization). In near fine condition. The letter measures 9 inches by 5.5 inches. Double matted and framed with a portrait of Freud, the entire piece measures 18.5 by 15.5 inches. A significant association.
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 110394
Etch bust of Albert Einstein done by well-known artist Hermann Struck. Signed by both Einstein and Struck, numbered 49/150. In fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 12.25 inches by 15 inches. An exceptional piece.
Price: $9,500.00 Item Number: 95890
Engraved bust portrait of Albert Einstein by Emil Orlik. Inscribed by Albert Einstein in German (English translation), “To Alice sending it to her as a remembrance Albert, February 1925.” Additionally signed by the artist, Emil Orlik on the lower right. The etching measures 10.5 inches by 14 inches. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 20 inches by 17 inches.
Price: $9,500.00 Item Number: 49058
Rare original carte-de-visite and signature of one of the most influential figures in human history" Charles Darwin
Rare Charles Darwin signature framed with an original carte-de-visite by Herbert Rose Barraud, London. Double matted and framed. The carte-de-visite measures 4 inches by 2.75 inches. The entire piece measures 16 inches by 23 inches. Taken by Barraud in 1881, the present carte-de-visite was likely the last photograph of Darwin, taken one year before his death in 1882. Rare and desirable. A handsome presentation.
Price: $6,500.00 Item Number: 95260
Rare typed letter signed by Albert Einstein. One page, typescript, text in German. The letter is dated 19 June 1936 and addressed to Dr. Hugo Bergman, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and reads: Lieber Herr Bergmann: Ueberbringer dieses Briefes ist “Seine amerikanische Heiligkeit” Rabbi Silberfeld von Newark New Jersey, ein guter Bekannter von mir. Zuhause aller Wege kundig, nicht aber in Palaestina. Es ware lieb von Ihnen, wenn Sie ihm ein paar Winke gaben damit er sich dort zurechtfindet. Herzlich grusst Sie Ihr “A. Einstein.” This translates as: Dear Mr. Bergmann: The bearer of this letter is “His American Holiness” Rabbi Silberfeld of Newark New Jersey, a good friend of mine. At home, he knows all the ways, but not in Palestine. It would be nice of you if you gave him a few hints. yours, “A. Einstein.” Einstein’s close personal friend Rabbi Julius Silberfeld was the rabbi of Temple B’nai Abraham in Newark New Jersey from 1902 to 1939. After it became clear that he could not return to Germany with Hitler’s rise to power during his 1933 visit to the United States, Einstein resided in England and Belgium for several months before returning to the U.S. where he accepted a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, noted for having become a refuge for scientists fleeing Nazi Germany. It was here that he likely met and formed a close bond with Rabbi Silberfeld. The recipient of the letter, Hugo Bergmann, was the first rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, between 1935 and 1938, which Einstein was instrumental in establishing in 1925 and was among its first Board of Governors. The letter is in near fine condition with a small paper clip imprint. Desirable with noted provenance.
Price: $6,500.00 Item Number: 119849
Autograph letter signed by Michael Faraday to William Coffin answering a question regarding the chlorate reaction with sulfuric acid, “or oil of vitriol,” in gunpowder. Addressed to William Coffin, it reads, “R[oyal] Institution, January 1, 1849, My dear Sir, I conclude you mean the acid which fires gunpowder – not directly but through the medium of the Chlorate mixture that and is as far as I know the strength liquid Sulfureum and or out of Vitriol. Ever Truly Yours, Michael Faraday.” Matted and framed opposite a carte-de-visite of Faraday by John Watkins. The entire piece measures 11.25 inches by 14.25 inches.
Price: $5,800.00 Item Number: 73081
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
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work": Large Signed Photograph of Thomas Edison
Large photograph of Thomas Edison, signed by him. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 16 inches by 20 inches.
Price: $4,500.00 Item Number: 15050
"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration": Photograph of Thomas Edison in His Library; Signed by Him
Large signed photograph of Thomas Edison showing him in his library with hands clasped. Inscribed by Thomas Edison. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 15.5. inches by 18.5 inches.
Price: $4,200.00 Item Number: 53017
"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
Signatures of each of the scientists who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, each signed during the Nobel Week of 1962, “James Dewey Watson, December 5, 1962,” “Francis Crick, 10th December 1962,” and “M. H. F. Wilkins,” each signed on individual off-white cards, with a portrait of each above. In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 16 inches by 23.5 inches. Contemporary signatures of these scientists are rare.
Price: $3,500.00 Item Number: 117398
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
“ORBITING EARTH IN THE SPACESHIP, I SAW HOW BEAUTIFUL OUR PLANET IS. PEOPLE, LET US PRESERVE AND INCREASE THIS BEAUTY, NOT DESTROY IT!”: RARE PHOTOGRAPH SIGNED by Yuri Gagarin, Pavel Popovich, Gherman Titov, and Andriyan Nikolayev
Rare original photograph signed by four important Russian cosmonauts including the first human to journey into outer space, Yuri Gagarin. Additionally signed by Andriyan Nikolayev (the third Russian in space and the first person to make a televised broadcast from space), Gherman Titov who became the first human to orbit the earth multiple times in 1961, and Pavel Popovich (the fourth cosmonaut to travel into space). Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 10.75 inches by 9.5 inches. In fine condition.
Price: $3,000.00 Item Number: 100123
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up": Photograph of Thomas Edison in His Library; Signed by Him
Large signed photograph of Thomas Edison. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 15.5. inches by 18.5 inches.
Price: $3,000.00 Item Number: 55002