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Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington to revolutionary war ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
April 10, 1781.
Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army to French ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, whose military assistance in the Siege of Yorktown essentially ended the Revolutionary War. The body of the letter is entirely in the hand of Alexander Hamilton and dated 10 April 1781. In the spring of 1781, officials from Massachusetts approached Rochambeau with a proposal to attack the British post at the mouth of the Penobscot river which had been established in June 1779 to secure timber for shipyards in Halifax and to protect Nova Scotia from any American advance. On April 6, Rochambeau informed Washington that he was willing to send a detachment of troops and that Admiral Destouches would offer naval assistance, but observing that he was under Washington’s command, he would await his approval before approving the action (Rochambeau to Washington, 6 April 1781, Papers of George Washington, Library of Congress). Washington here responds offering his gratitude that Destouches, who had only recently lost a naval engagement with the British in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve Lafayette in Virginia, would be willing “to undertake the expedition to Penobscot and to you for your readiness to furnish a detachment of troops for the same purpose. The object is certainly worth attention and if it can be effected will be very agreeable to the States, particularly to those of the East.” He trusts that Destouches “can best judge from the situation of the enemy’s fleet how far it may be attempted with prudence, and Your Excellency from the information you have recently received what number of troops will be sufficient for the enterprise—I am persuaded it will be calculated how far it is probable the enemy may follow with a part of their fleet—whether the post can be carried by a coup de main, or may require so much time as to make it likely the operation will be interrupted before its conclusion—in case of a superior squadron being sent by the enemy what possibility there is of protection or a safe retreat for the ships and even for the land force (through an unsettled country in which numbers perished for want of provision in a former attempt)—All these are points too important not to have been well weighed, and your conversations with the Massachusetts deputies will have been able to enlighten you upon them.” Here, he is referencing the unsuccessful attempt by Massachusetts in 1779 to destroy the post, abandoned when British ships with reinforcements forced an arduous overland retreat by the Americans. Despite his assurances that Rochambeau and Destouches had matters well in hand, Washington took the “liberty to remark [on] two things—one that it appears to me frigates without any ships of the line will answer the purpose as well as with them and less will be risked than by dividing the body of the fleet. Frigates (especially the forty fours) will afford a safe escort to the troops against any thing now in those Seas, and with respect to a detachment from the enemy’s fleet, it would be always proportioned to the force we should send and if we have two sixty fours, they would even be an object for their whole fleet. The other observation I would make is, that dispatch being essential to success, it will in my opinion be adviseable not to depend on any cooperation of the Militia, but to send at once such a force from your army as you deem completely adequate to a speedy reduction of the post. The country in the neighbourhood of Penobscot is too thinly inhabited to afford any resource of Militia there, and to assemble and convey them from remote places would announce your design—retard your operations, and give leisure to the enemy to counteract you. Indeed I would recommend for the sake of secrecy to conceal your determination from the State itself.” On 15 April Rochambeau replied to Washington observing that while he had sufficient troops to spare, “your Excellency’s observations upon the Separation of our fleet, and upon the danger to be interrupted by superior forces, during the course of the Expedition, which Mr Destouches does not Look on as possible to be undertaken with his frigates only, are the motives which cause this project to be Laid aside for the present moment.” (Rochambeau to Washington, 15 April 1781, Papers of George Washington, Library of Congress). Soon Washington and Rochambeau‘s attention returned again to Virginia, and within months their combined forces would be closing in on Yorktown. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare and desirable, being the only communication between the storied commanders of the Yorktown campaign to appear at auction in more than a century.
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 125872
"The most recognizable portrait of Lincoln": Rare original Anthony Berger carte-de-visite signed by Abraham Lincoln as President
Rare original Anthony Berger carte-de-visite signed by Abraham Lincoln as President; the most recognizable portrait of Lincoln which was later used as the model for the Lincoln cent. Original mounted albumen photograph double ruled in gilt with “Brady’s National Photographic Portrait Galleries” stamp to the verso. Boldly signed by Abraham Lincoln, “A Lincoln.” With an additional inscription on the verso which reads, “Contributed for the benefit of the S.A.S. of Westford Mass. at their Levee Dec. 14th, 1864 by Mr. Lincoln.” Through the use of many paid assistants, renowned 19th century portraitist Mathew B. Brady produced thousands of photographs documenting the American Civil War, including portraits of Lincoln, Grant and both Union and Confederate soldiers in camps and battlefields. The body of work created by Brady’s photographers (including Anthony Berger, Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan) has become the most important visual documentation of the Civil War. Taken on February 9, 1864 by the manager of Brady’s Washington studio, Anthony Berger, this, the most recognizable portrait of the 16th president of the United States, was later used by Victor David Brenner to create the Lincoln cent. During this same sitting, Berger also took the photograph of Lincoln that would later appear on the five dollar bill. The present example was signed by Lincoln to help the Sanitary Association of Westford, Massachusetts raise funds for Unions soldiers toward the end Civil War. An example at Heritage Auction brought 175,000 in 2006. In near fine condition. An exceptional piece.
Price: $150,000.00 Item Number: 124196
"The longest letter signed and entirely in the hand of John Adams obtainable": Exceptionally rare 16-page autograph letter signed by Founding Father John Adams defending the ultimate necessity of American sovereignty
Exceptionally rare 16-page autograph letter signed by and entirely in the hand of Founding Father John Adams defending the ultimate necessity of American sovereignty and its precedence over international alliances. Sixteen pages, entirely in the hand of John Adams and written on both the recto and verso of each page, the letter is dated January 9, 1809 and addressed to Speaker of the House of Representatives, Joseph Bradley Varnum. Although France and America shared a strong alliance which proved crucial to winning the Revolutionary War, at the onset of the French Revolution in 1789, Washington’s fear that American involvement would weaken the new nation before it had firmly established itself created tensions and a new war between England and France broke out in 1793. The British Navy soon began targeting French vessels and trading interests across the Atlantic, and although many Federalists thought that America should aid its ally, Washington proclaimed that the United States would be “friendly and impartial toward the belligerent parties.” The Neutrality Proclamation was ignored by Britain and angered France, which then allowed its navy and privateers to prey on American trade. To protect American sailors and merchants without provoking Britain, in March 1794, Congress passed a 30-day embargo, which it then extended. Britain, the strongest sea power, began to seize American ships suspected of trading with France, and stepped up its practice of impressment. From 1806-1807, the British navy, in desperate need of men to oppose Napoleon, forced roughly 5,000 American sailors into service on the pretense that they were deserters. In 1807, King George III proclaimed his right to call any British subjects into war service and claimed that Britain had full discretion to determine who was a British citizen. The crisis reached one peak for America in June of 1807 when the HMS Leopard attacked the USS Chesapeake off the coast of Virginia. Three American sailors were killed, eighteen were wounded, and the Chesapeake surrendered after firing only one shot. The Leopard seized four American seaman, claimed as deserters from the British navy, and hanged one of them. Jefferson and Madison, his Secretary of State, responded with the Embargo of 1807, a ban on all American vessels sailing for foreign ports. Meanwhile, Russia allied with Napoleon and pressed Denmark to turn over her fleet. In September 1807, Britain preemptively bombarded Copenhagen and seized the Danish-Norwegian fleet. While Jefferson’s Republicans still generally favored France, a schism grew in the Federalist party. Men like Timothy Pickering downplayed impressments while focusing on trade and access to British manufacturing. On October 16, 1807, King George III aggravated already high tensions with American following the British attack of the USS Chesapeake off the coast of Virginia by issuing a Royal Proclamation expanding the British right to impressment (the King’s right to call any British subjects into war service and determine their citizenship). News of the King’s Proclamation arrived in the United States in December 1807 and, lacking military options, President Jefferson proposed an embargo to ban all U.S. exports on American vessels in order to protect American sailors’ lives and liberties, despite its potential to cripple American trade. The Embargo Act was signed on December 22, 1807, causing immediate economic devastation. In protesting the Embargo, rather than wrestling with the difficulty of defending American sovereignty, some opponents chose to declare the legality of impressments as defined by King George’s Royal Proclamation. John Adams’ former Secretary of State, Timothy Pickering, took a leading role in fighting the embargo, arguing that Jefferson was using it to draw America closer to Napoleon’s France. Given the devastating economic effects of the embargo, Pickering’s message found a wide audience. Adams, on the other hand, recognized the dire threat the King’s Proclamation posed in denying America the right to determine its own rules for citizenship and in December, took his arguments to Speaker of the House Joseph Varnum. As he stated in the present letter, “He [Pickering] thinks that as every Nation has a Right to the Service of its Subjects, in time of War, the Proclamation of the King of Great Britain, commanding his Naval Officers to practice Such Impressments, on board, not the Vessells of his own Subjects, but of the United States, a foreign Nation could not furnish the Slightest ground for an Embargo! … But I Say with Confidence that it furnished a Sufficient ground for a Declaration of War. Not the Murder of Pierce nor all the Murders on board the Chesapeake, nor all the other Injuries and Insults We have received from foreign Nations, atrocious as they have been, can be of such dangerous, lasting, and pernicious Consequence to this Country, as this Proclamation, if We have Servility enough to Submit to it.” Adams suggested repealing and replacing the Embargo Act with one that allowed international trade with all but the belligerents, while building up the navy. Varnum asked to publish it. Before assenting, Adams completely reworked his argument, mustering all the reason and rhetoric at his disposal into a stirring defense of sovereignty and citizenship, resulting in the present letter. On March 1, 1809, Congress repealed the Embargo Act, following Adams’ suggestion to replace it with the Non-Intercourse Act which allowed trade with all nations except Britain and France. In fine condition. A remarkable piece of early American history illustrating the second President of the United States’ impassioned devotion to the pursuit of American liberty. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. The longest letter signed and entirely in the hand of John Adams obtainable.
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 121560
Scarce 1792 printing of An Act to extend the Time limited for settling the Accounts of the United States with the Individual States; signed by Thomas Jefferson
Second Congress of the United States: At the First Session, begun and held at the City of Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, on Monday the twenty-fourth of October one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one. An Act to extend the Time limited for settling the Accounts of the United States with the Individual States.
Philadelphia: Childs & Swaine, 1792.
Scarce printing of an early United States law providing for the funding of the national debt, signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State. Folio, one page. The document, which also carries the printed signatures of President George Washington, Vice President John Adams, and House Speaker Jonathan Trumbull, was approved January 23, 1792. Individual acts and bills of the first Congresses were routinely printed for public consumption. A provision was made, however, to print a few copies of each act for dissemination to the states, and to have each copy signed by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. One of the main priorities of the federal government in the early national period was to pay down the debt of the United States. The national debt was incurred during the Revolution and augmented in 1790 when the Congress passed the Assumption Act, in accordance with a plan devised by Alexander Hamilton. Because contacting the numerous and geographically dispersed holders of the debt proved more difficult than expected, it became necessary to extend the time allowed by law for making the relevant financial arrangements. The present act accomplished this, and made a special extension of five months for Vermont, which gave the new state time to calculate the amount of debt. Despite Jefferson's vehement opposition to Hamilton's plan when it was formulated, his position as Secretary of State necessitated his signature on the presentation copies of the acts that effected it. In fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco folding case. Scarce, with only one other example signed by Jefferson located.
Price: $82,000.00 Item Number: 125388
Elaborately bound collection of Presidential autographs; containing the autograph of each of the first 34 Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Dwight D. Eisenhower
WASHINGTON, George; John Adams; Thomas Jefferson; James Madison; James Monroe; John Quincy Adams; Andrew Jackson; Martin Van Buren; William Henry Harrison; John Tyler; James Polk; Zachary Taylor; Millard Fillmore; Franklin Pierce; James Buchanan; Abraham Lincoln; Andrew Johnson; Ulysses S. Grant; Rutherford B. Hayes; James Garfield; Chester A. Arthur; Grover Cleveland; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; William H. Taft; Woodrow Wilson; Warren G. Harding; Calvin Coolidge; Herbert Hoover; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Harry Truman; Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Elaborately bound collection of Presidential autographs, containing the autograph of each of the first 34 Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Quarto, bound in full red morocco by Riviere & Son with gilt titles and ruling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, gilt presidential seal to the front panel with white and blue morocco onlays, gilt arms and motto of George Washington to the rear panel with white and blue morocco onlays and his gilt signature in facsimile, centerpieces within quintuple gilt ruling with star emblems at each corner, blue morocco doublures with multiple gilt presidential signatures, blue silk endpapers. This complete series of autographs of the first 34 Presidents of the United States contains the signature of each mounted on an album leaf opposite a loosely tissue-guarded engraved portrait of each. The collection includes: the signature of George Washington on an envelope addressed to Major General Knox as Secretary of the Society of the Cincinnati, November 3, 1783; a clipped signature of John Adams; clipped signature of Thomas Jefferson; the signature of James Madison on an envelope addressed to Reverend Frederick Freeman of Manayunk, Pennsylvania; and inscription signed by James Monroe; the signature of John Quincy Adams on an envelope addressed to William Plumer jun. Esq. in Epping, New Hampshire; a partially printed land grant signed by Andrew Jackson dated 1831 registering the purchase of 20 acres in Detroit by Peter Aldrich; clipped signature of Martin Van Buren; clipped signature of William Henry Harrison; signed inscription from John Tyler; signed inscription from James Polk; clipped signature of Zachary Taylor dated Baton Rouge, March 5, 1841; clipped signature of Millard Fillmore; clipped signature of Franklin Pierce; clipped signature of James Buchanan on a document dated July 18, 1858; clipped signature of Abraham Lincoln; endorsement signed by Andrew Johnson as President; clipped signature of Ulysses S. Grant; card signed by Rutherford B. Hayes; inscription signed by James Garfield; large card signed by Chester A. Arthur and dated May 22, 1884; autograph noted signed by Grover Cleveland declining an invitation, dated November 16, 1890; an Executive Mansion card signed by William McKinely; clipped signature of Theodore Roosevelt; clipped signature of William Howard Taft; clipped signature of Woodrow Wilson; typed letter signed by Warren G. Harding as President, dated June 4, 1923 on White House letterhead; card signed by Calvin Coolidge; White House card signed by Herbert Hoover; typed letter signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, February 15, 1917. Laid in is a typed letter signed by Harry S. Truman as President, June 30, 1950, on White House stationery and a typed letter signed by Dwight Eisenhower. TLS as President, November 13, 1956, on White House stationery. In fine condition. Housed in a custom folding chemise and half morocco slipcase. An exceptional collection and presentation.
Price: $80,000.00 Item Number: 125384
"One of the most fascinating regiments in American military history": Rough Rider Sergeant Craig W. Wadsworth's personal collection of of Rough Riders books, letters and photographs; with a first edition of The Rough Riders and typed letter signed by President Theodore Roosevelt
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899.
Craig Wharton Wadsworth’s personal collection of books, letters and photographs from his time as a Sergeant in Roosevelt’s Rough Riders cavalry. The collection includes a first edition of Roosevelt’s best-selling work, The Rough Riders (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899) signed by Roosevelt, “Theodore Roosevelt” and Wadsworth, “Craig W. Wadsworth Sergeant-Troop K”; Wadsworth’s 14-leaf photograph album bound in full pebbled leather with gilt titles to the front panel which read: “First United States Volunteer Cavalry (Roosevelt Rough Riders) 1898” containing 24 original photographs of the cavalrymen on their expedition to Daiquiri with annotations in Wadsworth’s hand and a lengthy introduction on the final leaf which reads, “The Rough Riders or the 1st Regiment U. S. Volunteer Cavalry was organized at San Antonio, Texas, between May 9 + 19, 1898. Comprised of men most from Arizona – troops A. B. C. from Oklahoma territory D, from New Mexico E, F, G, H, + I; New York + Eastern States K; from Indian territory L + M. May 29. the Regiment proceeded by rail to Tampa. June 8. troops A, B, C, D, E, F, G, K, L boarded the troopship Yucatan in Port Tampa Bay, forming the first military expedition to Cuba. June 22. arrived at Daiquiri June 23. marched to Sibony. June 24 marched to Las Guasimas + defeated the Spanish, losing 40 men in killed + wounded. June 30. marched to El Posa. July 1, participated in the San Juan engagement + faced the Spanish to Santiago, losing 89 men in killed + wounded. July 2-17. Duty in trenches — Santiago until surrender. July 18. marched to regular Camp at El Caney. Aug. 7. marched to Santiago, boarded troopship Miami and returned to the United States. August 15. landed at Montauk Point, L. 9.2.4., and went into — camp. August 19. marched to regular camp, rejoined troops C, H, I, + M, which remained at Tampa until Aug. 7, and performed regular duties until Sept. 15, 1898, when the regiment was mustered out of service.” The photographs are captioned as follows: 1 recto. “Rough Rider” Encampment, San Antonio 1898; 1 verso. [photo of a ship, text removed]; 2r. Getting ready, June 8., 2v. Cooke, Wadsworth, Tiffany, H. Bull, Carroll. June 8; 3r. Going aboard the “—” Henry Cooke, Willie Tiffany, Henry Bull, Craig Wadsworth June 8; 3v. “the Yucatan” leaving Tampa with the Rough Riders. troops A, B, D, E, F, G, K, and half of 2nd Infantry June 8; 4r. June 13. nearer [photo of a ship]; 4v. June 13. And nearer. [photo of a ship]; 5r. June 13. And nearer the Yucatan just misses big —. [photo of a ship]; 5v. The Miami [photo of a ship]; 6r. Bombardment of Daiquiri by U. S. Navy. June 22; 6v. landing at Daiquiri. June 22; 7r. The Rough Riders’ Camp at Daiquiri, June 23; 7v. The Rough Riders’ Camp at Daiquiri, June 23; 8r. —, Marshall, Harrison, Benlough, Green, Eatton; 8v. Resting after Las Guasimas engagement. June 24. under the blankets are left the dead body of Hamilton Fish; 9r. Dick Davis, Gen. Lawton, Col. Wood, Caspar Whitney, Gen Lawton; 9v. Fighting Ground of the 1st + 10th U. S. Cavalry; 10r. the “Bloody —” [Ford?] after the San Juan engagement. July 1st; 10v. Grave of Capt. Capron of troop L, the “Rough Rider” killed during the engagement at Las Guasimas. June 22; 11r. Stream where Gen. Shafter left. June 30th; 11v. El Paso after the bursting of the first shell. July 1st; 12r. On the roads to El Caney July 18th; 12v. — Warden, Joe Stevens Jack Carroll, Beu. Ha.; Wadsworth’s first edition copy of Inaugural Souvenir 1901 (Washington DC: Press of W. F. Roberts, 1901) in the original publisher’s boards, illustrated with engraved portraits of each American president from Washington to McKinley including frontispiece of McKinley and Roosevelt. With Warden’s ownership inscription, “Craig W. Wadsworth. Washington D. C. Sunday March 3 1901”; and a two-page typed letter signed by Roosevelt dated May 15, 1902 on White House letterhead addressed to Wadsworth at the Kinckerbocker Club in New York which reads: My dear Craig, You have now been made Secretary of the Legation at London. I am sure I need not tell you that because my representative, and I shall have a peculiar responsibility for you in England. You showed yourself in war worthy of your grandfather, a man who left his name as a heritage because of what he did in the Civil War. Now you must show yourself just as good an American in peace. You will be in a set of our countrymen over in London of whom there is not always cause to feel proud, and you must always keep before your mind that you are the representative of this country “as a whole” [Roosevelt has added this in his hand]; that every decent and self-respecting American, without the least reference to his social position, who comes from this side has a claim upon your courtesy and interest; and above all that no man of any other country will ever respect one of our men who is not himself genuinely and at heart a thorough-going American. I wish I could see you for a moment before you go abroad. Faithfully yours, “Theodore Roosevelt”. A prominent member of New York Society, Craig Wharton Wadsworth served in Troop K of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in 1898. After the war, he served on Governor Theodore Roosevelt’s military staff as a major in Albany, New York. In 1902, he joined the U.S. Diplomatic Service as third secretary to the American Embassy in London. In very good to near fine condition. Original photographs and documents from the Rough Rider era are rare, those signed by Roosevelt and from the personal collection of a Rough Rider exceptionally so.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 123510
"Nothing in bronze or stone could be a more perfect image than this statue of the living Washington": Fine bronze bust of George Washington after the famed Houdon bust of 1785
Fine bronze bust of George Washington, after the famed Houdon bust of 1785 which is considered the most accurate depiction of Washington. Bronze, mounted on a marble pedestal. French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon was revered for his life-like portrayals of numerous notable eighteenth-century philosophers, inventors, and political figures including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Napoléon Bonaparte, and George Washington. In 1784, the Virginia General Assembly commissioned a statue of George Washington “to be of the finest marble and the best workmanship,” necessitating a European craftsman. The Governor of Virginia gave the responsibility of selecting the artist to Thomas Jefferson, then ambassador to France, who together with Benjamin Franklin recommended that Jean-Antoine Houdon, the most famous sculptor of the day, execute the work. Unsatisfied to work from a drawing of Washington by Charles Willson Peale sent for the project, and lured by a potential commission for an equestrian monument by the Congress of the Confederation, Houdon agreed to travel to the United States to work directly from Washington. In early October 1785, Houdon and three assistants arrived at Washington’s plantation Mount Vernon where they spent two weeks taking detailed measurements of Washington’s arms, legs, hands and chest and made a plaster cast of his face. Before returning to France to perfect his work, Houdon presented his first draft of the bust, sculpted in terra cotta, to Washington, which he is known to have placed in his study. The final statue was carved from Carrara marble, depicting a standing life-sized Washington with a cane in his right hand and cape in his left. Chief Justice John Marshall, a contemporary of Washington’s said of the work, “Nothing in bronze or stone could be a more perfect image than this statue of the living Washington.” In fine condition. The bronze casting measures 14.25 inches in height. The entire piece measures 17.25 inches in height.
Price: $40,000.00 Item Number: 123102
Volume X of Robert Lucas' Modern Reports; from the law library of Alexander Hamilton with his ownership signature
Modern Reports: Or, Cases in Law and Equity, Chiefly During the Time the late Earl of Macclesfield presided in the Courts of the King’s Bench and Chancery, viz. From the Eighth of Queen Anne, to the Eleventh of King George the First Inclusive.
London: Printed by His Majesty's Law Printers, 1769.
Alexander Hamilton’s copy of the tenth volume of Lucas’s Modern Reports. Folio, bound in one quarter contemporary calf over paper-covered boards. Signed by Alexander Hamilton and his son Philip Hamilton on the title page. In very good condition. Housed in a custom cloth chemise and half morocco slipcase. Rare and desirable, books from Hamilton’s library seldom appear on the market.
Price: $24,500.00 Item Number: 125709
Rare Society of the Cincinnati membership certificate signed by George Washington as president of the society of the Cincinnati
Philadelphia: May 5th, 1784.
Rare autograph document signed by George Washington as President of the Society of the Cincinnati during the first general meeting of the Society and 5 years prior to his election and inauguration as the first President of the United States of America. One page partially printed on vellum with engraved vignettes by Auguste L. Belle after Jean-Jacques Andre LeVeau depicting America in knight’s armor trampling upon the British standard and the American eagle casting the British lion and Britannia out to sea with thunderbolts, engraved seal of the Order of the Cincinnati. The document reads: Be it known that Lieutenant William Andrews is a member of the society of the Cincinnati instituted by the Officers of the American Army at the Period of Dissolution, as well to commemorate the great Event which gave Independence to North American, as for the laudable Purpose of inculcating the Duty of laying down in Peace Arms assumed for public Defence, and of uniting in Acts of brotherly Affection and Bonds of perpetual Friendship the Members constituting the same. In Testimony whereof I, the President of the said Society have hereunto set my hand at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania this fifth day of may in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Four and in the Eighth Year of the Independence of the United States. By Order, ” “H.Knox” Secretary “G. Wahsington” President. William Andrews was commissioned a lieutenant on 1 January 1777 with the Third Continental Artillery. His regiment wintered at Valley Forge, andthe following June, Andrews was captured and held by the British in New York until he was exchanged in September 1781. In fine condition. Double matted and framed with an engraved portrait of Washington. The entire piece measures 36 inches by 23 inches. An exceptional example.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 101412
Rare first edition of N.H. Purple's A Compilation of the Statutes of the State of Illinois; from the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office Library with Herndon's ownership signature for the firm to both volumes
A Compilation of the Statutes of the State of Illinois, of a General Nature, In Force January 1, 1856. Collated with Reference to Decisions of the Supreme Court of Said State, and to Prior Laws Relating to the Same Subject Matter.
Chicago: Published by Keen & Lee, 1856.
First edition of Purple’s Statutes from the law library of Abraham Lincoln and William Herndon. Large octavo, 2 volumes, bound in full contemporary calf with morocco spine labels lettered in gilt. With Herndon’s ownership signature on behalf of the firm to the front pastedown of Vol. I, “A. Lincoln W. Herndon Lincoln & Herndon Springfield” and Vol. II, “Lincoln-Herndon.” Additionally with what are likely Lincoln’s scribbles to several pages including page 531 and 590-591. Lincoln was known to doodle in squiggly lines in his books and papers; in 2006 David Greenberg published Presidential Doodles: Two Centuries of Scribbles, entirely devoted to the subject. In very good condition, lacking the title pages and with restoration and repairs to several pages. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 124498
Rare Original Photograph of General Ulysses S. Grant Taken By Mathew Brady; Boldly Signed By Grant As President
Rare original Mathew Brady photograph of Ulysses S. Grant. Boldly signed by Grant as the 18th President of the United States, “U.S. Grant March 18th 1875.” One of the earliest photographers in American history, Mathew B. Brady brought home the reality of the Civil War to the American public with his innovative use of a mobile studio and darkroom to capture thousands of war scenes throughout the Civil War. Brady was also recognized as one of the premier photographic portraitists of the 19th century, taking photographs of numerous celebrities including Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Robert E. Lee among others. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 16.5 inches. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable with such a strong signature signed by Grant during his presidency.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 94709
"I was very happy to hear that you are going to be a mother, be allah willing": Rare typed letter signed by civil rights leader Malcolm X to his wife
April 4, 1958.
Rare typed letter signed by celebrated civil rights leader Malcolm X. One page, typescript. The letter reads in full, “1431 W. Jefferson Blvd Los Angeles, California April 4, 1958 As-Salaam-Alaikum In the Holy Name of ALLAH, the One True God, to whom all praise is due; and in the Holy Name of His Divine Messenger, the Honorable ELIJAH MUHAMMAD. My Dear Wife: It was a pleasure to find your letter awaiting me here at the office this morning. ALLAH blessed us to come safely through three TORNADOES, one HAILSTORM, two THUNDERSTORMS, and a SNOWSTORM. We averaged a “good pace” all the way, and arrived safely in record time. Please take the liberty of giving all the Muslims the Greeting for me at the Temple Sunday, and tell them that they key to success at #7 is to stay ing[sic] unity, and follow the instructions that come from the officials there. The officials at number Seven, under Secretary John, and Captians Yusaf and Francis are doing a wonderful job, and I pray ALLAH will bless them with the reward of peace, prosperity and happiness. I was very happy to hear that you are going to be a Mother, be ALLAH willing. I was not surprised. My reaction was “as it was” only because I didn’t appreciate the timing you took to announce it to me. May ALLAH bless you with understanding so you will have peace of mind. Let me know when you need some more money, but spend AS LITTLE as possible, for it is costing me tremendously here to get things as the should be. The Messenger would consent to you visiting me, and would even provide the plane fare himself, but I am against it at this time. This does not mean that I do not love you, it rather means that I have a job to do, know the circumstances and conditions under which I best work, and try to create such. As for your becoming a Mother, you couldn’t give me better news. Concerning the project that the committee wanted: if they can get Bros John and Joseph to accept it, it will be alright with me. But have someone explain it to them other than yourself. That is a wonderful Committee, and had done great work. Be a FRIEND to everyone in the temple, and everyone in the temple will be a friend to you. May ALLAH bless you with Peace and Happiness. As-Salaam-Alaikum: your husband Malcolm X Tell Gloria 2X that she should really be proud of her husband, and that I am proud of HER, for making such grand sacrifice. ALLAH will really bless her. Signed by Malcolm X and with a post script in his hand, “PS: In your letter you sounded like an understanding wife.” In very good condition. An exceptional association. Letters signed by Malcolm X are scarce.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 122553
"I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology": Exceptionally Rare Autograph Letter Signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before beginning graduate studies at Boston University in 1951
Typescript autograph letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. requesting housing upon his acceptance to Boston University Graduate School. The letter, dated June 15th 1951 and addressed to Dean Charles W. Alter, Boston University Graduate School, reads, “Dear Dean Alter, I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology. I am now interested in finding living accommodations on the campus, or at least very near by. A single room would be preferable. If such is possible I would appreciate having it reserved. I am also interested in applying for a graduate Fellowship. Please send me the necessary information at this point along with an application blank. Thanks in advance for your cooperation, I am Sincerely yours, Martin L. King, Jr.” King later recalled his experience with housing bias in 1951 Boston in an interview with the Boston Globe in 1965, “I remember very well trying to find a place to live. I went into place after place where there were signs that rooms were for rent. They were for rent until they found out I was a Negro, and suddenly they had just been rented.” Double matted and framed, with a photograph of a young King. The entire piece measures 14 inches by 21.75 inches. This letter offers an extraordinary glimpse into the education of the great African-American Civil Rights leader, exemplifying his own experiences with the systemic racism in 1950s American society.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 82416
"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
First edition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first book Whither Bound?; signed and inscribed by him to his son
Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1926.
First edition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first book, being the text of a lecture delivered by him at Milton Academy on the Alumni War Memorial Foundation on May 18, 1926. Octavo, original cloth. One of one thousand copies printed. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the title page on the occasion of publication (and within a month of the delivery of the lecture) to his son, “For my son Elliott Roosevelt This copy of his Dad’s first book Franklin D. Roosevelt June 1926.” Additionally signed by Roosevelt on the title page, “Franklin Roosevelt.” Elliott was the fourth of Roosevelt’s six children, and Eleanor’s acknowledged favorite. His future career included military service, involvement in aircraft procurement, and roles as author, rancher, radio station owner, and Mayor of Miami Beach. Near fine in the rare original dust jacket which is in good condition. Housed in a custom cloth chemise and half morocco slipcase. Small bookplate to the pastedown. An exceptional association.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 125163
"We miss you very much. Love from Caroline & Mummy" Postcard from Jacqueline Kennedy to her son John, Jr.
Postcard from Jacqueline Kennedy to her son John F. Kennedy, Jr. It reads, “Dearest John, Every day we say where is John-John – Away!! – We ride in this cart & the horse has feathers – & we play on a beach like this & I found a sea horse – & we go up this hill to our house. That is a tower to look out for pirates – We miss you very much. Love from Caroline & Mummy.” Written on a postcard from Amalfi which she has addressed to “Master J.F. Kennedy Jr.” The verso shows a colorful illustration of the seashore including a horse-drawn cart, beach, stone tower, and village. Accompanied by a White House envelope with the typed return address, “Villa l’Episcopio RAVELLO, ITALIA.” Double matted and framed opposite of photograph of the Kennedy family. The entire piece measures 15 inches by 19 inches.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 65095
Military commission signed by Abraham Lincoln, Washington, August 1861. Folio on vellum with vignettes. Light wear along the folds. Countersigned by Simon Cameron. Matted and framed.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 69020
“Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it": Rare Collection of original Oleg Cassini dress designs, sketches, photographs, letters and a gown replica designed by him for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy
Rare collection of original Oleg Cassini dress designs, sketches, photographs, letters and a gown from Cassini’s personal collection. The collection includes a French magazine page inscribed by Jacqueline Kennedy, “afternoon + Theatre”, a letter typed by Cassini’s secretary Kay McGowan transcribing Kennedy’s instructions to him, an original Cassini Studio pencil sketch, a chart of sixteen Cassini designs with pinned fabric swatches, a Cassini designed replica of a gown worn by Jackie at the September 19, 1961 White House Dinner held in honor of of President Dr. Manuel Prado Ugarteche and First Lady Clorinda Málaga de Prado of Peru with Cassini’s couture label, a photograph featuring Cassini, and two photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy donning Cassini’s designs, including one framed which features a photograph of her wearing the very dress mimicked in the replica. In near fine condition. A nice collection offering insight into the complexity and careful planning of Jackie’s public image.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 116093