Art and Architecture

Rare Art Books & Rare Architecture Books for Sale Online

Raptis Rare Books maintains an extensive selection of rare art books and rare books on architecture in our library. Browse through our entire collection below, view details about individual books and contact us to ask a question or find out more information.

Showing 1–20 of 287 results

  • "Portrait of a Woman Eyes Closed": Original Artwork by Kahlil Gibran; Signed and dated by him

    GIBRAN, Kahlil.

    Portrait of a Woman Eyes Closed.

    1926.

    Rare original artwork from Kahlil Gibran. Graphite on paper, signed and dated by Gibran. “K.G. 1926.” The piece measures 10.5 inches by 8 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 17 inches by 15 inches. Provenance: Waverly, December 11, 1986, lot. 378; purchased by the present owner; Private Collection, Washington D.C.

    Price: $50,000.00     Item Number: 119272

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  • "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

    HOUDON, Jean-Antoine. [George Washington].

    Jean-Antoine Houdon George Washington Bronze Bust.

    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

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  • "In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time": Large Signed Portrait Photograph Signed by Charles Dickens

    DICKENS, Charles.

    Charles Dickens Signed Portrait Photograph.

    1868.

    Large oval portrait photograph measures 20 inches by 16 inches. Matted in a contemporary frame which measures 25.5 inches by 29.5 inches. Signed “Charles Dickens (with a large flourish) Boston Sixth March 1868.” In 1867, Charles Dickens began his second American reading tour at Boston’s Tremont Temple, where an enthusiastic audience delighted in some of his most notable works, members of the audience included legendary literary stars such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Although Dickens was in declining health, he embarked on an ambitious travel schedule across the United States. Dickens returned to Boston once more before concluding his U.S. tour in New York City. When Charles Dickens arrived in Boston on November 19, 1867, the celebrated English author spent several days at the Parker House hotel recuperating from the voyage. As conscientious a performer as he was a writer, Dickens had prepared diligently for his performances, redrafting and memorizing key passages from his books especially for these engagements. He used a book only as a prop; he was so familiar with the material that he could improvise with ease. However, during his 1867-1868 tour he was plagued with Flu-like symptoms, insomnia, and an inflammation of his foot, which forced him to walk with a cane. During his last tours in 1868, Dickens confined much of his performances to the New England area. Dickens was grateful for the income he desperately needed from his readings, which generated $140,000, close to $2,000,000 today; but he longed for home. On April 8, 1868, Dickens gave the last performance of the tour. Prolonged applause followed the reading. He closed by telling the audience, “In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time… Ladies and gentlemen, I beg most earnestly, most gratefully, and most affectionately, to bid you, each and all, farewell.” He died two years later, having written 14 novels, several of which are considered classics of English literature. A desirable piece of Victorian literary history.

     

     

    Price: $30,000.00     Item Number: 74030

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  • Rare Original Goldfinger Dust Jacket Design Printing Proof; signed by Dust Jacket Designer Richard Chopping and from his personal collection

    CHOPPING, Richard. [Ian Fleming].

    Goldfinger. [Original Richard Chopping Signed Printing Proof].

    Rare original progressive color printing proof for the iconic dust jacket design of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, designed by Richard Chopping. Chopping’s copy, retained for his personal collection and signed by him in the lower right corner. One page on archival printer’s paper, this is a yellow and magenta ink progressive plate proof (printed using two of four plates combined to create the final full color image). The seventh novel in Fleming’s bond series, Goldfinger was the second book with a dust jacket designed by Richard Chopping, the first being From Russia, With Love. Chopping would design all subsequent James Bond dust jackets (with the exception of Dr. No). In fine condition. The proof measures 22.25 inches by 17.5 inches. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 32.75 inches by 27.5 inches. A rare and attractive piece of Bond history and an important original working component in the artistic design of one of the most iconic dust jackets in modern literature.

    Price: $25,000.00     Item Number: 124288

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  • "I have never advocated war except as a means of peace": Rare Henry Shrady Ulysses S. Grant Bronze Bust

    GRANT, Ulysses S.] Henry Merwin Shrady.

    Ulysses S. Grant Bronze Bust.

    Original bronze bust of Ulysses S. Grant by Henry Shrady, the famed sculptor of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial on the west front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Mounted on socle and base, the entire piece measures 18.5 inches in height. In fine condition. An exceptional piece of Americana.

    Price: $22,500.00     Item Number: 102885

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  • Rare original Bag One lithograph; signed by John Lennon

    LENNON, John. [The Beatles].

    John Lennon Signed “Bag One” Lithograph.

    New York: Cinnamon Press, 1970.

    Rare Bag One lithograph signed by Beatles icon John Lennon. One page, the title page from Lennon’s Bag One Portfolio. Signed by him beneath the image. One of 300 numbered copies, this is number 172. In near fine condition. Matted and framed. Rare and desirable.

    Price: $20,000.00     Item Number: 123601

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  • One of the Earliest Calligraphic Works by Thomas Merton

    MERTON, Thomas.

    Thomas Merton Original Calligraphic Artwork.

    Original signed artwork from Thomas Merton. In the last decade of his life, while living as a hermit-monk in dialogue with the world, Thomas Merton created a body of visual art, drawing from the Zen Buddhist tradition. When he was a student at Columbia University, Merton sought out a Hindu monk named Bramachari for counsel. The monk advised Merton to follow his own Christian tradition to find what he was most deeply looking for. A strong admirer of Gandhi, Merton also noted how Gandhi, a Hindu, had found a congenial ‘ second home’ of sorts in the Christian Sermon on the Mount. In the 1950’s Merton began exploring Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism. He thought he found some resonance between Zen and the Desert Fathers. Merton sent a copy of his study of the Desert Fathers to Daisetsu Suzuki, the leading exponent of Zen in the west. They began a long correspondence in the late 1950’s, and Suzuki’s influence can be seen in Merton’s artwork. Includes a letter from activist W.H. Ferry, which reads, “4/3/68 For Mary Sue Dilliard: Daisetsu Suzuki told Father Tom Merton in 1965 that the only way finally to understand Zen was to practice calligraphy. This is the result: one of Tom’s earliest calligraphs. W.H. Ferry.” On the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions letterhead, which Ferry was the Vice President. Matted and framed, which measures 13 inches by 15 inches. Calligraphy drawing measures 9 inches by 12.5 inches. On the verso of the frame, it includes various Merton material including numerous clippings. Original artwork by Merton is exceptionally rare in the marketplace.

    Price: $20,000.00     Item Number: 17032

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  • Rare Original Goldfinger Dust Jacket Design Printing Proof; signed by Dust Jacket Designer Richard Chopping and from his personal collection

    CHOPPING, Richard. [Ian Fleming].

    Goldfinger. [Original Richard Chopping Signed Printing Proof].

    Rare original progressive color printing proof for the iconic dust jacket design of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, designed by Richard Chopping. Chopping’s copy, retained for his personal collection and signed by him in the lower right corner. One page on archival printer’s paper, this is the magenta ink progressive plate proof (printed using one of four plates combined to create the final full color image). The seventh novel in Fleming’s bond series, Goldfinger was the second book with a dust jacket designed by Richard Chopping, the first being From Russia, With Love. Chopping would design all subsequent James Bond dust jackets (with the exception of Dr. No). In fine condition. The proof measures 22.25 inches by 17.5 inches. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 32.75 inches by 27.5 inches. A rare and attractive piece of Bond history and an important original working component in the artistic design of one of the most iconic dust jackets in modern literature.

    Price: $20,000.00     Item Number: 124559

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  • First Edition of Ed Ruscha's Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Signed by Him

    RUSCHA, Ed [Edward].

    Twentysix Gasoline Stations.

    Alhambra, California: A National Excelsior Publication, 1963.

    First edition, one of 400 numbered copies of the artist’s first book, this is number 180. Small octavo, original white wrappers, printed in red. Signed by Ed Ruscha on the title page. Near fine in the rare original glassine. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

    Price: $17,500.00     Item Number: 97975

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  • Rare archive of original photographs, silver gelatin prints, drawings, and letters signed by American photographer Peter Beard

    BEARD, Peter.

    Peter Beard Original Drawings, Photograph, and Correspondence Archive.

    Large archive of early Peter Beard drawings, photographs, annotated books, and letters sent by him to his Yale University college roommate, Jerry Fenton (nicknamed “Tooner”), just as he was starting to explore Africa. The archive includes three large original silver gelatin prints, four autograph letters singed by Beard with accompanying original drawings dated August 1959 through October 1961, three postcards signed by Beard dated January 1961 through May 1962 describing his life on safari, 3 Yale copies of Russian literature texts from Beard’s collection all heavily annotated by him and with his ink drawings to the endpapers, and two 5 x 7 original Beard photographs. In near fine condition. A fascinating archive offering an intimate glimpse into Beard’s early work.

    Price: $16,000.00     Item Number: 123481

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  • First edition of the second book on architecture published in America: Owen Biddle's The Young Carpenter's Assistant

    BIDDLE, Owen.

    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

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  • “Dear Barbara, you remind me of myself and I wish us both that you remain that way": Photograph of Ayn Rand; Inscribed by Her to Barbara Branden

    RAND, Ayn.

    Ayn Rand Signed Photograph.

    Large signed photograph of Ayn Rand. Inscribed by her to Barbara Branden, “Dear Barbara, you remind me of myself and I wish us both that you remain that way – With love -Ayn June 21, 1951.” While living in New York during the early 1950’s, the recipient, Barbara, and her future husband, Nathaniel Branden, befriended Rand and her husband Frank O’Connor. Not only would the couple go on to become major proponents of Objectivism (establishing the Nathaniel Branden Institute in 1958 with Barbara serving as Rand’s assistant), but their personal lives would be dramatically intertwined with Rand’s. Begrudgingly sanctioned by both Barbara and Frank, Nathaniel began an affair with Ayn in 1954. The secret couple had a very public break in 1968, almost certainly due to Branden’s affair with actress Patrecia Scott who he later married. The photograph measures 8 inches by 10 inches. Matted and framed, which measures 17.5 inches by 19.5 inches. Photographs signed by Rand are rare.

    Price: $15,000.00     Item Number: 73070

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  • Etching of Albert Einstein by Erich Buttner; Signed by Both Einstein and Buttner

    EINSTEIN, Albert; Erich Buttner.

    Albert Einstein Signed Etching.

    1917.

    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

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  • First Edition of Walt Disney's Fantasia; Inscribed by Disney and with Twelve original drawings

    DISNEY, Walt; Deems Taylor .

    Walt Disney’s Fantasia. With a Foreword by Leopold Stokowski.

    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

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  • "Learning never exhausts the mind": RARE EDITION OF LEONARDO DA VINCI'S TRATTATO DELLA PITTURA

    DU FRESNE, Rafaelle. [Leonardo Da Vinci].

    Trattato Della Pittura Di Lionardo Da Vinci Nuovamente Dato In Luce, Colla Vita Dell’ Istesso Autore, Scritta Da Rafaelle Du Fresne. Si sono giunti i tre libri della Pittura, ed il trattato della Statua di Leon Battista Alberti, colla vita del medesimo, E di nuovo ristampato, corretto, ed a maggior perfezione concotto.

    In Parigi ed in Napoli: Giacomo Langlois ed Francesco Ricciardo a spese di Niccola, e Vicenzo Rispoli, 1733.

    Rare third augmented edition of the preferred work in Italian of da Vinci’s work on painting. Folio, bound in stiff paper wrappers, illustrated with text engravings throughout, with two full-paged portraits of da Vinci and Alberti, lacking the final two text leaves: H1 & H2. The true date of the Parisian edition, as in all copies, is altered in pen on the title page: from MDCLI to MDCCI. In very good condition. Housed in a custom clamshell box.

    Price: $12,500.00     Item Number: 125493

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  • Rare collection of six Winnie-The-Pooh prints; with an autograph note signed by both A. A. Milne and Ernest Shepard

    MILNE, A. A.; Ernest Shepard.

    A. A. Milne and Ernest Shepard Signed Winnie-the-Pooh Print Collection.

    1928.

    Rare collection of six Winnie-The-Pooh prints specially bound with an autograph note signed by both A. A. Milne and Ernest Shepard. Quarto, bound in hand-made paper wrappers, the collection includes six mounted Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations extracted from issues of Home Chat magazine which were produced by Shepard exclusively for Home Chat in 1928 and never appeared in any of the Pooh books. With a mounted note signed by Milne and Shepard. The prints are titled: Christopher Robin has a Little Something at Eleven; What Christopher Robin does in the Mornings; Christopher Robin gives Extract of Malt all round; Christopher Robin’s Green Braces; Christopher Robin at the Enchanted Place; Christopher Robin organises an “Exposition”. In near fine condition. A unique example.

    Price: $12,500.00     Item Number: 122600

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  • "In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins": Rare Henry Kirke Bush-Brown Bust of Ulysses S. Grant as the first general of the united states army

    BUSH-BROWN, Henry Kirke. [Ulysses S. Grant].

    Ulysses S. Grant Bronze Bust.

    New York: Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co., [c. 1885].

    Attractive bronze bust of of Ulysses S. Grant as General of the Army by famed American sculptor Henry Kirke Bush-Brown. The adopted nephew of sculptor Henry Kirke Brown, Henry Kirke Bush-Brown was revered for his accurate realist sculptures illustrating American history. He produced three equestrian bronze sculptures erected at the Gettysburg battlefield depicting General George Mead (the victor at Gettysburg), General John F. Reynolds (killed in action July 1, 1863), and General John Sedgwick (the senior most Union casualty of the American Civil War). In addition, Bush-Brown made a bust of Abraham Lincoln, dedicated in 1912 as part of the Lincoln Speech Memorial commemorating Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Mounted on a bronze base, the entire piece measures 7.75 inches in height. In fine condition.

    Price: $12,500.00     Item Number: 125381

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  • Portrait of Henry James by John Singer Sargent; Signed by both James and Sargent

    SARGENT, John Singer and Henry James.

    John Singer Sargent Henry James Signed Portrait.

    Photographic portrait of Henry James by John Singer Sargent, boldly signed by James and Sargent. The portrait measures 10.5 inches by 13 inches. Double matted and framed. In fine condition. Rare and desirable signed by both James and Sargent.

    Price: $10,000.00     Item Number: 73010

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  • Etching of Albert Einstein by Lionel S. Reiss; Signed by Both Reiss and Einstein

    EINSTEIN, Albert; Lionel S. Reiss.

    Albert Einstein Signed Etching.

    1921.

    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

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  • Nineteenth Century Portrait of George Washington

    STUART, Gilbert. (George Washington).

    George Washington Portrait.

    Portrait of George Washington after Gilbert Stuart, American School, late 19th century oil on canvas portrait of President George Washington, after the Athaneum portrait by Gilbert Stuart. Housed in a Victorian giltwood frame with floral carved corner ornaments and oval opening. The entire piece measures 35 inches by 40 inches. An exceptional piece.

    Price: $9,800.00     Item Number: 78002

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