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.
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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
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
Exceedingly rare original miniature manuscript of Shel Silverstein's zany children's tale A Giraffe and a Half
Exceedingly rare original miniature manuscript of Shel Silverstein’s zany children’s tale A Giraffe and a Half. Oblong 16mo, three miniature books drawn by and with text entirely in Silverstein’s hand illustrating three sections of the book, . The first section begins, “If you had a giraffe and he stretched another half… You would have a giraffe and a half… if he put on a hat and inside was a rat… You would have a giraffe and a half with a rat in his hat…” With Silverstein’s edits in both pen and pencil throughout. A charming and unique original manuscript offering further insight into the author’s unique and original artistic process.
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 116374
"I have never advocated war except as a means of peace": Rare Henry 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
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
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
First edition of the second book on architecture published in America: Owen Biddle's The Young Carpenter's Assistant
The Young Carpenter’s Assistant; Or, A System Of Architecture, Adapted To The Style Of Building In The United States.
Philadelphia: Benjamin Johnson, 1805.
First edition of the second book on architecture published in America, second only to Asher Benjamin’s Country Builder’s Assistant’ published in 1797( Shaw & Shoemaker, 8018). Quarto, bound in full calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, illustrated with 44 engraved plates, 2 folding. In very good condition. Scarce with only 2 copies having appeared at auction in the past 50 years.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 117672
“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
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
Rare original drawing drawn and signed by Beat icon Jack Kerouac. One page, the pencil and ink drawing depicts the soul of a deceased man radiating from a coffin flanked by a female figure, trees, and candles. Signed in the lower left corner by Kerouac, “Jean-Louis Kerouac.” Kerouac filled his notebooks and journals with spontaneous sketches and left a valuable trove of portraits, doodles, and Pollock-like abstract paintings behind when in died in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1969. In near fine condition. Framed. With a letter of provenance singed by Kerouac’s executor John Shen-Sampas. The entire piece measures 14 inches by 11.5 inches.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 119350
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 very rare 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
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
Engraved bust portrait of Albert Einstein by Hermann Struck. Signed at lower right by Albert Einstein and the artist Hermann Struck. This was the artist’s proof and is cited by him writing (“proof”) on the lower right, in pencil, next to Einstein’s signature. The engraving measures 7 inches by 10.5 inches. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 16 inches by 20 inches. Rare and desirable.
Price: $11,000.00 Item Number: 68038
London: Owen Jones, 1841-45.
First edition of this monumental work on The Alhambra. Elephant folio, two volumes, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards, as issued. In excellent condition with some wear to the binding, plates in exceptional condition.
Price: $11,000.00 Item Number: 33008
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
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
New York: W.W. Norton, 1932.
First edition of this seminal work in architecture. Octavo, original cloth, illustrations of work by Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, J. J. P. Oud, Mies van der Rohe, Raymond M. Hood, Howe & Lescaze, and Richard J. Neutra. Presentation copy, inscribed by Philip Johnson on the front free endpaper, “For Jim with thanks for his help Philip Johnson.” Light rubbing, near fine in the very rare dust jacket with light chipping. This is the first jacketed copy that we have encountered. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
Price: $9,500.00 Item Number: 1384
"MATISSE WAS EVOLVING METHODS HE WOULD USE FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE": First edition of Cinquante Dessins; with an original frontispiece etching signed by Matisse
Paris: Les Soins de l'Artiste, 1920.
First edition of Matisse’s classic self-produced suite of 50 photo-lithographic reproductions of his drawings of women. Quarto, original wrappers as issued, with an original frontispiece etching of a woman’s face. One of only 1000 copies produced, this is number 908. Signed by Matisse below the original frontispiece etching, “Henri Matisse.” Fine in a fine dust jacket. Rare and desirable signed and in the original jacket.
Price: $9,500.00 Item Number: 101632
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
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
Rare First Edition of Cox's Historical and Biographical Record of the Cattle Industry and the Cattlemen of Texas and Adjacent Territory
Historical and Biographical Record of the Cattle Industry and the Cattlemen of Texas and Adjacent Territory.
Saint Louis: Woodward & Tiernan Printing Company, 1895.
First edition of this work, one of the big four cattle books. Quarto, illustrated with color lithographic frontispiece, 16 plates, numerous full-page black and white and half-tone photo illustrations as well as illustrations in text, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. In near fine condition.
Price: $9,200.00 Item Number: 102643
Original pressing of one of the greatest albums of all-time. Boldly signed by Bob Dylan on the front panel. The cover photograph of Blonde on Blonde shows a 12-by-12 inch close-up portrait of Dylan. The double album gatefold sleeve opens to form a 12-by-26 inch photo of the artist, at three quarter length. The artist’s name and the album’s title only appear on the spine. A sticker was applied to the shrink wrap to promote the release’s two hit singles, “I Want You” and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”. The cover shows Dylan in front of a brick building, wearing a suede jacket and a black and white checkered scarf. The jacket is the same one he wore on his next two albums, John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline. In near fine condition.
Price: $9,200.00 Item Number: 114175