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“Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends": First Edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
London: John Murray, 1859.
First edition of “certainly the most important biological book ever written” (Freeman), one of 1250 copies. Octavo, bound in original cloth, half-title, one folding lithographed diagram, without advertisements. In fine condition with a touch of shelfwear. Housed in a custom clamshell box. An exceptional example of this landmark work, one of the nicest extant.
Price: $400,000.00 Item Number: 116380
FIRST EDITION OF ANDREAS VESALIUS'S MAGNUM OPUS, THE MOST MONUMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICAL EDUCATION AND "ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCIENTIFIC BOOKS EVER PRINTED": DE HUMANI CORPORIS FABRICA LIBRI SEPTUM; ON THE FABRIC OF THE HUMAN BODY IN SEVEN BOOKS
Basel: Ex Officina Joannis Oporini, 1543.
First edition of the most important and influential book in the study of human anatomy and “one of the most beautiful scientific books ever printed”(Grolier). Folio, bound in full 18th century calf, woodcut title page with Vesalius performing a dissection, woodcut portrait of the author, over 200 woodcut anatomical illustrations, including 21 full page and 2 folding-sheet figural woodcuts of the skeletal, muscular, vascular and nervous systems. In very good condition with some light dampstaining to some page edges. Rare and desirable, especially in contemporary calf. A splendid example of Vesalius’ masterpiece, one of the most monumental achievements in the history of both medical education and printing.
Price: $300,000.00 Item Number: 30020
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
Basel: Eusebius Episcopius , 1572.
First edition of Alhazen’s fundamental work on optics and vision, which influenced Galileo and Kepler and paved the way for the modern science of physical optics. Folio, bound in full contemporary Basel vellum with central arabesques blind-stamped to the front and rear panels, titles stamped in black and five raised bands to the spine, woodcut printer’s device to the title page, woodcut initials, diagrams and full page illustration to the verso of the title page. Translated from Arabic into Latin by Gerard of Cremona. In very good condition. From the library of American physician Chester Tilton Stone with his bookplate to the pastedown. A superior example of this significant work, rare and desirable in contemporary vellum.
Price: $142,000.00 Item Number: 90395
First Octavo Edition of the The Birds of America from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories; In the Rare Original Publisher's Morocco
New York: Published by J.J. Audubon, 1840.
First octavo edition of this landmark work. Octavo, bound in original publisher’s morocco, 7 volumes, gilt titles and ruling to the spine, marbled endpapers, complete with 500 hand-colored lithographed plates by J.T. Bowen after J.J. Audubon; woodcuts in the text. From the library of Boston businessman and Ambassador T. Jefferson Coolidge, with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Coolidge was born to a prominent Boston Brahmin family and was a great-grandson of the 3rd United States President Thomas Jefferson, through his maternal grandparents, Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. and Martha Jefferson Randolph. His uncles were Thomas Jefferson Randolph, George Wythe Randolph, Andrew Jackson Donelson, and a relative of Calvin Coolidge. He was an uncle to Archibald Cary Coolidge through his older brother, Joseph Randolph Coolidge. He was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as United States Ambassador to France on May 12, 1892, a role his great-grandfather had held from May 1785 to September 1789. Coolidge presented his credentials on June 10, 1892 and he presented his recall on May 4, 1893, terminating his mission. In 1898 and 1899, he was a member of the American delegation to the commission to resolve the Alaska boundary dispute. Historian Ernest May says Coolidge was, “a prototype member of what today we call the foreign policy establishment.” In 1898, Coolidge donated a collection of Thomas Jefferson’s personal papers to the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. The collection contained more than 8,000 items: Correspondence, including 3,280 letters that Jefferson had written and 4,630 letters that he had received; Jefferson’s garden book (1766-1824) and farm book (1774-1824); annotated almanacs from 1771-1776; account books for 1783-1790; manuscript expense accounts from 1804-1825; notes on the weather spanning the years 1782-1826; plans of American forts in 1765; law treatises, 1778-1788; legal papers, 1770-1772; and Jefferson’s 1783 catalog of his personal library. In near fine condition. An exceptional set with noted provenance, rare in the original publisher’s morocco.
Price: $75,000.00 Item Number: 111832
“AMERICA’S FIRST GREAT SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTION”: Rare First Complete Edition of Franklin's Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Made at Philadelphia in America
Experiments and Observations on Electricity made at Philadelphia in America… To which are added, Letters and Papers on Philosophical Subjects. The Whole corrected, methodized, improved, and now first collected into one Volume, and Illustrated with Copper Plates.
London: Printed for David Henry and sold by Francis Newbery, 1769.
First complete edition of “the most important scientific book of 18th-century America” and “America’s first great scientific contribution” (PMM). Octavo, bound in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, morocco spine label. Advertisement & errata leaf inserted following preface. Illustrated with 7 copper-engraved plates, 2 of which are folding. In very good condition. First editions are rare, exceptionally so in a contemporary binding.
Price: $40,000.00 Item Number: 116750
"The first atlas of the new world": First complete edition in Italian of Ptolemy's La Geographia, the earliest and most comprehensive small-format world atlas published
Le Geographia di Claudio Ptolemeo Alessandrino, Con alcuni comenti & aggiunte fattevi da Sebastiano munstero, Con le tavole non solamente antiche & moderne solite di staparsi.
Venice: G. B. Pedrezano, 1547.
First complete edition in Italian of Ptolemy’s “first atlas of the new world” (Nordenskiöld) and the most detailed and comprehensive world atlas published prior to Ortelius’s Theatrum in 1570. Small octavo, bound in full vellum with gilt morocco spine label, all edges speckled red, woodcut border to the title page, woodcut initials and illustrations throughout the text including a portrait of an astronomer and 60 double-page engraved maps designed by Giacomo Gastaldi. The majority of the 34 maps of the modern world are entirely new first appearances, including 7 maps of the Americas. Among the maps of the Americas is the Nueva Hispania tabula nova which shows the Mississippi and Florida area and is the first separate printed map of the region. Also included is the landmark Tierra Nueva map of the North American coast from Florida to Labrador. In fine condition. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box. An exceptional example of this landmark work.
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 95367
"The Greatest Story Ever Told": First Edition of The Double Helix; Signed by James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins
New York: Atheneum, 1968.
First edition of Watson’s ground breaking work regarding the discovery of DNA for which the author, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1962. Signed by all three laureates on the title page, James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. Octavo, original blue cloth, with numerous diagrams and photographic illustrations. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Jeanyee Wong. Foreword by Sir Lawrence Bragg. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. We have never seen another example signed by all three contributors; exceptionally rare.
Price: $28,500.00 Item Number: 96790
Scarce Presentation copy of the Symposium on The Dynamics of Crystal Lattices; inscribed by Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman to Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur who assembled India’s greatest library
Bangalore: Reprinted from Proceedings of The Indian Academy of Sciences, 1943.
Rare compendium of papers by Sir Chandrashekhara Raman, winner of the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics. Quarto, bound in full leatherette with titles lettered in gilt, illustrated with charts and photographs. Presentation copy, inscribed by Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman to Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur, “To Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur with the highest regards of C.V. Raman 3.5.1946.” The recipient, Indian nobleman Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur assembled India’s greatest library, famed for its diverse collection of rare antiquarian manuscripts and important books. With the Raja’s ownership signature and inscription which notes that the book was received from Sir C.V. Raman by registered book post on 6.5.1946, but Sir Raman paid a personal visit in 4-4-46 from 3:30pm- 5:30pm. In very good condition. Laid in is a collection of clippings related to The Raman Research Institute and a Brief Biographical Sketch produced by The Bangalore Press. Scarce with only one other book signed by Raman recorded.
Price: $28,000.00 Item Number: 108563
Extremely rare first Latin edition of Galileo's revolutionary Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
Systema Cosmicum in Quo Quatuor Dialogis, de Duobus Maximis Mundi Systematibus, Ptolemaico et Copernicano. [Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems].
Strasbourg: D. Hauttius for the Elzevir, 1635.
Rare first Latin edition of Galileo’s epoch-making Dialogo, the summation of the extraordinary mathematician’s astronomical thought and the work which directly precipitated his 1663 trial and judgement for heresy. Preceded only by the 1632 edition in Italian. Small octavo, bound in full contemporary vellum, engraved additional title page, full page engraved frontispiece portrait of Galileo by Jacob van der Heyden, woodcut diagrams, with the final leaf of errata. This Latin edition includes two tracts in the appendix not in the Italian edition of 1632, and it is the only major work of Galileo’s to be published outside Italy during his lifetime. The two added Latin tracts are the introduction to Kepler’s Astronomia nova (pp. 459-464), and a letter by Paolo Antonio Foscarini defending the truth of Copernicanism and rebutting the charge that it conflicted with scripture (pp. 465-495). With the appendix by P.A. Foscarini which contains an attempt to reconcile the Copernican views with the Holy Scripture. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare, as the work was rigidly suppressed from the start.
Price: $28,000.00 Item Number: 93890
Amsterdam: Joannes Janssonius, 1617.
Rare edition of the Epitome of Vesalius, first published in 1543 as an abbreviated dissection room manual to accompany his masterpiece De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body). Folio, bound in full contemporary calf, gilt titles and elaborate gilt tooling to the spine, red spine label, raised tooled bands, marbled endpapers, engraved pictorial title page. Engraved portrait of Vesalius, engraved folding plate of Adam and Eve after that in the epitome before the main text. Containing 39 full-page anatomically illustrated plates, woodcut headpieces and initials. In near fine condition. Captions in both Latin and German, having been otherwise taken directly from Thomas Geminus’ first copy of 1545, Compendiosa Toitus Anatomie Delineato Aere Exarata. German text taken from Baumann’s German edition of 1551 (Keynes, 171; Krivatsy, 12321; Waller, 9919).
Price: $28,000.00 Item Number: 74638
"For Francis, the first of us to think sensibly as to what the Central Dogma tells us about the origin of life, from Jim, upon the 35th anniversary of the Double Helix": First Edition of Evolution of Catalytic Function: Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology; inscribed by James D. Watson to Francis Crick
Cold Spring, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1987.
First edition of the collected speeches of the 52nd Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology. Foreword by James D. Watson. Quarto, original red cloth, illustrated with photographs, diagrams. Association copy, inscribed by James Watson to Francis Crick on the front free endpaper, “For Francis, the first of us to think sensibly as to what the Central Dogma tells us about the origin of life, from Jim, upon the 35th anniversary of the Double Helix. April 10, 1988.” Also signed by Francis Crick. A unique piece of history between arguably the two most influential scientists of the twentieth century, co-discoverers of the structure of DNA. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom slipcase. An exceptional association linking the discoverers of the molecular structure of DNA.
Price: $22,000.00 Item Number: 41053
Rare First Edition of Cerf and Kahn's A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication; Signed twice by Each
New York: IEEE, 1974.
First edition of this landmark paper. IEEE Transactions and Communications, Volume Com-22, Number 5, May 1974, pages 589–733. Quarto, original wrappers. Signed by both Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn on the front panel and also at their contribution in the article. In near fine condition with some light touch up to the front panel, rebacked. Housed in a custom clamshell box. Rare, especially signed.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 26035
New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1985.
First edition of this collection of reminiscences by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist and one of the greatest scientific minds of the twentieth century. Octavo, original half cloth. Signed by Richard Feynman on the title page. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a touch of shelfwear. Jacket design by Mike McIver. Told to Ralph Leighton. Edited by Edward Hutchings. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Signed first editions are exceptionally rare and desirable.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 90244
"The Greatest Work In The History of Science": First complete Edition in English of Newtons Principia; in the original boards
London: Printed for H.D. Symonds, 1803.
First complete edition in English of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia, the greatest work of physics, in the exceedingly rare original boards. Octavo, 3 volumes, bound in original boards, uncut, 54 folding copper-engraved plates of diagrams and figures, all but one folding; 2 folding tables. with 22 folding. In near fine condition with light toning to the text. An exceptional example, rare and desirable in the original boards. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 122898
Early Printings of The Feynman Lectures On Physics; inscribed by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman to Alfred Paul Seckel
Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company for California Institute of Technology, 1975-76.
Early printings of each volume of one of the greatest physics books ever written. Quarto, original red printed wrappers. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author in the volume one, “May 5, 1982, To my friend, Al Seckel.” The recipient, Alfred Paul Seckel, authored several books on the nature of illusion and perception and edited two of Bertrand Russell’s works. An active figure in the Freethought movement, Seckel co-designed the “Darwin fish” logo in response to the proliferation of “Jesus fish” logos used on bumper stickers and t-shirts. Each volume is in very good condition. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box. Exceptionally rare and desirable, only a handful or inscribed copies of Feynman’s Lectures On Physics are known to exist.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 95373
"The first surgical work by an American and printed in North America": John Jones' Plain Concise Practical Remarks, on the Treatment of Wounds and Fractures
Philadelphia: Robert Bell, 1776.
Exceptionally rare edition of the first surgical work by an American and printed in North America. Octavo, bound in nineteenth century three quarters morocco over marbled boards, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, frontispiece. Jones’ work was the accepted guide to surgical practice during the American Revolutionary War” G&M 2155; Austin 1843; Evans 15100 and 14814; Sabin 94063 and 36524. In near fine condition.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 91322
Rare First edition in English of Sir Isaac Newton's Two Treatises of the Quadrature of Curves and Analysis by Equations of an Infinite Number of Terms
Sir Isaac Newton’s Two Treatises of the Quadrature of Curves, and Analysis by Equations of an Infinite Number of Terms, Explained.
London: Printed by James Bettenham for the Society for the Encouragement of Learning, 1745.
First edition in English of the mathematical appendixes to Newton‘s fundamental 1704 Opticks, one of the greatest works of science ever published. Translated from the Latin by James Bettenham, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Aberdeen. Quarto, bound in contemporary calf, gilt titles to the spine, burgundy morocco spine label, rebacked, woodcut diagrams throughout the text, engraved tailpiece. In very good condition with some light wear and browning to the text, with wide margined text. Exceptionally rare and desirable, first editions are scarce with only four appearing at auction in the last 90 years.
Price: $17,500.00 Item Number: 95840
First Edition of Burney's Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean
A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean. Illustrated with Charts.
London: Printed by Luke Hansard, 1803.
Rare first edition of “the most important general history of early South Seas discoveries, containing practically everything of importance on the subject; collected from all sources, with the most important remarks concerning them. Many of the early voyages to California would be inaccessible were they not collected herein” (Hill). Quarto, 5 volumes bound in full calf with red morocco spine labels lettered in gilt, gilt tooling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, botanical ruling stamped in blind to the front and rear panels, marbled endpapers. Containing 28 engraved maps (15 folding), 13 plates (1 folding), woodcut illustrations throughout text. In near fine condition. Perforated library stamps to the title pages. Rare and desirable, published in a format intended to complement Cook’s Voyages on the library shelf.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 117105
"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