First Edition

First Edition Books for Sale Online

Raptis Rare Books maintains an extensive collection of rare and first-edition books from a variety of authors and publishers. Navigate through our full selection of first-editions below to find a particular item you're looking for, ask a question, or order online today!

Showing 1–40 of 203 results

  • “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

    DARWIN, Charles.

    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

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  • “YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE: ONCE WHEN YOU ARE BORN AND ONCE WHEN YOU LOOK DEATH IN THE FACE”: COMPLETE SET OF IAN FLEMING'S JAMES BOND NOVELS; IN THE RARE ORIGINAL DUST JACKETS; WITH FIVE SIGNED BY SEAN CONNERY

    FLEMING, Ian.

    Complete Set of 14 First Edition James Bond Novels: Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever, From Russia with Love, Dr. No, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only (short stories including A View to a Kill and Quantum of Solace), Thunderball, The Spy Who loved Me, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun, Octopussy and The Living Daylights.

    London: Jonathan Cape, 1953-66.

    First editions of each volume in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Octavo, 14 volumes, original cloth. Each volume is fine in near fine to fine first-issue dust jackets, with five signed by Sean Connery, which include: From Russia With Love, Dr. No, Diamonds Are Forever, Goldfinger and Thunderball each signed by Sean Connery. Each volume is housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional collection of first editions, most rare in this condition and signed.

    Price: $125,000.00     Item Number: 105482

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  • "LIGHT OF MY LIFE, FIRE OF MY LOINS": FIRST American EDITION OF Nabokov's TOUR DE FORCE LOLITA; Inscribed by Him to his Editor Jason Epstein with a drawing of a butterfly

    NABOKOV, Vladimir.

    Lolita.

    New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1955.

    First American edition and first trade edition of Nabokov’s masterpiece. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page on the day of publication, “For Jason and Barbara from Vladimir August 18, 1958” and with a drawing by Nabokov of a butterfly. The recipient Jason Epstein was Nabokov’s Doubleday editor and an early supporter of the novel. Having published Nabokov’s Pnin at Doubleday in 1957, Epstein encouraged the house to publish Lolita to no avail (four American publishers refused to publish the work) but was successful in printing the first appearance of the novel in America, a long excerpt in the June 1957 issue of Doubleday’s Anchor Review. G.P. Putnam’s published the sensational book in America the following summer and it became the first novel since Gone with the Wind to sell 100,000 copies in its first three weeks. Inscribed copies of both the 1955 Paris first edition and this 1958 first American edition are equally scarce due to Nabokov’s refusal to sign copies. Vera Nabokov noted this in a letter accompanying a signed copy of the 1958 edition to Anita Loos, that her husband “has been autographing Lolita only for personal friends and the very few writers whose work he admires. He has refused his autograph to so many of his own students and to so many of his acquaintances that it would be impossible for him to make an exception… ” (Nabokov, Selected Letters, 1940-77, ed. D. Nabokov and M. J. Bruccoli, p. 265. Also: Tock, Emily. Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov and Jason Epstein: A Study in Authorial Extravagance and Editorial Restraint in The Journal of Scholarly Publishing, Volume 48, Issue 4, July 2017, pp. 268-281). Photograph of Nabokov by Maclean Dameron. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association.

    Price: $125,000.00     Item Number: 121875

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  • 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

    AUDUBON, John James.

    The Birds of America from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.

    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

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  • “Give me liberty, or give me death": Scarce 1776 separate edition of the Large Additions to Common Sense

    PAINE, Thomas.

    Large Additions to Common Sense; Addressed to the Inhabitants of America.

    Philadelphia: Printed and sold, by R. Bell in Third-Street, 1776.

    Scarce 1776 separate edition of the Large Additions to Common Sense. The title reads in full: Large Additions To Common Sense: Addressed To The Inhabitants Of America On The Following Interesting Subjects. I. The American Patriot’s Prayer. II. American Independancy, defended by Candidus. III. The Propriety of Independancy, by Demophilus The dread of Tyrants, and the sole resource Of those that under grim Oppression groan. Thomson. IV. A Review of the American Contest with some Strictures on the King’s Speech. Addressed to All Parents in the Thirteen United Colonies by a Friend To Posterity And Mankind. V. Letter to Lord Dartmouth, by an English American. VI. Observations on Lord North’s Conciliatory Plan, by Sincerus. To Which Is Added And Given An Appendix to Common Sense; Together with an Address to the People Called Quakers on their Testimony concerning Kings and Government and the Present Commotions in America. Octavo, bound in three quarters morocco over boards, gilt titles and five raised bands to the spine, marbled endpapers. In very good condition, internally very clean. Rare with only two examples appearing at auction in the last 80 years.

    Price: $50,000.00     Item Number: 106523

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  • "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer": First American Edition of Albert Camus’ Classic Novel The Stranger; Inscribed by Him to fellow novelist Vincent Sheean

    CAMUS, Albert.

    The Stranger.

    New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946.

    First American edition of Camus’ first novel and masterpiece. Octavo, original beige cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “A Vincent Sheean pour le remercier de savoir si bien parler de Stendhal Sympathiquement Albert Camus.” The recipient, Vincent Sheean was an American journalist and novelist. Sheean’s most famous work was Personal History, which won one of the inaugural National Book Awards: the Most Distinguished Biography of 1935. Film producer Walter Wanger acquired the political memoir and made it the basis for his 1940 film production Foreign Correspondent, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Sheean wrote the narration for the feature-length documentary Crisis (1939) directed by Alexander Hammid and Herbert Kline. He translated Ève Curie’s biography of her mother, Madame Curie (1939), into English. Sheean wrote Oscar Hammerstein I: Life and Exploits of an Impresario (1955) as well as a controversial biography of Dorothy Thompson and Sinclair Lewis, Dorothy and Red (1963). He studied at the University of Chicago, becoming part of a literary circle which included Glenway Wescott, Yvor Winters, Elizabeth Madox Roberts and Janet Lewis while he was there. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Warren Chappell. Translated by Stuart Gilbert. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Presentation copies of The Stranger are rare, with only one appearing at auction in the past 70 years. Exceedingly scarce and desirable.

    Price: $45,000.00     Item Number: 97850

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  • Alfred B. Searle's Refractory Materials; inscribed by Nikola Tesla to fellow inventor Bartley E. Broadwell

    SEARLE, Alfred B. [Nikola Tesla].

    Refractory Materials: Their Manufacture and Uses.

    London: Charles Griffin & Company, Limited, 1924.

    Rare second revised and enlarged edition of Alfred B. Searle’s Refectory Materials; inscribed by brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla. Octavo, original cloth, with 174 graphs, diagrams and maps throughout the text. Presentation copy, inscribed by Nikola Tesla on the half-title page, “To B. E. Broadwell, with compliments from, Nikola Tesla, New York, May 18, 1931.” The recipient, Bartley E. Broadwell was engaged as the general superintendent of the Aluminum Company of America and resided in Niagara Falls, New York. He applied for and was granted U.S. patents for several inventions in the early 20th century, including his electrode for electrometallurgical, or “ring” furnaces. Two years before he founded the Nikola Tesla Company in 1896, Tesla was commissioned by Edward Dean Adams, who headed up the Niagara Falls Cataract Construction Company, to consult on how best to use the hydroelectric power generated by the falls. He advised Adams that a two-phased system would be the most reliable and a contract was awarded to General Electric to build the AC distribution system. In the 1930s, when Tesla inscribed the present volume, he was effectively bankrupt. The book was at one time part of his personal library which was slowly dissembled as he struggled to pay rent and resided in a number of hotel rooms. On June 20th 1931, two months after he inscribed the present volume, Tesla was featured on the cover of Time Magazine for his contributions to electrical power generation and in honor of his 75th birthday. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Exceptionally rare.

    Price: $42,000.00     Item Number: 118028

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  • “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more": Rare First Edition of Jane Austen's Emma

    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma: A Novel. By the Author of “Pride and Prejudice.”

    London: John Murray, 1816.

    First edition of the final novel published during Austen’s lifetime. Small octavo, 3 volumes, bound in contemporary three quarters leather, gilt titles to the spine. With the publisher’s advertisements on the verso of the last page of Vol. III. In near fine condition with light toning. An exceptional example, most rare and desirable in this condition and in a contemporary binding.

    Price: $40,000.00     Item Number: 120465

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  • Rare First Edition of Mathematical Collections and Translations, which includes the first translation in English of Galileo's System of the World" (Dialogo)

    GALILEI, Galileo; Salusbury.

    Mathematical Collections and Translations.

    London: William Leybourn, 1661.

    First edition of Thomas Salusbury’s Mathematical Collections and Translations. Salusbury compiled and translated important writings by Archimedes, Descartes, Galileo, Kepler, Tartaglia, Torricelli into English for the first time, greatly influencing the English-speaking world. This volume contains the first English translation of Galileo’s 1632 The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo). Also  included is Galileo’s 1615 letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, published in 1636 as Nov-antiqua sanctissimorum patrum et probatorum theologorum doctrina, which asserted the independence of science from religious authority. This short but important Epistle to the Grand Dutchesse Mother concerning the Authority of Holy Scripture in Philosophical Controversies (known today as the Letter to Christina), was only the second work of Galileo’s to be published in England. It preceded the Latin edition, published in London by Thomas Dicas, by two years and remained the only vernacular translation for two centuries. Apart from the two works by Galileo, Salusbury included other translations from Italian and Latin in this volume of his Collections, such as Johannes Kepler’s and Didacus a Stunica’s “Reconcilings of Scripture Texts,” and Foscarinus’ Epistle to Father Fantonus reconciling the Authority of Scripture. Folio, bound in full calf, with 4 engraved plates. Lacking the half-title, contents leaf, fly-title to The System of the World, and the errata leaf found at the end of the first part in some copies. 2 parts in one volume. In very good condition with the contents showing some light browning in the upper margins. First editions are exceptionally rare.

     

     

    Price: $38,000.00     Item Number: 73025

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  • First Edition in English of Albert Camus’ Classic Novel The Stranger; Inscribed by Him

    CAMUS, Albert.

    The Stranger.

    New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946.

    First American edition of Camus’ first novel and masterpiece. Octavo, original beige cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “A Muriel Sutman nous ne sommes pas des étrangers, Albert Camus.” Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Warren Chappell. Translated by Stuart Gilbert. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Presentation copies of The Stranger are rare, with only one appearing at auction in the past 70 years.

    Price: $37,500.00     Item Number: 116373

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  • "The rarest of them all": First Edition of the First Catholic Bible to be printed in America and the First Quarto Edition Printed

    The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate: Diligently Compared with the Hebrew, Greek, and Other Editions, in Divers Languages; and First Published by The English College at Doway, Anno 1609. Newly Revised, and Corrected, According to the Clementine Edition of the Scriptures. With Annotations for Elucidating the Principal Difficulties of Holy Writ.

    Philadelphia: Carey, Stewart, and Co, 1790.

    First edition of the first Catholic Bible printed in America, “the rarest of them all” and the first quarto edition Bible printed in America. Quarto, bound in full calf. Two volumes bound in one, title page to volume one, not title page of volume two as issued, two leaves of subscribers’ names. In very good condition with some of the usual toning to the text. An exceptionally rare work, most desirable.

    Price: $35,000.00     Item Number: 81020

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  • "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

    PTOLEMY, Claudius.

    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

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  • “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy": First Modern Library of The Great Gatsby; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    FITZGERALD, F. Scott.

    The Great Gatsby.

    New York: The Modern Library, 1934.

    First Modern Library edition of the author’s masterpiece, with the first appearance of Fitzgerald’s new introduction. Octavo, original green cloth. Inscribed by the author on the half title page, “For Lillian Abercrombie at the beginning of a tour of work F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some rubbing to the extremities and some small chips. Housed in a full custom morocco box. The first Modern Library edition of The Great Gatsby was a resounding commercial failure, and many copies were remaindered with the caption “discontinued title” printed on the jacket’s front panel. The present copy represents one of the earlier, non-remaindered copies, and like all of the first Modern Library editions of The Great Gatsbyfeatures Fitzgerald’s new introduction, with his own, now-famous take on his masterwork: “I think it is an honest book, that is to say, that one used none of one’s virtuosity to get an effect, and, to boast again, one soft-pedalled the emotional side to avoid the tears leaking from the socket of the left eye, or the large false face peering around the corner of a character’s head. If there is a clear conscience, a book can survive — at least in one’s feelings about it. On the contrary, if one has a guilty conscience, one reads what one wants to hear out of reviews. In addition, if one is young and willing to learn, almost all reviews have a value, even the ones that seem unfair.”

    Price: $35,000.00     Item Number: 37020

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  • Complete Set of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Deluxe Editions; Each Signed by Her

    ROWLING, J.K.

    Harry Potter Series Complete Deluxe Set. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, and The Deathly Hallows.

    London: Bloomsbury, 1997-2007.

    First editions of the deluxe edition of each book in Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Octavo, 7 volumes, original decorative cloth as issued. Each volume is signed by J.K. Rowling and were collected in person by the previous owner. The Prisoner of Azkaban is inscribed. In fine condition. No dust jackets were issued for these volumes. Scarce and desirable.

    Price: $35,000.00     Item Number: 81035

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  • Rare First Edition of Herodotus' Historiae, in Greek

    HERODOTUS; EDITED BY ALDUS MANUTIUS,.

    Historiae, In Greek.

    Venice: Aldus Manutius, September, 1502.

    Rare first edition of Herodotus‘ history of the Persian Wars, one of the most important texts edited by the great scholar-printer-publisher. Folio, bound in contemporary vellum, woodcut title in Greek and Roman letter, verso with dedication in Latin, text in Greek letter throughout with spaces for capital letters, woodcut device on title and last page. Aldus claims in the dedication that he corrected the text from multiple exemplars, one of the few instances where such a claim by him is justified and can be verified. He was the first to have access to the ‘Florentine’ codices, where Valla had used the so-called Roman family of manuscripts for his translation. The printer’s copy was discovered in Nuremberg by Brigitte Mondrain in 1993 (Scriptorium 49 [1995], pp. 263-273). The History was designed to match the Aldine Thucydides of four months earlier: they share a paper stock, all types and the number of lines per page. Ahmanson-Murphy 50; Isaac 12782; Laurenziana 64; Renouard, Alde 35:8; Sansoviniana 67. In excellent condition with light rubbing and wear, bookplates to the pastedown, some light toning to the text, occasional Greek and Latin annotations in a c.17th-century hand, small repairs to the final four leaves. An exceptional example of this landmark work, rare and desirable in contemporary vellum.

    Price: $32,000.00     Item Number: 96588

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  • First Edition of That Hideous Strength; Inscribed by C.S. Lewis to George Orwell

    LEWIS, C.S.

    That Hideous Strength.

    London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1943.

    First edition of the final novel in Lewis’ acclaimed Space Trilogy. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by C.S. Lewis to fellow writer and journalist George Orwell and his wife (Eric and Eileen Blair) on the front free endpaper, “To the Blairs, with kind regards, C.S. Lewis Aug. 1945.” This is the review copy used in George Orwell’s literary review of the book which was published in the Manchester Evening News on August 16th 1945. Also with three hand-corrections to the text in Lewis’ hand which he made in all review copies before personally sending to critics. Although Lewis and Orwell were not close friends, both were employed as radio journalists by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during WWII, an era that transformed both religious broadcasting (in which Lewis became a primary figure) and war correspondence (Orwell’s experience as a correspondent working out of the basement of the BBC during wartime was a major inspiration for his masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four). Very good in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morrocco clamshell box. A remarkable association.

    Price: $30,000.00     Item Number: 81218

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  • Extremely rare first Latin edition of Galileo's revolutionary Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

    GALILEI, Galileo.

    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

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  • Rare 1617 Edition of Vesalius's Epitome containing 39 full-page anatomically illustrated plates

    VESALIUS, Andreas. (Thomas Geminus).

    Anatomia in Quat Tota Humani Corporis Fabrica. (Anatomy in Total of the Fabric of the Human Body).

    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

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  • “THE MOST AMBITIOUS PUBLICATION EVER UNDERTAKEN, UP TO THAT TIME, UPON AMERICAN SOIL… RICHLY DESERVING OF ITS GREAT REPUTATION AT HOME AND ABROAD”: FIRST EDITION OF WEBSTER’S LANDMARK AMERICAN DICTIONARY, 1828

    WEBSTER, Noah.

    American Dictionary of the English Language.

    New York: Published by S. Converse. Printed by Hezekiah Howe, 1828.

    Rare first edition of Webster’s monumental American Dictionary, one of only 2500 copies, with frontispiece portrait of the pioneering lexicographer, in full contemporary calf. Quarto, two volumes, bound in full contemporary calf, marbled endpapers, illustrated frontispiece, tissue guard present. In near fine condition, light toning to the text. Most rare and desirable bound in contemporary calf. An exceptional example, most rare without any restoration.

    Price: $27,500.00     Item Number: 102755

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  • “I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying": The Works of Oscar Wilde; One of 80 Sets Bound in Japanese Vellum

    WILDE, Oscar.

    The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.

    London: Methuen & Co, 1908.

    First collected edition, one of 80 sets on Japanese vellum, the rarest and most desirable of Wilde’s works. Octavo, 14 volumes, bound in original vellum, gilt titles and tooling to the spine and front panel with the design by Charles Ricketts, top edge gilt. “The text is taken in most instances from the last editions issued under the superintendence of the author. In some cases the volumes contain additional matter which had not previously been reprinted, while some of the volumes contain matter here published for the first time” (Mason). In near fine condition. Rare and desirable, especially in this condition.

    Price: $27,500.00     Item Number: 103150

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  • Rare first edition of one of the earliest chess manuals; Pietro Carrera's Game of Chess

    CARRERA, Pietro.

    Il Gioco De Gli Scacchi Di D. Pietro Carrera Diviso in Otto Libri. (The Game of Chess).

    Militello: Giovanni de' Rossi, 1617.

    Rare first edition of one of the early chess manuals, and the first book printed in Militello at Prince Francesco Branciforte’s private press. Octavo, bound in full contemporary vellum with ink titles to the spine, large engraving of the Branciforte coat of arms opposite the dedication page, woodcut illustrations throughout the text. In near fine condition. First editions are of exceptional rarity, with only three appearing at auction in the past 90 years.

    Price: $25,000.00     Item Number: 96172

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  • "Youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness": FIRST EDITION OF Tales of the Jazz Age; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    FITZGERALD, F. Scott.

    Tales of the Jazz Age.

    New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922.

    First edition of Fitzgerald’s iconic collection, with eleven stories including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” basis for the award-winning 2008 film. Octavo, original green cloth, titles to the spine in gilt. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Signor Monsieur Herr Whitney from Fitzgerald/(le maistro).” In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable signed and inscribed.

    Price: $25,000.00     Item Number: 101765

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  • First Edition of The Worst Journey in the World; Inscribed by the Author in Each Volume

    CHERRY-GARRARD, Apsley.

    The Worst Journey in the World.

    London: Constable & Company, 1922.

    First edition of this classic memoir of the 1910–1913 British Antarctic Expedition. Octavo, two volumes, original half white cloth, gray paper boards. Inscribed by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in each each volume. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. In near fine condition with light rubbing to the extremities. First editions signed and inscribed are of exceptional rarity.

    Price: $25,000.00     Item Number: 33035

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  • First Edition in English of Hugo Grotius' foundational work: On the Law of War and Peace

    GROTIUS, Hugo.

    The Illustrious Hugo Grotius of The Law of Warre and Peace with Annotations in III. Parts and Memorials of the Author’s Life and Death.

    London: Printed for T. Warren and William Lee, 1655.

    First edition in English of Grotius’ foundational work on international law. Small octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, engraved frontispiece portrait of the author. In very good condition. Rare, with no other examples appearing at auction in the last 80 years.

    Price: $22,500.00     Item Number: 111091

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  • "And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!": First Edition of Where the Wild Things Are; Signed by Maurice Sendak with a Drawing Of Mickey Mouse

    SENDAK, Maurice.

    Where the Wild Things Are.

    New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1963.

    First edition in the first-issue dust jacket of one of the scarcest and most desirable books in modern children’s literature. Oblong quarto, original cloth backed pictorial paper boards. Inscribed by Maurice Sendak with a drawing of Mickey Mouse on the half-title page, “For David, Hi! Maurice Sendak May ’80.” It was Walt Disney’s 1940 feature film Fantasia, starring Mickey Mouse, that inspired 12-year old Maurice Sendak to become a cartoonist. Born the same year that the famous anthropomorphic cartoon character made his first appearance in the the 1928 short film Steamboat Willie, Sendak described Mickey Mouse as “the emblem of happiness and funniness [and] the little brother I always wanted” (Romano, 2012). One of the most avid collectors of Mickey Mouse memorabilia, Sendak has noted that early appearances of Mickey in both film and collectible figurines had teeth, which were later omitted as his character became more popular and his more cruel tendencies were transferred to other characters. Sendak’s characters, with plenty of teeth, came to embody not just the adorable and benevolent, but the frightening and dangerous; evoking feelings in the children who read his stories quite unlike those encouraged by the typical illustrated children’s tale. Fine in a near fine first-issue dust jacket. This is the correct first state of the dust jacket with no mention of the Caldecott award, and a $3.50 price at top of front flap. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example, rare and desirable in this condition and with a drawing of the character that inspired Sendak’s career, Mickey Mouse.

    Price: $22,500.00     Item Number: 81145

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  • “Never test another man by your own weakness": First Edition of Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim; Inscribed by Him

    CONRAD, Joseph.

    Lord Jim.

    New York: Doubleday & McClure Co, 1901.

    First American edition of one of Conrad’s finest novels. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Signed for Richard Curle by Joseph Conrad this 24 January 1920.” Laid into this volume is also a letter from Curle, dated November 11th, 1922, which begins, “I saw in a catalogue a copy of a book signed to me by Conrad and thought to discover how it had got there…” Curle was a Scottish author, traveler and bibliophile and was a frequent correspondent of Conrad’s, for whom he acted as an assistant during the novelist’s later years. In excellent condition with some minor toning to the spine and light wear to the extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association copy, most rare and desirable signed and inscribed and with noted provenance.

    Price: $22,000.00     Item Number: 78009

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  • "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

    JONES, John.

    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

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  • “All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall”: Rare First Edition In English of Dumas' The Three Musketeers

    DUMAS, Alexandre.

    The Three Musketeers; or, the Feats and Fortunes of a Gascon Adventurer.

    London: Bruce and Wyld, 1846.

    First edition in English of Dumas’ masterpiece. Octavo, bound in full contemporary calf, gilt titles to the spine, raised gilt bands, marbled endpapers. Translated from the French by William Barrow. Barrow’s translation was the first of three English translations published in 1846 and is considered the most faithful to the original text. To conform to nineteenth century English standards other translations removed many of the explicit and implicit references to sexuality which adversely affected the readability of many scenes. Period bookplate to the front pastedown, in very good condition with some loss to a few pages. Housed in a custom half leather clamshell box. First editions are of the utmost scarcity.

    Price: $20,000.00     Item Number: 88658

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  • “Don't you know that everybody's got a Fairyland of their own?”: Rare First Edition of Mary Poppins; Signed by P.L. Travers

    TRAVERS, P.L.

    Mary Poppins.

    New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1934.

    First American edition of this children’s classic. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated with 27 line cuts (13 full-page) and chapter tailpieces by Mary Shepard. Boldly signed by P.L. Travers on the front free endpaper. Very good in a very good dust jacket with some light rubbing and wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable signed.

    Price: $20,000.00     Item Number: 96590

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  • “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”: Rare Nikola Tesla Autographed Letter Signed

    TESLA, Nikola.

    Nikola Tesla Autographed Letter Signed.

    Autographed letter signed by brilliant inventor, Nikola Tesla. The letter reads, “New York, July 30th, 1898. #46 & 48 E. Houston Str. Snowden Ward, Esq., Editor of the Photogram, 6 Faringdon Ave., London, Engl. Dear Sir:- I have your favor of July 23rd, and regret not to be able to oblige you in the matter at present. It will give me pleasure to comply with your request at the next favorable opportunity. Believe me to be, Yours very truly, N. Tesla.” The recipient, Snowden Ward was an English photographer and author, who produced several periodicals and technical handbooks on photography in collaboration with his wife, accomplished American photographer Catharine Weed Barnes. A photograph of Nikola Tesla’s hand was featured as the frontispiece to the August 1898 volume of The Photogram, annotated “The hand of Nikola Tesla, taken by his wonderful artificial daylight, just perfected. This is the first photograph made by the light of the future.” The following issue in September revisited the subject with an lengthy interview with Tesla in which he explained his experimentation with phosphorescent vacuum tube lights and photographic exposures in great detail. This correspondence was likely in regards to Tesla supplying this interview. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 18 inches by 22.5 inches. Letters signed by Tesla are rare.

    Price: $20,000.00     Item Number: 65015

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  • Rare Original Photograph of General Ulysses S. Grant Taken By Mathew Brady; Boldly Signed By Grant As President

    GRANT, Ulysses S. (Mathew Brady).

    Mathew Brady Ulysses S. Grant Photograph Signed.

    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

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  • “In any society freedom of thought will probably be of direct significance only for a small minority": First Edition of F.A. Hayek's The Road To Serfdom; In the Rare Original Dust Jacket

    HAYEK, Friedrich August von [F.A.].

    The Road To Serfdom.

    London: Routledge & Sons, 1944.

    First British edition of one of the most influential and popular expositions of classical liberalism ever published. Octavo, original black cloth. Very good in the rare original dust jacket with some rubbing and wear to the extremities. The British edition was published in March of 1944, preceding its American counterpart, which was published later that same year in September. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

    Price: $18,500.00     Item Number: 105942

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  • “It was not well to drive men into final corners; at those moments they could all develop teeth and claws": Rare First Edition of Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage in the rare original dust jacket

    CRANE, Stephen.

    The Red Badge of Courage.

    New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1895.

    First edition, first printing with page [235] advertising the three works of Gilbert Parker’s Best Books, and the last page of advertisements (page 238) ending with The Land of the Sun, by Christian Reid; last gathering, including ads on laid paper. Octavo, original publisher’s tan cloth. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing. Rare and desirable in the original dust jacket.

    Price: $18,000.00     Item Number: 107282

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  • "A Major Source for Shakespeare": Second and preferred edition of Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland

    HOLINSHED, Raphael.

    The First and Second Volumes of Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland With: The Third volume of Chronicles, beginning at Duke William the Norman [Holinshed Chronicles].

    London: John Harrison, George Bishop, Rafe Newberie, Henrie Denham, and Thomas Woodcocke, 1587.

    Preferred second edition of the greatest Elizabethan repository of English history which served as an important source for Shakespeare’s plays. Folios, 3 volumes bound into 2, bound in full calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised bands, red morocco spine labels, gilt ruled, woodcut initials and title pages. Separate title pages and pagination for The Description and Historie of England, The Description and Historie of Ireland, and The Description and Historie of Scotland comprising volume 1. When this expanded second edition of the Chronicles appeared in January 1587, the Privy Council, responding to Queen Elizabeth’s displeasure at certain passages, ordered the Archbishop of Canterbury to recall and censure the work; as a result extensive cancellations (74 pages) were made of offending sections in Volumes II and III. The censors removed “all references to English intervention in Scottish politics, raised the profile of the Earl of Leicester, and distanced England from Elizabeth’s one time suitor, the Duc d’Alençon. Any accounts of trials and executions were altered to ensure proceedings were unequivocally portrayed as being fair and legal” (King’s College London). The work of altering the entire edition of the Chronicles was rather haphazardly carried out, so that the sections affected vary from copy to copy. In this copy all of the offending sections are cancelled or excised. A nice example, scarce and desirable.

    Price: $18,000.00     Item Number: 95438

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  • First Edition of Martin Luther's King Jr.'s Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?; inscribed by him

    KING JR., Martin Luther.

    Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

    New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1967.

    First edition of King’s “last grand expression of his vision” (Cornel West). Octavo, original half cloth, illustrated with eight pages of black-and-white photogravures. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Mr. H.O. Wilson In appreciation for your great support Martin Luther King Jr.” Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Ronald Clyne. Jacket photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Bob Fitch. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

    Price: $17,500.00     Item Number: 120468

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  • 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

    NEWTON, Sir Isaac. Translated by John Stewart.

    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

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  • Scarce First Edition, First Printing of L. Frank Baum's The Emerald City of Oz; inscribed by him

    BAUM, L. Frank.

    The Emerald City of Oz.

    Chicago: Reilly & Britton, 1910.

    First edition, first state of the sixth Oz book, with the colored pictorial front panel and 16 elaborate full-page color illustrations by John R. NeillOctavo, original blue cloth, illustrated with 16 color plates with metallic green ink and numerous black & white drawings by John R. Neill. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the the ownership leaf, “Martha Kneedler, Having been presented by her own true lover L. Frank Baum August 1910.” The recipient, Martha Kneedler, was the daughter of Baum’s close personal friend Major William L. Kneedler, a military medical officer who served as President Taft’s personal physician. The inscription was likely in jest as Martha would have been only 16 in 1910. In very good condition with the plates in fine condition. An exquisite example, The Emerald City of Oz was intended to be the final volume in the series, and so Neil embellished his plates with the most elaborate detail of any other volume. Even later printings of the present volume did not include these elaborate designs. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Scarce and desirable. No other inscribed first printing is known to have appeared at auction.

    Price: $17,500.00     Item Number: 96123

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  • "A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality": First Edition of Kennedy's Profiles In Courage; Signed by Him to Fell U.S. Senator Frederick Payne

    KENNEDY, John F.

    Profiles In Courage.

    New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1956.

    First edition of Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work. Octavo, original half cloth, with eight pages of black-and-white photogravures. Foreword by Allan Nevins. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Fred Payne with the highest regards John Kennedy.” The recipient Frederick G. Payne was a United States Senator from Maine from 1953 to 1959. He previously served as the 60th Governor of Maine from 1949 to 1952. Kennedy and Payne worked together in the Senate in the 1950s and were close friends. “From the Personal Library of Senator Frederick G. Payne” stamped opposite the front free endpaper, near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Phil Grushkin. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A nice association linking these two United States Senators.

    Price: $17,500.00     Item Number: 74004

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  • “INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE": First Edition of Martin Luther's King Jr.'s Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?; inscribed by him

    KING JR., Martin Luther.

    Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

    New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1967.

    First edition of King’s “last grand expression of his vision” (Cornel West). Octavo, original half cloth, illustrated with eight pages of black-and-white photogravures. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Wilfred Cohen, In appreciation for your great support. Martin Luther King Jr.” Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Ronald Clyne. Jacket photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Bob Fitch. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

    Price: $16,000.00     Item Number: 109435

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