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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 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
Rare First Edition of Mathematical Collections and Translations, which includes the first translation in English of Galileo's System of the World" (Dialogo)
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
"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
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
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
"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
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”: Rare 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
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
“It is a curious fate to be objectified alive. Think with humor while reading": First Edition of Anton Reiser's Albert Einstein: A Biographical Portrait; Inscribed by Albert Einstein with an original poem
New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1930.
First edition of this Einstein biography written by Rudolf Kayser, a German literary historian and husband to Albert Einstein’s stepdaughter Ilse under the pseudonym Anton Reiser. Octavo, original cloth, frontispiece of Einstein. Inscribed by Albert Einstein with an original poem on the front free endpaper in German, which translates as, “It is a curious fate to be objectified alive. Think with humor while reading. A. Einstein.” From the library of Alexandre and Catherine Barjansky with her ownership signature to the verso of the front panel and notation below Einstein’s inscription, “S.S. ‘Belgenland,’ New-York, 14/XII/30.” Russian sculptress Catherine Barjansky, her celebrated cellist husband, and Einstein were all close friends of King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. Barjansky described her experiences creating the now famed and very intimate sculptural portraits of Elizabeth and Albert in her 1947 joint memoir with her husband Portraits with Backgrounds. Catherine had an international career, living at times in Rome, Berlin, New York, Vienna, Paris, and Brussels. Einstein was in New York at the time he inscribed the present volume, having arrived aboard the Belgenland three days earlier. Einstein travelled aboard the Belgenland several times. He was on the ship in March 1933, intending to return home to Germany, when he learned the alarming news that the Nazis had ransacked his summer cottage in Caputh. He soon decided it was too dangerous to return to Germany and when the ship docked in Antwerp, Belgium, he immediately reported to the German consulate in Brussels, where he turned in his German passport and renounced his citizenship. Einstein returned to America in October, beginning a new life as a member of the faculty of Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study. In near fine condition. A complex and desirable association.
Price: $17,500.00 Item Number: 90431
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
First Edition of Anton Reiser's Albert Einstein: A Biographical Portrait; Signed and dated by Albert Einstein
New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1930.
First edition of this Einstein biography written by Rudolf Kayser, a German literary historian and husband to Albert Einstein’s stepdaughter Ilse under the pseudonym Anton Reiser. Octavo, original cloth, frontispiece of Einstein. Signed and dated by Einstein on the front free endpaper in the year of publication, “Albert Einstein New York 1930.” In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 110352
First Edition of Max Born's Einstein's Theory of Relativity; Signed by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Born
London: Methuen & Company, 1924.
First edition of this classic account of Born’s analysis and interpretation of Einstein’s theory of relativity. Octavo, original cloth, frontispiece of Einstein. Signed by Max Born on the verso of the frontispiece. Translated by Henry L. Brose. Very good in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. First editions are uncommon, signed examples rare.
Price: $11,500.00 Item Number: 78904
SIGNED LIMITED EDITION OF ALBERT EINSTEINS "ONE AND ONLY INTELLECTUAL BIOGRAPHY": SIGNED AND DATED BY HIM in the rare original dust jacket
Evanston: Library of Living Philosophers, 1949.
Signed limited first edition, number 711 of 760 copies signed and dated “Albert Einstein ‘49.” Octavo, original brown cloth, top edge gilt. The book is in fine condition in the rare original dust jacket, which is in very good condition. Edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp. Frontispiece portrait of Einstein by Yousef Karsh. Rare and desirable in this condition.
Price: $11,000.00 Item Number: 110472
First Edition of Henry David Thoreau's First Book A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers; one of only 1000 copies printed
Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1862.
First edition, first issue, of Thoreau’s first book, one of only 1000 copies printed and 595 copies returned to Thoreau and purchased by Ticknor and Fields for reissue. Octavo, original publishers cloth stamped in blind with gilt titles to the spine. With the Ticknor and Fields cancel title leaf and advertisement at rear. From the library of American book collector and commodore of the New Rochelle Yacht Club Frank Maier with his illustrated bookplate to the pastedown. In near fine condition with the gilt lettering to the spine bright. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example.
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 103210
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
"I would advise anyone who wants to get to the kernel of the life of a Polar explorer to read the book": Edition De Luxe of Antarctic Days; Signed by Shackleton, Murray and Marston
Antarctic Days. Sketches of the Homely Side of Polar Life by Two of Shackleton’s Men: Introduced by Sir Ernest Shackleton.
London: Andrew Melrose, 1913.
Limited edition de luxe, numbered 85 of 280 copies signed on the recto of the limitation leaf by E.H. Shackleton, James Murray and George Marston. Octavo, original blue cloth, gilt titles to the spine and front panel with a mounted color illustration, top edge gilt, 4 mounted color plates after watercolors by C. Day, 34 photo illustrations on 28 plates. In near fine condition with a light rubbing. A very nice example, as most copies have been rebound. Introduced by Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Price: $9,500.00 Item Number: 103746
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
Scarce First edition of Commandino's commentary of Ptolemy's Planisphaerium; one of the few extant examples from the Aldine Press in Roman type
Ptolemaei Planisphaerium. Iordani Planisphaerium. Federici Commandini Urbrinatis in Ptolemaei Planisphaerium Commentarius.
Venice: Paulus Manutius (Aldine Press), 1558.
First separate edition and first edition of Commandino’s commentary of Ptolemy’s Planisphaerium, the original Greek text of which is no longer extant. Octavo, two volumes bound into one in eighteenth century vellum, all edges speckled red, Aldine device on both titles and both final pages, woodcut initials, numerous woodcut diagrams. The Ptolemaei is printed in Roman type and the Planisphaerium in Italics; examples from the Aldine Press in Roman type are scarce as the press’s founder, Aldus Manutius, invented the Italic type which he used almost exclusively. The Aldine press was also the first to issue printed books in the small octavo size. After Aldus’ death in 1515 the press was continued by his wife, Maria and her father, Andrea Torresani, until his son, Paulus Manutius (1512–1574) assumed management in 1534. It is from this era that most, if not all, of the works from his press bear the imprint In Aedibus Haeredum Aldi et Andrea Asulani Soceri. In near fine condition with minor marginal dampstaining to a few pages. Exceptionally rare and desirable.
Price: $8,800.00 Item Number: 95289
“The destiny a person suffers therefore has a twofold meaning: to be shaped where possible, and to be endured where necessary": First Edition of Viktor E. Frankl's The Doctor and the Soul; Signed by Him
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1955.
First edition of Frankl’s classic work which explores topics on the meaning of life in general as well as the meaning of specific areas of one’s life, such as work and personal relationships. Octavo, original cloth. Boldly signed by Viktor Frankl on the title page. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Typography, binding and jacket design by Herbert Bayer. Translated from the German by Richard and Clara Winston. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
Price: $7,500.00 Item Number: 102478