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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.
Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No.V & VI of “The History of the United States for the Year 1796,” in which the Charge of Speculation against Alexander Hamilton, Late Secretary of the Treasury, is Fully Refuted.
Philadelphia: John Bioren for John Fenno, 1797.
Rare first edition of one of the major causes célèbres in American governmental history. Octavo, bound in contemporary morocco, marbled endpapers. In near fine condition. This first edition of 1797 is rare as it was bought up by the Hamilton family in an effort to suppress it, but was ultimately reprinted in 1800 by Hamilton’s political enemies. Housed in a custom half calf clamshell box.
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.
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.
"unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!": Rare Mimeographed Sheets of The Howl Produced for its First Reading. Preceding the First Edition and signed by Ginsberg and five others present at the Six Gallery in October of 1955
Two sheets from an exceptionally rare privately produced mimeographed printing of Howl, preceding the first edition. One of 25 copies printed on rectos only in purple ink typed by the poet Robert Creeley and printed by Marthe Rexroth at S.F State, where she was a secretary, for the famous Six Gallery reading (also known as Six Angels in the Same Performance). This event, which took place at 3110 Fillmore Street in San Francisco on October 7, 1955 was the first important public poetry exhibition heralding the West Coast literary revolution of the Beat Generation. At the reading, five talented young poets—Allen Ginsberg, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen presented some of their latest works. They were introduced by Kenneth Rexroth, who was a kind of literary father-figure for the younger poets. It was at this reading that Allen Ginsberg performed the piece in public, which had been advertised by a postcard proclaiming: “Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori.” The exuberant audience included Neal Cassady, who passed around the wine jug and a collection plate and a drunken Jack Kerouac, who refused to read his own work but cheered the other poets on, and later wrote an account in his novel The Dharma Bums. He fictionalized the event with a description of circulating gallon jugs of California burgundy among the increasingly raucous crowd, “getting them all piffed so that by eleven o’clock when Alvah Goldbrook (Ginsberg’s stand-in in the novel) was reading his wailing poem ‘Wail’ (‘Howl’) drunk with arms outspread everybody was yelling ‘Go! Go! Go!’” Also in attendance was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who telegrammed Ginsberg the following day offering to publish his work, saying ” I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?” He published in 1956 through his City Lights Press, but customs agents seized Howl and Other Poems when it arrived from its London-based printer on grounds that it was indecent and obscene. Ferlinghetti and his store manager Shigeyoshi Murao were acquitted of the obscenity charges in October 1957. The title page is signed by Allen Ginsberg, with the signature and a note by Marthe Rexroth, which reads, “I cranked the ditto master at S F State the first time around -and! was at the reading.” On the verso of the title, McClure has written the lengthy note, “This first long poem of Allen’s was read at the Six Gallery in San Francisco in October 1955. I was 22 years old and gave my first reading also that night. I read a poem titled FOR THE DEATHS OF 100 WHALES and other poems of nature and new consciousness. Our co-readers that night were Whalen, Snyder, & Lamantia. Kenneth Rexroth was M.C. I met Jack Kerouac that night. The group of us – minus Lamantia – read again in Berkeley, March 1956, on a rainy evening. It was a fine evening for poetry and I remember my pleasure in Allen’s comic ‘America’. I read mostly from a huge notebook of experimental poems of consciousness. Michael McClure.” On the dedication page are the signatures of Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and an inscription by David Meltzer: ” When Allen first read Kaddish in SF, I read too. I was 22.” Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 20 inches by 26 inches, with an opening in the back of the frame to view McClure’s statement. Only one other similar printing of this edition has surfaced, which fetched $118,750 at auction in 2013, although this copy did include all of the pages. An exceptionally rare item of this important work and cornerstone to American thought and culture.
New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1935.
First edition, first state, with pages 349-52 uncancelled and with “catch it” reading on page 351. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Isabel Owens Hoping we’ll both be able to look back to this winter as a bleak exception, in a business way from F. Scott (“Old Scrooge”) Fitzgerald.” The recipient, Isabel Owens worked full-time as Fitzgerald’s Baltimore secretary from 1932-36. She continued part-time in this role until his death in 1940. In addition to her secretarial duties, Owens acted as a foster mother to the Fitzgeralds’ daughter Scottie and companion to Zelda. In near fine condition with the spine gilt bright in a very good dust jacket with some inner strengthening to the folds. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A wonderful association copy.
The Constable Edition of The Works of Shakespeare; one of only 1,000 copies bound by BaynTun in cosway-style binding and elaborately illustrated with original watercolors
Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable; Grant Richards, 1903-1904.
The Constable edition of the works of Shakespeare. Folio, ten volumes. Elaborately bound in full blue morocco by Bayntun Riviere in Cosway-style binding with hand painted portrait medallions under glass to the front panel of each volume, gilt titles to the spine, gilt tooling to the spine and front panel, fleuron cornerpiece designs within gilt frames, raised gilt bands, inner dentelles, top edge gilt, silk endleaves, ribbon bound in. Illustrated with 479 tissue-guarded plates and 531 original illustrations, 525 of which are original watercolors. One of only 1,000 copies, this is number 149. Volume X is signed by Grant Richards, who produced that volume only, on the limitation page. Each volume contains four plays, with the exception of volume ten which contains two plays followed by Shakespeare’s narrative poems and sonnets. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare and desirable. A stunning set.
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851.
First edition, first issue binding, with the circular Harper’s device of Melville’s masterpiece. Octavo, original “A” red cloth with publisher’s circular device and a heavy rule frame on the front and rear panels, original orange-coated endpapers. In excellent condition with a neat and sympathetic repair to the joints. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box with whale motif inlayed in white to covers and in gilt on spine. A very nice example.
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.
First Edition of Pynchon's First Book V.; Inscribed by Him to his Close Friend in the Month of Publication
Philadelphia and New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1963.
First edition of Pynchon’s first book. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the verso of the front free endpaper in the month of publication, “Aug. 1963. To Bob & Ginny, with affection, Tom.” The recipient was his Boeing colleague and close friend Bob Hillock and his wife Ginny. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Ismar David. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable signed.
First Edition, first issue of The Great Gatsby; with a signed presentation inscription signed by him in 1929 in Paris bound in
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925.
First edition, first issue of the author’s masterpiece with “chatter” p.60, “northern” p.119, “sick in tired” p.205, and “Union Street station” p.211. Octavo, original green cloth, gilt titles to the spine. With a presentation note inscribed by the author bound in before the half-title page, “For J.E. Cribb from yours sincerely F Scott Fitzgerald Paris, 1929.” Paris in the 1920s proved the most influential decade of Fitzgerald’s development. Fitzgerald made several excursions to Europe, mostly Paris and the French Riviera, and became friends with many members of the American expatriate community in Paris, notably Ernest Hemingway. Fitzgerald’s friendship with Hemingway was quite effusive, as many of Fitzgerald’s relationships would prove to be. Hemingway did not get on well with Zelda, however, and in addition to describing her as “insane” in his memoir A Moveable Feast, Hemingway claimed that Zelda “encouraged her husband to drink so as to distract Fitzgerald from his work on his novel”, so he could work on the short stories he sold to magazines to help support their lifestyle. In near fine condition with a touch of wear. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box.
"There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights": Rare First Edition, First Issue of Bram Stoker's Dracula
Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company, 1897.
First edition, first issue with the May 1897 and with no advertisements as issued and printed on thicker stock. Octavo, original yellow cloth. In near fine condition, without the usual restoration. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. First issues are scarce.
“The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question": First English Edition of James Joyces Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Inscribed by Him
London: The Egoist Ltd, 1916.
First English edition, one of approximately 750 copies of Joyce’s classic stream-of-consciousness work, his first novel. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Beatrice Randegger. James Joyce. 25 Novembre 1919. Trieste.” The recipient was a private student’s of Joyce in Italy. In excellent condition with light rubbing and wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
"You only live twice: Once when you're born And once when you look death in the face": First Edition of You Only Live Twice; Inscribed by Ian Fleming to close friend Noël Coward
London: Jonathan Cape, 1965.
First edition of the final James Bond novel published during Fleming’s lifetime and the eleventh in the series. First state with “First published 1964” on the copyright page. Octavo, original black cloth lettered in gilt, patterned endpapers. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Celestial Coward-san from Miserable Fleming-san.” The recipient, English playwright, director and actor Noël Coward was a close friend of Fleming’s and his neighbor in Jamaica. Named for the luminous insects seen in the warm evenings, his Firefly Estate east of Oracabessa, Jamaica entertained a wide range of guests, including both the Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Olivier, Sophia Loren, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Sir Alec Guinness, Peter O’Toole, and Richard Burton. Coward, inspired to build his own Jamaican retreat by a visit to Goldeneye in 1948, was Fleming’s closest friend on the island and it was with his great encouragement that Fleming began writing the Bond novels that made him famous. When Fleming married Ann in 1952, Coward was one of two wedding guests and in the same year he was made godfather to their newborn son Caspar. Known for his likable sophistication and sharp sense of humor, Coward’s songs, plays, and films were immensely popular from the early 1920s through the 60s and 70s when they achieved renewed fame and critical acclaim with a variety of new revues celebrating his music, including Oh, Coward! on Broadway and Cowardy Custard in London. Coward won an Academy Honorary Award in 1943 for his naval film drama ‘In Which We Serve’, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1969, and received a Tony Award for lifetime achievement in 1970. Fleming referenced Coward on page 227 of the present volume when Bond muttered to Blofeld after an explosion, “I’ll admit that your effects man down below knows his stuff. Now bring on the twelve she-devils, and if they’re all as beautiful as Fräulein Bunt, we’ll get Noël Coward to put it to music and have it on Broadway by Christmas. How about it?” With Coward’s bookplate to the pastedown. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Richard Chopping. An exceptional association copy of this particularly uncommon signed and inscribed title as Fleming passed away in the year of publication.
“If I am the phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I am to be saved it is because your love redeems me": First Edition in English of Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera; in the rare original dust jacket
New York, Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company , 1911.
First edition with the printer’s imprint “Press of Braunworth & Co. Bookbinders and Printers Brooklyn, N. Y.” at bottom of copyright page. Octavo, original cloth, publishers tissue guard. Illustrated by Andre Castaigne with one single-page and four double-page inserted plates with color illustrations. Near fine in the rare original dust jacket. The dust jacket design with the Phantom on the stairwell and not the bell tower on the front panel; one of only three total examples of the book known to have retained its dust jacket. An exceptional rarity of this cornerstone work.
"I have numerous readers among farmers and workers. They make India. Their poverty is India's curse and crime. Their prosperity alone can make India a country fit to live in:" Second Series of Mohandas K. Gandhi's Young India; signed and dated by him
New York: The Viking Press, 1927.
First edition of the second series of the writings of Gandhi. Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles to the spine and front panel. Signed and dated by Gandhi on the front free endpaper, “MK Gandhi 3:4:29.” Gandhi founded and published the weekly periodical in English, Young India, from 1919 to 1931 to spread the philosophy and principles of the Satyagraha Movement and urge readers to participate in it. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Exceptionally rare and desirable signed and in this condition.