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"The first American bestseller": Exceedingly Rare first edition of Susanna Haswell Rowson's Charlotte: A Tale of Truth
Philadelphia: Printed by D. Humphreys for M. Carey, 1794.
Exceedingly rare first American edition (and the earliest obtainable example) of the first American bestseller. Octavo, two volumes bound into one in three quarter calf over marbled boards, morocco spine label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers. Although it was preceded by the first English edition published in 1791, no examples of the first English edition have been traced at auction. In very good condition. Bookplate to the pastedown, bibliographic description tipped in. Housed in a custom cloth chemise and half morocco clamshell slipcase. Exceedingly rare with only one other example of the first American edition traced at auction in the last 75 years.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 125183
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for": First edition of To Kill A Mockingbird; Inscribed by Harper Lee
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1960.
First edition of Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel which had an initial first printing of 5,000 copies. Octavo, original green cloth backed brown boards, titles to spine in gilt. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in a contemporary hand, “To Jennie with my best wishes Nelle Lee.” The recipient must have been a person close to the author, as Lee reserved inscriptions using the name Nelle family members and close friends. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing and wear to the extremities. Jacket design by Shirley Smith. Photograph of Lee on the back panel by Truman Capote. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 99740
“Give me liberty, or give me death": Scarce 1776 separate edition of the Large Additions to Common Sense
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
"The truth is rarely pure and never simple": Signed limited large-paper edition of The Importance of Being Earnest
London: Leonard Smithers and Co, 1899.
Signed limited large-paper edition of the author’s masterpiece, number 68 of 100 copies signed by Oscar Wilde on the limitation page. Octavo, original pale purple cloth, gilt titles to the spine, gilt floral motifs from designs by Charles Shannon on spine and covers, edges untrimmed. Presentation copy, with an autograph letter signed by the third and final wife of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill, actress Carlotta Monterey O’Neill, to stage actor Harrison K. Ford laid in which reads, “To Harrison Ford Do hope you will enjoy this!- All good wishes Carlotta Monterey O’Neill Dec 6th 31 1095 Park Ave.-” From the library of Harrison K. Ford with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. In near fine condition. An exceptional example with noted provenance.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 110755
"The first book printed in the Confederacy": Exceptionally rare first edition of The Narrative of Colonel David Fanning
The Narrative of Colonel David Fanning: (A Tory in the Revolutionary War with Great Britain): Giving an Account of His Adventures in North Carolina, From 1775 to 1783 as Written by Himself, with an Introduction and Explanatory Notes.
Richmond, VA: Printed for Private Distribution Only, 1861.
First edition of the first book printed in the Confederacy. Quarto, original stiff paper wrappers, one of approximately 50 copies issued on regular paper. Ten being issued on thick paper, and twenty copies destroyed in a fire. In very good condition, reinforcement to the hinges. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box. Howes F26. Sabin 23778. Exceptionally rare.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 125637
“AMERICA’S SECOND DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE”: RARE FIRST EDITION OF WALT WHITMAN’S LEAVES OF GRASS, THE MOST IMPORTANT AND INFLUENTIAL VOLUME OF AMERICAN POETRY
Brooklyn, New York: For the author by Andrew & James Rome, 1855.
First edition of the most important volume in American poetry, which Whitman personally financed, supervised and even in some sections hand-set the type for the small printing of 795 copies. Small folio, frontispiece engraved portrait of the author by Hollyer after the daguerreotype by Gabriel Harrison, mounted opposite the title, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards by MacDonald, New York, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, marbled endpapers. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell chemise.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 108540
“Don't you know that everybody's got a Fairyland of their own?”: Rare First Edition of Mary Poppins; Signed by P.L. Travers
London: Gerald Howe, 1934.
First edition of this children’s classic. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated with 27 line cuts (13 full-page) and chapter tailpieces by Mary Shepard. Signed by P.L. Travers on the front free endpaper. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing and wear to the crown of the spine. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Signed first editions are of exceptional rarity, with none having appeared at auction since the time of publication.
Price: $48,000.00 Item Number: 54060
First Edition of Capitalism and Freedom; Inscribed by Milton Friedman to Fellow Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Merton Miller
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.
First edition of Friedman’s magnum opus. Octavo, original blue cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to colleague and friend, “For Merton Miller with many thanks for his assistance Milton Friedman.” Fine in a very good dust jacket with light rubbing. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association, linking these two Nobel Prize-winning economists and giants in the field, as Friedman revolutionized economic theory with his free-market, free-from-government principles and Miller changing the way markets assess a company’s value.
Price: $48,000.00 Item Number: 87436
"The Bible Of Investing"; Rare First Edition Of Graham and Dodds Security Analysis; Warmly Inscribed by David L. Dodd
New York: Whittlesey House/ McGraw Hill, 1934.
First edition of Graham and Dodd’s seminal work, considered the Bible of modern financial analysis. Octavo, original black cloth. Warmly inscribed by David Dodd on the front free endpaper. In fine condition with a touch of rubbing. Examples of the first edition are known to exist both in black cloth binding, with “Whittlesey House-McGraw Hill” in gilt at the foot of the spine (which this example is) and in red cloth binding, with “McGraw-Hill Book Company” in gilt at the foot of the spine. No priority of issue has been established, both are rare and desirable. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Signed and inscribed first editions of Security Analysis are exceptionally rare.
Price: $48,000.00 Item Number: 7210
"FAST BY THE ORACLE OF GOD, I THENCE INVOKE THY AID TO MY ADVENTUROUS SONG": FIRST EDITION OF JOHN MILTON'S MASTERPIECE PARADISE LOST
London: S. Simmons for S. Thomson, H. Mortlack, M. Walker, R. Boulter, 1668.
First edition of Milton’s masterpiece, “one of the greatest works of the human imagination” (DNB). Small octavo, bound in full contemporary sprinkled calf, smooth spine gilt, red morocco lettering-piece gilt. Title-page and text within ruled border; woodcut headpieces and initials opening each book. (Without blank A1 after cancel title, F3 with paper flaw affecting rule border and shoulder notes, tiny mostly marginal wormhole to a few leaves.) Provenance: Elizabeth Gordon (signature on title verso dated 1686); Robert Chilton Pearson (bookplate); Patrick & Julie Pearson (bookplate). With the cancel title-page corresponding to Amory’s fourth issue, title page with “Angel” in the imprint in italic, and no note from the printer to the reader. Amory’s subissue 4† with signature Z in the original setting with “illustrous” in line 109 of the seventh book, and with Vv reset reading “far” in line 2 ov Vvlr. Hugh Amory “Things Unattempted Yet” in The Book Collector, Spring 1983, pp. 41-66; see ESTC R13352; Grolier Wither to Prior 603; Pforzheimer 718; Wing M-2142. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example, rare and desirable.
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 119536
"The most important scientific book of 18th century America": 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, By Benjamin Franklin, L.L.D. and F.R.S. 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 full contemporary calf with gilt ruling to the spine in six compartments within raised bands, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, double gilt ruling to the front and rear panels. With the rarely found half-title. Advertisement & errata leaf bound in following the preface. Illustrated with 7 copper-engraved plates, 4 of which are folding. This, the fourth, first complete, and most desirable edition of Franklin’s important work contains for the first time complete notes on all of the experiments as well as correspondence between Peter Collinson, Franklin, and several other collaborators. The earlier editions, each issued in three parts as separately published pamphlets usually bound together, were carelessly published. Franklin edited this new one-volume edition himself, significantly revising the text, adding for the first time a number of his own philosophical letters and papers, introducing footnotes, correcting errors, and adding an index (Cohen, Benjamin Franklin’s Experiments). In near fine condition. Expertly rebacked. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box.
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 125438
"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
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
Exceedingly rare new and revised edition of M. de Bourrienne's Life of Napoleon extra-illustrated with additional portraits and views and over 50 autograph letters and notes signed by Napoleon I, members of his family, and royal associates
London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1885.
Exceedingly rare edition of M. de Bourrienne’s Life of Napoleon extra-illustrated with additional portraits and views and over 50 autograph letters and notes signed by Napoleon I, members of his family, associates, and the author bound in. Octavo, bound in three quarters scarlet morocco with gilt titles and tooling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt with others uncut, tissue-guarded frontispiece and full color portrait to each volume, illustrated with engravings issued in the initial publication and over 100 extra portraits and views bound in. With over 50 autograph letters signed bound in including 3 autograph letters signed by Napoleon I (bound into Vol. I page 201, Vol. I page 369, and Vol. III page 530), and autograph letters signed by Charles J. Bernadotte, King of Spain; Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain; Fauvelet de Bourrienne; A.A.L. Caulincort, Duc de Vicenza; Marquis Emmanuel Grouchy; Napoleon’s second wife Marie Louise. Duchess of Parma; Joachim Murat, King of Naples; Comte Horace Sebastiani, and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington among others. With the original compiler’s printed catalog of extra material detailing the location (volume and page number) of each added engraving and autograph letter signed. In near fine condition. Accompanied by an additional military endorsement signed by Napoleon during the Peninsular War, “Approuvé Np.” An exceptional collection of significant Napoleonic era signatures.
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 117078
"Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but it will improve it": The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; inscribed by Mark Twain
New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1886.
Early printing of Twain’s masterpiece, inscribed by Mark Twain. Octavo, bound in half buckram by Roycroft with paper labels to the spine, tissue-guarded frontispiece photogravure plate of Gerhardt’s bust of Clemens, one hundred and seventy-four illustrations by E. W. Kemble. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the title page, “To Mr. Garth W. Cate: Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but it will improve it. Truly Yours, Mark Twain, Nov. 25/06.” With a lengthy letter of provenance dated October 14, 1964 and signed by the recipient which reads in part, “Dear Mr. Jacobs, If I had been younger and could have carried out a study of some of Mark Twain’s motives and acts, I never would have parted with my cherished old copy of the first printing of Huckleberry Finn. This was the first book given to me by my father… In 1906-1907 I was a lecture manager for Elbert Hubbard, the Sage of East Aurora, whose quasi-socialist group The Roycrofters was quite famous as an arts and crafts enter at East Aurora, New York. By that time the HUCK FINN was loose in its covers… Elbert Hubbard saw the book on my desk when I brought it in to have it rebound in the Roycroft Bindery. Said he, “No author could resist seeing such a well worn volume testifying to the delight it had given many readers. Why don’t you send it down to Mark Twain and ask him to inscribed it. I’ll sign and send Mark a few of my own books along with it, thus salting the mine for you.” So I sent HUCK back to its spiritual father, and when it returned I was somewhat shocked, having been sent to a temperance Sunday School by a whiskey fearing mother, to find that he had inscribed it “To Mr. Garth W. Cate – Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but will improve it.” (Incidentally it was several years after that before I took my first drink. I am an abstainer today). Later on I was to marry a Christian Science practitioner, and when she saw this inscription she exclaimed: Why, that is the most immoral thing I ever saw! How could a great author send such a sentiment to a young man?” A careful search of Mark Twain’s writings revealed that he had a deep-seated lifetime aversion for pledges, especially when they had been obtained under pressure from those of an older generation. It seems when Mark was a boy in his early teens, his mother and aunt talked and pressured him into signing a pledge not to touch alcohol in any from. Later he was to refer to this as “A ball and chain clanking behind him down the years of time.” He hated such restrictions, especially when thrust upon him while immature.” In very good condition. With the original publisher’s decorated green cloth cover bound in and three rare portraits of Twain tipped in. With two further letters of provenance and several period Twain-related clippings adhered to several pages. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional presentation copy with noted provenance.
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 123083
Contributions to the Theory of Games Volumes I-IV; Signed by John Von Neumann, John Nash, Kenneth Arrow and Others
VON NEUMANN, John; John F. Nash; Kenneth J. Arrow; Robert J. Aumann; Philip Wolfe; John Milnor; Martin Shubik; W.H. Fleming.
Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1950-1959.
First edition of each work in this ground-breaking four volume work on game theory. Octavo, 4 volumes, original orange wrappers. Volume one is signed by contributors John von Neumann and John Nash on the title page. Contains the article by the Nobel Prize-winning economist entitled, “A Simple Three Person Poker Game.” Volume II is signed by contributors Kenneth J. Arrow and John Milnor. Volume III is signed by contributors W.H. Fleming and Philip Wolfe on the title page. Volume IV is signed by contributors Robert J. Aumann and Martin Shubik. In near fine condition with some rubbing and wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional set, most rare and desirable signed by von Neumann and other contributors.
Price: $42,500.00 Item Number: 48080