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Signed “Charles Dickens (with a large flourish) Washington, D.C. Seventh February 1868.” Large oval portrait photograph measures 13 inches by 13 inches. Matted in a walnut frame which measures 24 inches by 27 inches. On his Washington tour Dickens met President Andrew Johnson and signed this photograph on the date of that meeting, February 7, which also happened to be Dickens’ birthday. He discussed in a letter to his friend and agent John Foster regarding that day, “This scrambling scribblement is resumed this morning, because I have just seen the President: who had sent to me very courteously asking me to make my own appointment. He is a man with a remarkable face.” From the Library of The Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Portrait photographs of this size signed by Dickens are exceptionally rare, especially with such noted provenance.
“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.
“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between”: Rare First Editions of the Full Orchestral Scores of the Symphonies of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven; Including the first appearance of of the full scores of Mozart's Overture to the Marriage of Figaro and Symphony no. 40
A Compleat Collection of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven’s Symphonies, in Score, Most Respectfully Dedicated, by Permission, to H.R.H The Prince of Wales.
London: Lavenu, Cianchettini & Sperati 1808-1810.
First editions of the first printings of the full orchestral scores of the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Mozart, and Hadyn. Quarto, two volumes bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards wit gilt titles and tooling to the spine, including A Complete Collection of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven’s Symphonies (Cianchettini and Sperati) and A Complete Collection of Mozart and Beethoven’s Symphonies. A Compleat Collection of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven’s Symphonies contains the first appearance of the full scores of Mozart‘s Overture to the Marriage of Figaro, Mozart‘s Symphony no. 40, and no. 41. (Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music, 564-567). A Complete Collection of Mozart and Beethoven’s Symphonies (Lavenu) contains the first appearance of the full scores of Mozart‘s Symphony no. 39, no, 13, and no. 38. In very good condition with light toning to the text. An exceptional collection of the utmost rarity.
"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.
FIRST EDITION OF PROFILES IN COURAGE; INSCRIBED BY JOHN F. KENNEDY TO THE SENIOR SENATOR OF MASSACHUSETTS LEVERETT SALTONSTALL
New York: Harper & Brothers 1956.
First edition of Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work. Octavo, original half cloth, with eight pages of black-and-white photogravures. Association copy, inscribed by the author to Massachusetts Senator Leverett Saltonstall, “To Senator Saltonstall- with the very highest regards of his colleague John Kennedy.” Leverett Saltonstall was the senior senator of Massachusetts while, John Kennedy was the junior senator. An excellent copy in a bright near fine dust jacket. Saltonstall served as Republican Whip from 1949-1957 and as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1953-1955. Saltonstall attended the wedding of John Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953, and the two served together in the Senate from 1953 to 1960. Saltanstall and Kennedy worked together closely over the course of several years, as evidenced of one of their constituents thought the two had an even closer relationship, mistakenly assuming Saltonstall to be Kennedy’s uncle. “If you are ready to admit it,” Kennedy kidded in a 1963 letter, “I am.” Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An excellent association linking these two statesmen.
Wood engraving of a bust-length portrait of one of the most famous graphic images of Gandhi by illustrator Fritz Eichenberg; signed by Gandhi, “God is Truth MK Gandhi.” Below Gandhi’s inscription reads, “To Eva Aug. 16th, 1948 with love from Fritz” and additionally signed “Fritz Eichenberg.” The engraving is a proof impression on Japanese paper. The portrait by Eichenberg was originally created for The Catholic Worker, a newspaper in the cause of social justice, and was subsequently used in multiple other publications. “The word satya (Truth) is derived from Sat which means ‘being’. Nothing is or exists in reality except Truth. That is why Sat or Truth is perhaps the most important name of God […] In such selfless search for Truth nobody can lose his bearings for long. Directly he takes to the wrong path he stumbles, and is thus redirected to the right path. Therefore the pursuit of Truth is true bhakti (devotion). It is the path that leads to God” (Gandhi, January 1st, 1927). The engraving measures 12 inches by 9 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 22 inches by 20 inches. Signed examples are exceptionally rare and desirable with the core tenet of Gandhi’s religious philosophy.
"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.
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.
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.
Philadelphia and New York: J.B. Lippincott Company 1963.
First edition of Pynchon’s first book. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the verso of the front free endpaper in the year 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.
"But man is not made for defeat," he said. "A man can be destroyed but not defeated": First Edition of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea; Inscribed by Him to Close Friends
New York: Charles Scribner's & Sons 1952.
First edition of Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and one of his most famous works. Octavo, original blue cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Hood, with all the best wishes from an old stockholder, Ernest Hemingway, Havana 1953.” The recipient, Clifford Hood, was a close friend and fishing buddy of Hemingway and was the CEO for the United States Steel Corporation. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing and wear. The back of dust jacket looks to have small blood stain on it, which was reportedly from a cut on Ernest’s finger, which was still bleeding when he signed the book. Photograph of Hemingway by Lee Samuels. Signed first editions of this work are scarce, association copies are rare.
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.
New York: Wilfred Funk, Inc 1940.
First edition of John F. Kennedy’s first book. Octavo, bound in full blue leather, all edges gilt. The dedication copy of John F. Kennedy’s first book, Why England Slept, with Rose Kennedy’s embossed name on the front panel. This copy was specially bound for the author’s mother, Rose Kennedy and presented to her. This copy brought $52,900 at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sale at Sotheby’s in May 1996. Housed in a full dark blue morocco clamshell box. Unique.
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.
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.
New York: By William Stansby For Ed: Blounte 1620.
Rare second edition of the first part of Don Quixote in English. Octavo, bound in contemporary calf, engraved title page, woodcut headpieces and decorative initials. In very good condition with some wear to the binding, portion of upper spine. Translated by Thomas Shelton. Exceptionally rare and desirable.