Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2018 Issue

A Variety of Important Material from Raptis Rare Books

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The latest from Raptis Rare Books, by George!

Raptis Rare Books has issued a new, untitled catalogue, but with a table of contents to give us a look at what is inside. It is something of a miscellany. The topics covered are Americana; Science, Religion & Philosophy; History & World Leaders; Travel & Exploration; Literature; Music, Fine & Performing Arts; Children's Literature; Golf, Sports & Leisure; and Economy, Law & Finance. Raptis handles material at the higher end of the market, important works by notable people. As a few samples will show, you won't be disappointed. By the way, is that George Washington on the cover, having a beer while on duty during the Revolution?

 

It's unusual for a senior thesis to be converted to a book, and to then become a best seller no less, but this writer was not a typical student. In twenty years, he would be President of the United States. Why England Slept was John F. Kennedy's senior thesis at Harvard, and was sufficiently insightful to warrant publication. Of course, it didn't hurt that his father was ridiculously rich and Ambassador to England. The title is a play on Churchill's book While England Slept. Kennedy's position was not to place all of the blame for World War II on Neville Chamberlain. He points to the difficulty in making choices in a democracy, while Germany had an absolute ruler who could move swiftly without having to win any votes or debates. Kennedy was in an awkward position personally since his father had favored passivity toward Germany as it became more threatening, but by the time this book was published in 1940, the world realized that appeasement was a disaster. This copy of Kennedy's book is inscribed with thanks to "Miss Brown." She was JFK's father's personal secretary Mona Brown, who helped transcribe this book. Priced at $25,000.

 

If you are ready for a trip west, here is a great account of what to expect. Well, perhaps what you could have expected 170 years ago. Francis Parkman recounts his travels and what he found in The California and Oregon Trail, published in 1849. He and his companions set out on horseback from the starting point in Missouri in 1846. At that time, travel was just starting to pick up among emigrants from the East seeking free land and a brighter future. Parkman didn't make it to Oregon or California. He never went past eastern Wyoming, avoiding the most difficult part of the journey, either through high mountains or scorching deserts. However, Parkman was very talented at putting what he saw to words, and his side trips brought him into contact with the Native Americans of the area. His opinions are skewed by the values of those with European backgrounds, but nonetheless he does relay information about people who were mainly a mystery or a cliché to those back home. $3,000.

 

Next up is a massive collection of The Writings of Mark Twain. It consists of 37 volumes, and its hard to imagine reading that much by anyone, but if there is someone who could be entertaining across that many volumes, it would be Twain. This was intended to be the definitive edition of his collected works. It was published in a limited edition of 1,024 numbered sets in 1922 and is signed by Twain. You are probably thinking no one is going to fool you into thinking a 1922 signed edition is not a forgery. Twain died in 1910. Twain, as always, gets the last laugh. He signed individual leaves in 1906 for a planned edition, but it never came to pass until 1922. $12,500.

 

Here is another book that you might think must have been signed in the same fashion as Twain's, but is actually a normal signing. The book is The Wright Brothers, by Fred C. Kelly. Raptis describes this as "a fascinating, highly readable biography" by "an old friend of the Wrights [who] tells the story of the two brilliant, dedicated, flight-obsessed bicycle mechanics from Ohio who first realized mankind's age-old dream of conquering the skies." The Wright Brothers brought a glider to Kitty Hawk in 1900, but they were not the first. It was what they did in 1903 that put them in the history books, when they added an engine and accomplished the first powered flight. This biography was published in 1943 and inscribed by Orville Wright in 1944, which may sound suspicious, but is not. Orville lived all the way until 1948, though Wilbur died in 1912. Orville authorized this biography and inscribed it to Charlotte Seitner. She was a neighbor and friend of Orville, along with being a historian and life-long collector of Wright Brothers memorabilia. $9,200.

 

If you own stocks, it is doubtful you have the stock certificates, just some virtual recognition in a broker's account. Once upon a time, they came with certificates, but this one is special. It is for Standard Oil and dated May 25, 1887. It is signed by John D. Rockefeller himself. It is also signed by Henry Flagler, the company Secretary and a founder who did quite well too, though not on the Rockefeller scale. This certificate was issued to R. J. Thompson and is for 100 shares. If you can get Standard Oil's successor companies to recognize this certificate as still valid, you will achieve wealth beyond your dreams. The price for a chance is $7,200.

 

This is a cautionary tale. Written by Sinclair Lewis and published in 1935, the title is It Can't Happen Here. It is a story about the fragility of democracy, one where a dictator seizes control. That was already happening in Europe, notably Germany and Italy, at this time, but even Lewis probably couldn't have imagined how much worse it could get. Raptis describes the book as "a chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press." Don't fool yourself. It can happen anywhere if people are not vigilant. $1,200.

 

Raptis Rare Books may be reached at 561-508-3479 or mail@raptisrarebooks.com. Their website is found at www.raptisrarebooks.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000

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