Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2014 Issue

A Variety of Subjects Offered by Raptis Rare Books


A variety of subjects from Raptis Rare Books.

Raptis Rare Books of Brattleboro, Vermont, recently released their fifth catalogue. Raptis does not title their catalogues, but they do provide a table of contents to describe the types of material offered. Here they are: Literature, Science Fiction and Mystery, Nonfiction, Food and Wine, Travel and Exploration, Economics and Politics, History and Geography, Science and Natural History, and Children's Books. With a variety like that, I can see why it would be hard to pick a title. Here are a few samples of this variety offered in Raptis' latest selection.


Ernest Hemingway once said about this book, “All modern literature comes from one book by Mark Twain. It's the best book we've had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing since.” He was speaking about Huckleberry Finn, and while the statement may be a bit of an exaggeration, its spirit is certainly right. Offered is a first American edition of this always popular classic, a favorite since the moment it was published. When first released, the publisher announced a run of 20,000 copies in cloth, 2,500 in sheep, and 500 in leather. This is one of the copies in leather. Published in 1885. Priced at $16,000.


Here is another Twain book, not quite as classic as Finn, but with an inscription from the author, who frequently added his famous wit to his inscriptions. The book is The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, published in 1902. Twain has written in hand, “Latest effort: He laughs best who laughs least.” Clever, though of course Twain really didn't have to worry about his readers laughing least. $2,950.


Perhaps no one has gone through quite the evolution in American consciousness as this man, from fantastic hero, to tragic hero, to scorned. As to where he stands today, 40 years after his death, perhaps ambivalent is the best answer. Charles Lindbergh was a great American hero when he made the first transatlantic flight in his plane the Spirit of St. Louis. Huge crowds came out to welcome his accomplishment. In the 1930s, Lindbergh became a tragic figure when his young son was kidnapped and murdered. However, Lindbergh would evolve from admiration and sympathy to scorn with his sympathetic attitude toward the Nazi regime in Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s. His views had many American supporters before Pearl Harbor among the isolationists, but few any more after America entered the war. His reputation would never be the same, despite his great accomplishment years earlier. The Spirit of St. Louis is also the title of Lindbergh's 1954 autobiographical account of his daring flight, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954. It represented Lindbergh at his best. This copy is inscribed by the author. $1,500.


Few people have had as much impact on economic life as John Maynard Keynes. Keynes believed that government had a role to play in easing the recessions that regularly appear in capitalist economies, the downside of boom and bust cycles. That ran contrary to the prevailing notion that free market forces would adequately take care of these down times. The Great Depression, which was so much worse than the typical recession, spurred the adoption of Keynesian economics by many governments, including that of Franklin Roosevelt. Keynes believed that government spending was necessary during recessions, even if it required borrowing, as this was needed to increase employment and start the economy functioning properly again. His economic theories remain today at the heart of the liberal-conservative economic debate. However, economics was not all that Keynes studied. He wrote A Treatise on Probability which was published in 1921. It provides a look at probability theory. $1,750.


We will conclude with a timely if sad piece. It is Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. It certainly was a long journey for Mandela, who died just a few weeks ago at the age of 95. Twenty-seven of those years were spent in prison, but he emerged conciliatory instead of embittered, to lead his nation to freedom and equality. Mandela emerges more human than the iconic leader he became in his biography, though that hardly matters. His reputation was well-earned. This copy of his 1994 autobiography is signed by Mandela. $6,500.


Raptis Rare Books may be reached at 802-579-1580 or mail@raptisrarebooks.com. Their website is found at www.raptisrarebooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.

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