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>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest Hemingway's Typewriter Used to Write "A Moveable Feast", Impeccable Provenance From His Biographer A. E. Hotchner. $50,000 to $100,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Samuel Colt, "The Gun that Won the West": 3 Signed Patent Items for "Revolving Cylinder Guns". $40,000 to $50,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Jack Kerouac's Own Typewriter From His Estate Used to Write His Very Last Book. $18,000 to $20,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Rare Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence Printed in 1848. $15,000 to $18,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Superb Tchaikovsky ALS to Napravnik, 4pp on "Mazeppa". $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Wounded Knee Massacre Same Day Eyewitness Account by Participant, "the 7th needn't be ashamed of today's record". $10,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> F. Scott Fitzgerald Signed Gordon Bryant Portrait -- Finest Known. $8,000 to $9,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Neil Armstrong ALS on NASA Letterhead Regarding His X-15 Flights. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> M. Gandhi Letter: "the life span of human beings is preordained..." -- Fantastic Spiritual Content. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> "Damn the torpedoes!" Riveting 24pp ALS of Admiral Farragut's Steward Describing the "Battle of Mobile Bay”. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Abraham Lincoln Signed Order to Suspend Execution. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Napoleon DS Featuring Imperial Eagle and Enormous Great Seal Appointing Norman Politician Baron of the Empire. $4,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.

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