Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2021 Issue

Fine Books from Many Fields Offered by Raptis Rare Books


John Adams graces the cover of Raptis Rare Books' latest catalogue.

Raptis Rare Books has published a new catalogue of fine books. As usual, it comes without a title, but has a table of contents to inform readers of what sort of material is being offered. Here is the list for this catalogue: History, Philosophy & Religion, Americana, Literature, Children's Literature, Scientific Theory, Economics & Finance, Fine Art & Photography, and Sports & Leisure. The items are all of first rate, important and in excellent condition. Here are a few selections from this latest catalogue.


We begin with a most unexpected item considering the author. It is a manuscript entirely in the hand of Isaac Newton. Newton is certainly one of the top candidates for being called the greatest scientist ever, along with Einstein. His groundbreaking theories on the law of motion and universal gravitation, as well as his work on optics were beyond groundbreaking for his time. What most people don't realize is that Newton's greatest interest was not so much science as religion. He was a devout believer in God and the bible. His scientific work was intended to support those beliefs. Newton believed that the perfection of scientific laws could only come from the hand of a deity, thereby proving the correctness of religious beliefs. Nonetheless, Newton didn't publish his writings on theology, though he wrote much on the topic. The reason was that his theological views would have been very controversial at the time and could have placed him in great jeopardy, for his career and even his life. This manuscript concerns some of Newton's theological beliefs and some of his disputes with orthodoxy. Newton did not believe in the Trinity, thinking it a corruption of the original wording of the bible, resulting from an interpretation enforced by the church in the fourth century. Challenging the concept of the Trinity would have been very risky in Newton's time, so he kept his views to himself and a few close friends. Item 119750. Priced at 150,000.


This is a book that was very controversial in its time. It might be even more controversial today given the nature of the relationship between an older man and a way too young girl. The book is Lolita, and despite the subject matter, it is regarded as one of the greatest books of the last century. Offered is a copy of the 1955 first American edition of Vladimir Nabokov's novel. This copy is very special. It is signed and inscribed by Nabokov, a true rarity. Nabokov refused to autograph his books. He only ever signed them to his closest friends. This one is signed “For Jason and Barbara from Vladimir August 18, 1958.” Jason was Jason Epstein, Nabokov's editor at Doubleday and his advocate when nobody else wanted to publish Lolita. And, there is even more. Nabokov has drawn a butterfly above the inscription and colored it. It's not a bad drawing. Perhaps he could have been an artist if the writing hadn't worked out. Item 121875. $125,000.


Here is another book that seems to have generated more controversy today than it did in its time, though I'm having a hard time understanding why. This is a first edition, first issue of the first Curious George book, appropriately titled Curious George. It is credited to just H. A. Rey, but all of these books were co-written by his wife, Margaret Rey. Hans Augusto did the illustrations. Apparently they believed a male author would work better, so many children's books being written by women. You all know the story. The Man with the Yellow Hat captures George, the little monkey, in Africa and brings him home to England. This and the following Curious George books are the adventures of George, the mischievous monkey who is always getting into trouble. The Man has to bail him out. Supposedly the issue is that taking a monkey from Africa is racist. Poor George has gotten himself in trouble again! Seems like a stretch to me. Item 119542. $5,500.


Next we have a collection of original documents for Oskar and Emilie Schindler as they prepared to immigrate to Argentina in 1949. There are various travel documents that were required for them to make the trip. Oskar, of course, was the great hero in a terrible place during World War II. He opened an enamelware and ammunition factory in occupied Poland in 1940. He went there as a business venture, a plan that he thought would make him a lot of money. It didn't turn out that way, but only because he was an amazing humanitarian. Schindler, a member of the Nazi party, hired many Jews to work in his factory as they were the cheapest labor available. However, as Jews became threatened with extermination, Schindler turned protector. He was able to keep his factory open because it was needed for the war effort, but he could have found other workers. Instead, he claimed the 1,000 Jews who worked for him were irreplaceable in their skills. That alone was not enough, so he began bribing officials so that his workers would not be carted off to a concentration camp. Instead of making more money, he ended up spending his fortune in bribes to protect what were known as “Schindler Jews.” His story, obscure and known by only a few, became familiar to the world with the enormously successful 1993 film Schindler's List. Sadly, his humanitarianism did not make him a hero in his home country after the war. The Schindlers moved to Argentina to start a business anew, but it failed and so did their marriage, Oskar returning to Germany several years later. Item 118106. $25,000.


Philip A. Fisher was an investor, and a very good one at that. He made lots of money for himself and his clients but he was a private and obscure personality. That all changed when he published this book, Common Stock and Uncommon Profits. In it Fisher argued for growth investing – doing thorough research to find great but undervalued companies, buy their stock, and then hold... and hold. Only in dire circumstances would he sell his stock. He was no trader and as long as his judgment was upheld by performance, he never sold. His book became very popular and many people learned from his ways, including one Warren Buffet. Considering that Buffet made something like $100 billion, this might be worth a read. It will surely pay for itself. Item 119748. $7,500.


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><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Autograph album leaf signed, 1826. €9,000 to €12,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Franz Kafka: Autograph letter unsigned, 1924. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Torquato Tasso: Autograph poem signed, no date. €12,000 to €16,000.
    <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Charles Darwin: Autograph letter signed, 1866. €4,500 to €6,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Albert Einstein: Autograph letter signed, 1933. €6,000 to €8,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Heinrich Hertz: Autograph manuscript signed, 1889. €18,000 to €24,000.
    <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Giambattista Bodoni: Autograph letter signed, 1787. €900 to €1,200.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Francisco de Goya: Autograph letter signed, 1789. €18,750 to €25,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Martin Luther: Notes from his desk, no date. €30,000 to €40,000.
    <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Ludwig van Beethoven: Autograph letter signed, 1816. €22,500 to €30,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Gustav Mahler: Foto portrait signed and annotated, 1907(?). €7,500 to €10,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Bed?ich Smetana: Autograph letter signed, 1883. €4,500 to €6,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Roman binding.- Pindar. <i>Olympia, Pythia, Nemea, Isthmia,</i> translated by Johannes Lonicer, contemporary Roman binding by Niccolo Franzese, Basel, 1535. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Raverat (Gwen). Comprehensive album of 530 wood engravings, circa 1909-1950. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Hemingway (Ernest). <i>Fiesta,</i> first English edition, first impression dust-jacket, 1927. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, first impression, 1953. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>Great Expectations,</i> 3 vol., first edition, first impression, Chapman and Hall, 1861. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Campbell (Colen) & others. <i>Vitruvius Britannicus, or The British Architect...,</i> 5 vol., vol.1-3 later editions, vol.4 & 5 first editions, [?1731]-31-67-71. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Geography.- Mela (Pomponius). <i>Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis,</i> Venice, Franciscus Renner de Heilbronn, 1478. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> America.- [?Espinosa y Tello (José)]. <i>Relacion del Viage hecho por las Goletas Sutil y Mexicana en el Año de 1792,</i> 2 vol. including Atlas, first edition, Madrid, 1802. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Australasia.- Péron (Francois) and Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet. <i>Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes,</i> 5 vol. including Atlas, second edition, Paris, 1824. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Botany.- Curtis (William). <i>The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed,</i> 83 vol. in 62, 1794-1956. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Darwin (Charles).- Lecky (W.E.H.) <i>The Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe,</i> 2 vol., Darwin's copy with inscription "Charles Darwin 1865", pencil marginalia and pencil notes, 1865. £7,000 to £10,000.
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript African Americana:<br>March 30, 2023</b>
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Victor H. Green, <i>The Negro Motorist Green Book,</i> New York, 1949. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Papers of pianist-composer Lawrence Brown relating to Paul Robeson & more, various places, 1925-54. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Freedom Summer archive of civil rights activist Karen Haberman Trusty, Atlanta & elsewhere, 1963-64. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> New York, 1933. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Archive of letters from the sculptor Richmond Barthé to a close Jamaican friend, various places, 1966-85. $25,000 to $35,000.
  • <b><center>Koller Auctions<br>Books & Autographs<br>29 March 2023</b>
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> DADA - <i>Cabaret Voltaire.</i> A collection of artistic and literary contributions. Edited by Hugo Ball. CHF 5,000 to 8,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> EXPRESSIONISM - <i>Der Sturm.</i> Weekly magazine for culture and the arts. Almost complete suite from the years 1910 to 1932. CHF 20,000 to 30,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> LISBON EARTHQUAKE - <i>Augsburg collection of copper engravings of Lisbon. CHF 40,000 to 60,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Hamilton, William. <i>Campi Phlegraei. Observations on the Volcanos of the Two Sicilies as they have been communicated to the Royal Society of London.</i> Naples, 1776-1779. CHF 50,000 to 70,000.
    <b><center>Koller Auctions<br>Books & Autographs<br>29 March 2023</b>
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Leonardi, Domenico Felice. <i>Le Delizie della villa di Castellazzo descritte in verso dall'abbate Domenico Felice Leonardi lucchese fra gli Arcadi Ildosio Foloetico.</i> Milan, 1743. CHF 12,000 to 18,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Zwingli, Huldrych. <i>Von erkiesen und freyhait der speisen. Von ergernusz und Verbößerung. Ob man gewalt hab die speyß zu etlichen zeyten verbieten [...]</i>. CHF 2,500 to 4,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> HENDRIK VAN VULLENHOE, UMKREIS. Benedictional and other texts for Johannes von Venningen, Bishop of Basel. Latin manuscript on parchment. CHF 50,000 to 80,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Gujer, Hans Rudolf. Master typist's book by Hans Rudolf Gujer from Wermetschweil (Wermatswil). German manuscript on paper. CHF 3,000 to 5,000.

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