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History of Ideas
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  • TOCQUEVILLE, ALEXIS DE

    De la Democratie en Amerique. Paris: Charles Gosselin, 1835, 1840

    FIRST EDITIONS. The most influential commentary on America in the nineteenth century, Democracy in America was based on Tocqueville’s travels in the United States in 1831 and 1832. Tocqueville came to America to study the American prison system on behalf of the French government. The book resulting from these investigations is generally considered the 19th century’s most insightful commentary on the development of our unique American culture and political system.

    $62,000

  • VON NEUMANN ,JOHN, ET AL

    Ergebnisse eines mathematischen Kolloquiums, unter Mitwirkung Kurt Gödel und George Nobeling. Herausgegen von Kurt Menger. Heft 1-8.. Leipzig & Berlin: B. G. Teubner and F. Deuticke, [1931-1937].

    A rare complete run of first editions of the proceedings of the celebrated Vienna Colloquium.

    $55,000

  • GIBBON, EDWARD

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.. London: Strahan and Cadell, 1776-1788

    First editions of all six volumes of the most celebrated historical work in English literature. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall covers the thirteen centuries from the age of Trajan to the fall of Constantinople with unmatched erudition, clarity, and organization. “Gibbon brought a width of vision and a critical mastery of the available sources which have not been equaled to this day; and the result was clothed in an inimitable prose” (PMM).

    $48,000

  • SZYK, ARTHUR

    The Haggadah. London: Beaconsfield Press, [1940]

    FIRST EDITION of the greatest Haggadah of the 20th century, finely printed in color on vellum, one of only 250 numbered signed copies.  The entire edition of the celebrated Szyk Haggadah, was printed on vellum and signed by both Szyk and Roth.  The trade edition did not appear until 1956.

    $48,000

  • EINSTEIN, ALBERT

    “Eine neue Bestimmung der Molekueldimensionen” (pp. 289-306) and “Zur Theorie der Brownschen Bewegung” (pp. 371-381) in Annalen der Physik 4th series, vol. 19, no. 2.. Leipzig, 1906

    First journal edition of Einstein’s doctoral thesis, revised, and first edition of his second paper on Brownian motion. Signed and dated 1950 by Einstein on p. 289 at the beginning of his thesis.

    $45,000

  • GRAHAM, BENJAMIN and DAVID DODD

    Security Analysis. New York: Whittlesey House McGraw-Hill, 1934

    FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING. The bible of value investing, Security Analysis is the most important investment and finance book of the twentieth century.

    $42,000

  • ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES

    Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762

    FIRST EDITION, type B, the definitive authorized version. Observing in his opening words that “man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains,” Rousseau offered this work as a yardstick with which to judge existing governments. He argued that the central problem is to “find a form of association which can defend and protect with all the power of the community the person and possessions of each associate, and by which each person unites himself with all, but only obeys himself and thereby remains as free as before.”

    $42,000

  • BENESE, RICHARD

    This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande, as Well of Woodlande, as of Lande in the Felde and Comptynge the True Nombre of Acres of the Same. [edited by Thomas Paynell.]. Southwark: James Nicolson, [1537 or 1538?]

    FIRST EDITION of “the first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying” (Buisseret, Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps). The book focused on practical methods calculating everything from the amount of stone needed to pave a chamber floor to the size of a pasture or field” marking “the beginning of a new interest in measuring not just the assets of the land, but the land itself” (D. K. Smith, Cartographic Imagination in Early Modern England).

    $35,000

  • GODWIN, WILLIAM

    Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its influence on General Virtue and Happiness. London: Robinson, 1793

    FIRST EDITION. In Political Justice, his most famous work, Godwin responds to Burke’s attacks on the French Revolution and Thomas Paine. He applies the principles of the Revolution to inquire into the philosophical basis of government. Believing that political and social institutions are tyrannical and corrupt, Godwin calls for reason to guide human affairs and advocates individual liberty.

    $25,000

  • (HOLMES ,OLIVER WENDELL, Jr.)

    American Mahogany Butler’s Desk from the Holmes family home at 296 Beacon Street, Boston. American, ca. 1930

    Justice Holmes’s butler’s desk from the family home on Beacon Street.

    $22,000