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World History & Exploration
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  • O’SULLIVAN, TIMOTHY and WILLIAM BELL.

    Photographs Showing Landscapes, Geological and other Features, of Portions of the Western Territory of the United States, obtained in connection with geographical and geological explorations and surveys west of the 100th meridian (seasons of 1871, 1872 and 1873).. Washington: War Department Corps of Engineers, 1874-75

     

    This rare collection of 50 photographs is a monument of photography of the American West. “It is the individual nature of O’Sullivan’s production that makes him of such artistic importance today. Indeed, of all the photographers who worked on the great western surveys of this era, O’Sullivan remains the most admired, studied, and debated. It is to him, more than any of his peers, that contemporary photographers and historians first turn for inspiration and intellectual challenge” (Keith Davis, Timothy H. O’Sullivan: The King Survey Photographs, 9).

    $680,000

  • SMITH, JOHN

    (English) The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: with the names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from their first beginning Ano: 1584 to this present 1626.. London: J. D.[awson] and I. H.[aviland] for Michael Sparkes, 1627

    First edition, third issue. This is an outstanding copy of a foundational work of American history, from the library of the Calverts, the original Proprietors and colonial governors of Maryland.

    $300,000

  • LEWIS, MERIWETHER and WILLIAM CLARK

    History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, performed during the years 1804-5-6. Philadelphia: Bradford & Inskeep, 1814

    First edition, a rare untrimmed copy in the original boards. This is “the definitive account of the most important exploration of the North American continent” (Wagner-Camp-Becker).

    $175,000

  • EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D

    (English) Typed Letter Signed as President to Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman, United States Atomic Energy Commission. The White House, Washington, DC, 7 June 1955

    This is the document by which Eisenhower and the United States allowed Israel to become a nuclear power. Through Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative, the United States shared atomic energy material and technology with several countries. One of the first of these agreements was the one sharing the secrets of atomic energy with Israel, as authorized by Eisenhower in this letter. This document laid the foundation for Israel’s ultimate deterrence against destruction by its enemies. It was perhaps the greatest gift possible to the new Jewish state from its greatest ally, the American people.

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  • PURCHAS, SAMUEL

    (English) Purchas his Pilgrimes in five bookes [with:] Purchas his Pilgrimage.. London: Stansby for Fetherstone, 1624-26

    FIRST EDITION of this celebrated collection of travels accounts in English, “one of the fullest and most important collections  of early voyages and travels in the English language” (Church). This is the rare first issue of volume I with the engraved title page dated 1624 (usually it is dated 1625) and with the offending passages concerning the Dutch (easily recognized by the presence of the p. 704 headline ‘Hollanders lying devices, to disgrace the English,” which was then changed to ‘Amboyna taken by the Dutch. Ingratitude. Boasting’).

    $135,000

  • BLACKSTONE, WILLIAM

    (English) Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1765-1769

    First edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries, a monument of the Anglo-American legal and political system and one of the key influences on the thought of the Founding Fathers and the shaping of the Constitution.

    $68,000

  • 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

  • (PERRY EXPEDITION.) HEINE, WILHELM.

    Graphic Scenes of the Japan Expedition. New York: Putnam, 1856

    First edition of one of the great American color plate travel works of the nineteenth century. Wilhelm Heine was the official artist on the Perry expedition that opened Japan to the West. He was responsible for many of the lithographs in the official account of the expedition (Washington, 1856). Renowned as those illustrations are, they pale in comparison to this tremendous portfolio of hand-colored views.

    $45,000

  • CAREY, MATHEW

    (English) Carey’s American Atlas. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1795

    FIRST EDITION of the first true American atlas, the earliest atlas of the United States engraved and published in America. This important volume contains several important state maps including the first American map representing Virginia after statehood. In the preparation of this atlas, Carey drew primarily on existing sources including Guthrie’s Geography. Many of the maps were drawn by Samuel Lewis.

    $42,000

  • BENESE, RICHARD

    (English) 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