Harmonia Macrocosmica Sev Atlas Universalis Et Novus. Amsterdam: J. Jannson, 1661
First edition, second issue of the greatest 17th-century celestial atlas. Cellarius’s Harmonia Macrocosmica is one of the most beautiful books of the Golden Age of Dutch cartography and a visual landmark in the history of man’s understanding of the cosmos. This 1661 issue is a variant of the edition of 1660, which is otherwise identical. The edition of 1708 omits text found in this edition.
The Holy Bible, Conteyning the Old Testament, and the New: Newly Translated. London: by Robert Barker, 1613-1611
The Great “She” Bible, the “authorized version” or King James Bible, one of the greatest monuments of English literature.
Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, traduit de l’Anglois.. “Londres [Paris]: Fletcher Gyles”, 1755
First edition of the book that is, “more emphatically than any other single work, the cradle of political economy”
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.
“at once the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America.” - Harvey Mansfield on Democracy in AmericaTOCQUEVILLE, 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.
La Historia di Italia. Florence: Lorenzo Torrentino, 1561
FIRST EDITION. A “masterpiece of scientific history,” Guicciardini’s History of Italy was “undoubtedly the greatest historical work that had appeared since the beginning of the modern era. It remains the most solid monument of Italian reason in the 16th century, the final triumph of that Florentine school of philosophical historians which included Machiavelli …” (Britannica, 11th ed.).
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).
“Every man has a certain sphere of discretion which he has a right to expect shall not be infringed by his neighbours. This right flows from the very nature of man.”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.
(HOLMES ,OLIVER WENDELL, Jr.)
American Mahogany Butler’s Desk from the Holmes family home at 296 Beacon Street, Boston. American, ca. 1830
Justice Holmes’s butler’s desk from the family home on Beacon Street.
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.”