Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies … the Second Impression. London: Printed by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, 1632
This is an excellent example of the Second Folio, the second edition of Shakespeare’s collected plays. This is “incomparably the most important work in the English language” (Jackson, Pforzheimer Catalogue).
EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D
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.
“Gulliver’s Travels has given Swift an immortality beyond temporary fame” --Printing and the Mind of ManSWIFT, JONATHAN
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World . . . by Lemuel Gulliver. London: Benj. Motte, 1726
FIRST EDITION. This is a handsome set of Teerink’s A edition, the true first edition.
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.
TANNER, [HENRY SCHENK]
A New American Atlas containing maps of the several states of the North American union … Projected and Drawn on a Uniform Scale …. Philadelphia: H. S. Tanner, 1823
First edition of “the most distinguished atlas published in the United States during the engraving period” (Ristow). Tanner’s greatest work, A New American Atlas was painstakingly produced and issued in installments between 1818 and 1823. Few complete sets have survived. Tanner’s use of a uniform scale of 15 geographical miles to the inch and his careful selection of sources resulted in a comprehensive American atlas of unprecedented detail and reliability which was the standard by which American atlases were measured until the modern era. This was by a considerable margin the greatest American atlas up to its time.
A Dictionary of the English Language. London: W. Strahan for J. & P. Knapton, 1755
First edition of this enduring classic of English literature. This is Johnson’s “audacious attempt to tame his unruly native tongue … combining huge erudition with a steely wit and remarkable clarity of thought” (Hitchings).
Autograph letter signed to Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Camden, New Jersey, 9 August 1878
“The Good Gray Poet” to the Poet Laureate. Tennyson was the most important of of the many English literary figures who subscribed to the “Author’s Edition” of Leaves of Grass, privately issued by Whitman in 1876. Hearing that Whitman was “in great straits, almost starving,” Tennyson sent him five pounds virtually as an outright gift, rather than the more modest subscription price (Kaplan, Walt Whitman).
TOLKIEN, J. R. R
The Lord of the Rings. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1954-1955
FIRST EDITIONS, FIRST PRINTINGS. This is a very attractive set of the celebrated Lord of the Rings trilogy. The size of the edition was small: The Fellowship of the Ring (3000 copies), The Two Towers (3250 copies), and The Return of the King (7000 copies).
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 Adventures of Tom Sawyer. London: Chatto and Windus, 1876