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).
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).
TEN BAMBOO STUDIO
Shizhuzhai shuhuapu (Ten Bamboo Studio Collection of Calligraphy and Painting). No place, printed ca. 1775
FIRST EDITION, second superstate, of the Ten Bamboo Studio, “perhaps the most beautiful set of prints ever made” (Ebrey).
POE, EDGAR ALLAN
Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1840
First edition of Poe’s first published collection of tales, one of only 750 sets printed. Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque contains many of Poe’s finest tales including “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “MS. Found in a Bottle.”
STOWE, HARRIET BEECHER
Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, life among the lowly. Boston: Jewett, 1852
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING. “These books are of such paramount historical importance that it is difficult to evaluate them as literature” (Merle Johnson). “Three thousand copies were sold on the day of publication, and before its first anniversary, over 300,000 copies were sold in America … More than twenty London editions appeared in 1852, so the English audience must have been as large as the American. No other American novel has been translated into so many foreign languages” (Grolier/American).
KRAFFT-EBING, RICHARD von
Psychopathia Sexualis. Eine Klinisch-Forensische Studie. Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke, 1886
FIRST EDITION of the founding work of sexology. “Austrian psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing is primarily known as the founding father of sexology. His Psychopathia Sexualis is widely accepted to be the foundational work for the scientific study of human sexuality, a field still in its infancy at the end of the nineteenth century. Psychopathia Sexualis offers an overview of both sexological physiology and psychology and is of groundbreaking importance for the origin of the modern scientific research domain of sexological pathology as an autonomous discipline.”