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).
Leaves of Grass [with] Whitman’s own copy of his 1860 portrait. Brooklyn, New York, 1855
First edition, first issue, one of only 337 copies of the first issue, distinguished by its elaborately gilt-stamped cloth binding prepared in June/July 1855. Whitman reported that only 800 copies were printed; this copy is from the first group to be bound. The copies bound later did not have the extensive gilt stamping. Whitman paid for the book, supervised its production, and even set a number of pages in type.
two items: $160,000
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).
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).
ALCOTT, LOUISA MAY
Autograph letter signed to Miss Thurston. No place, [c. 1868 or possibly later]
Louisa May Alcott discusses the impact of Little Women and its place in children’s literature. She observes that “My ‘Little Women’ have much astonished their Momma by making many friends for themselves, & she can only account for it by the grain of truth that lay at the bottom of the little story.”
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).
MUNSON, LAURA GORDON
Flowers from My Garden. Sketched and Painted from Nature. [New York], 
FIRST EDITION, a unique pre-publication copy with 18 fine watercolors, the original art used as the basis for the lithographs in the published edition.
A Tale of Two Cities. London: Chapman and Hall, 1859
FIRST EDITION, FIRST BINDING, FIRST PRINTING (with page 213 mis-numbered 113 and sig. b present on the list of illustrations, points that were corrected in later copies of this edition).