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About Us
  • Jane Austen, watercolor portrait
  • Origin of Species manuscript leaf (1859)
  • Thomson, Foochow and the River Min (1873)
  • Thomas More, Utopia (1516)
  • “The most valuable Lincoln photo in existence” -Ostendorf
  • Copernicus, De Revolutionibus (1543)
  • The First Folio (1623)

We offer the most important rare books, manuscripts, and photographs representing mankind’s greatest achievements.

Our collection, spanning antiquity through the 21st century, includes landmark works in science, literature, Americana, exploration, economics, philosophy, and other fields of human endeavor. Books from our stock now reside in the collections of many important institutions, leading figures in science and commerce, and world leaders such as President Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Yitzhak Rabin, Tony Blair, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and the Sultan of Brunei. Our books have often been purchased as state gifts by Presidents George H. W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. We have participated in exhibitions at institutions around the world including Cornell University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Shrine of the Book.

In recent years we have placed with our clients a wide range of great books including the first editions of More’s Utopia, Machiavelli’s Il Principe, Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus, the King James Bible, Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, John Smith’s True Relation of Virginia, Shakespeare’s Poems and three copies of the First Folio, the Bill of Rights, several copies of The Federalist, Ricardo’s annotated copy of Malthus’s Political Economy, Poe’s annotated copies of two of his books, Hawthorne’s corrected proof sheets for The Scarlet Letter, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and Einstein’s own annotated copy of the theory of special relativity.

Historic photographs are of great interest. We have assembled and continue to build a major collection of 19th-century photographs of China, the most important collection remaining private hands. This collection includes superb examples of the finest work of Lai Fong, John Thomson, Kung Tai, Thomas Child, Liang Shitai, Ernst Boerschmann, William Saunders, and dozens of other masters of China photography. The great American photographers of the 19th century are also a specialty. We have handled some of the most important Mathew Brady photographs and related items to appear for sale in the past half-century. Other leading Civil War photographers including Alexander Gardner, Timothy O’Sullivan, Andrew Jackson Russell, and George Barnard are of particular interest. We also offer important collections and individual images by the foremost photographers of the American West and Native Americans, including Carleton Watkins, William Henry Jackson, Eadweard Muybridge, and Edward Curtis. Our collections of 19th-century photographs in our areas of expertise are unmatched in the trade.

We also specialize in important historical and literary manuscripts. Among the manuscripts we have placed in recent years have been the only Poe short story in private hands, a 1492 letter by Ferdinand and Isabella concerning the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, important letters by Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, a substantial portion of the first draft of Thoreau’s first book, leaves of the original manuscript of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and a chapter from Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and a draft manuscript of Whitman’s “Song of Myself” written in preparation for the first edition of Leaves of Grass.

Through long-term advisory relationships and expert consultation we have helped our clients develop some of the most important collections ever formed. We invite you to contact us to discuss the possibility of working together to build a collection of enduring importance.

We are willing to pay the highest prices for fine material; we regularly travel across the country and around the world to meet with clients and to buy and sell fine books and collections. Please call or write if we may be of assistance, or send us an email.

Stephan LoewentheilPresident & FounderThomas EdsallStacey LambrowJacob Loewentheil