History & culture
A wide selection of rare first editions, signed and inscribed copies, deluxe and collectible editions of books, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to history, archaeology, anthropology, folklore, occult, and religion.
From the blog: Magna Carta: Evolution and Emblem
Samuel Daniel, The Collection of the History of England, 1634 & 1636.
Showing items 1-60 of 870
MACKAY, Charles. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions.
London : 1841First edition. Mackay's important early work of social psychology discusses popular delusions of all types and considers the credulous enthusiasm of mankind for phenomena such as alchemy, witchcraft, relics, the Crusades, urban myths, as well as economic events such as the tulip bubble, the Mississippi Bubble, and the South Sea Bubble. Still in print,... Learn More£9,500.00
Stock Code: 122063
CHURCHILL, Winston S. A History of the English-Speaking Peoples.
London : 1956-58First edition of the Chartwell Edition, the first illustrated edition of Churchill's great history of Britain, the British Empire, and the United States, the second overall.
Churchill began his history during his period in the political wilderness in the early 1930s, but did not complete it until the latter 1950s, after his final retirement as... Learn More£500.00
Stock Code: 138392
GIBRAN, Kahlil. Twenty Drawings.
New York : 1919First edition, trade issue, of Gibran's first and only collection of drawings. "For Gibran the canvas represented another form in which his poetry could be expressed... the pieces included in Twenty Drawings clearly demonstrate the mystical qualities Gibran imbued in all his works, whatever the medium" (Allen, p. 184). The collection, which... Learn More£2,000.00
Stock Code: 137326
CHURCHILL, Winston S. A History of the English-Speaking Peoples.
London : 1956-58First editions, first impressions. Churchill began his history of the British Empire and the United States during his period in the political wilderness in the early 1930s, but did not complete it until after his retirement in the late 1950s. The events of the Second World War, the major interruption in the writing process, had reconfirmed his belief... Learn More£2,500.00
Stock Code: 128999
WHITE, T. H. The Book of Beasts.
London : 1954First edition, first impression, presentation copy,inscribed by the author on the half-title, "Ken Smith, with love from Tim White", additionally signed by White under his printed name on the title page. The Book of Beasts was White's translation from a mediaeval bestiary manuscript preserved in the Cambridge University Library. His epigraph is from... Learn More£675.00
Stock Code: 139142
PERSIA; IRAN: PARLIAMENTARY PAPER. Bagdad Railway. No. 1 (1911).
London : 1911Government White Paper containing the definitive text of the Baghdad railway convention from 1903, including the terms of the concession granted by the Ottoman government, as well as an additional convention from 1908 and a series of loan contracts. This railway project was, in the contemporary assessment of Morris Jastrow, "the largest single contributing... Learn More£850.00
Stock Code: 129809
MACKAY, Charles. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions.
London : 1841First edition. Mackay's important early work of social psychology discusses popular delusions of all types and considers the credulous enthusiasm of mankind for phenomena such as alchemy, witchcraft, relics, the Crusades, urban myths, as well as economic events such as the tulip bubble, the Mississippi Bubble, and the South Sea Bubble. Still in print,... Learn More£22,500.00
Stock Code: 128845
STAPLEDON, Olaf. A Modern Theory of Ethics.
London : 1929First edition, first impression. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "A. M. Carr-Saunders, with compliments from W. O. S. 3rd February 1929". A Modern Theory of Ethics was Stapledon's first published work of prose, based on the thesis for his PhD in philosophy awarded at the University of Liverpool in 1925. The recipient,... Learn More£1,750.00
Stock Code: 87348
MACKAY, Charles. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions.
London : 1841First edition. Mackay's important early work of social psychology discusses popular delusions of all types and considers the credulous enthusiasm of mankind for phenomena such as alchemy, witchcraft, relics, the Crusades, urban myths, as well as economic events such as the tulip bubble, the Mississippi Bubble, and the South Sea Bubble. Still in print,... Learn More£8,750.00
Stock Code: 139863
CHARLES, Prince of Wales, & Diana, Princess of Wales. Official Christmas card.
The official Christmas card of Prince Charles and Princes Diana for the year 1991, with the autopen signatures of both, retaining the original envelope, as sent to Mrs. P. A. Cruickshank, with the Buckingham Palace postal stamp dated 16 December 1991. Learn More£975.00
Stock Code: 139083
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Three typescript articles:
[late 1930s]There has been considerable recent interest in Churchill's essay "Are We Alone in the Universe?" In an article for Nature, astrophysicist Mario Livio describes his visit to the US National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri, when "director Timothy Riley thrust a typewritten essay by Churchill into my hands. In the 11-page article, 'Are We Alone in... Learn More£4,500.00
Stock Code: 121591
GLASPELL, Susan. A Jury of Her Peers.
London : 1927First separate edition, one of 250 copies signed by the author. Provenance: from the library of "Ellery Queen", with, loosely inserted, a statement of provenance from the bookseller Douglas Dannay (dated 1991), son of Frederic Dannay, co-creator of the pseudonymous "Ellery Queen". Queen's Quorum notes that "Susan Glaspell had written a one-act play... Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 106151
HAMILTON, Elizabeth. Memoirs of the Life of Agrippina, the Wife of Germanicus.
Bath : 1804First edition. Hamilton (1756?-1816) was a Belfast-born novelist and essayist. She is best-known for her writings on the philosophy of education. In her Memoirs of Modern Philosophers of 1800 a "popular satirical attack on what she perceived as the excesses of contemporary radical thought. She is sceptical about the claims of freethinkers such as William... Learn More£500.00
Stock Code: 81656
ANGELUS, Johannes, & Johannes Regiomontanus. [Greek:] Esoptron astroligikon. Astrologicall Opticks.
London : Rare first edition in English, with eight copies only showing at institutional libraries and just three on auction records. The translator, Robert Turner (b. 1619/20- c. 1664), "was one of an important group of translators who supplied English audiences with a wide range of occult and medical treatises and particularly with the writings of Paracelsus"... Learn More£2,500.00
Stock Code: 143758
LAVEY, Anton Szandor. The Compleat Witch, or What To Do When Virtue Fails.
New York : 1971First edition, first printing, inscribed by the author on the title page to the historian Gottfried Kerscher, "To Gottfried Kerscher, and a bright future - Rege Satanas, Anton Szandor LaVey", the tip of the y stylised with a forked tail. Works signed by LaVey are notably uncommon in the market.
Anton LaVey was the founder of the Church of Satan... Learn More£3,000.00
Stock Code: 143038
REYNOLDS, Frank - "Freewheelin' Frank". 666: "The Hymn" to "Lucifer".
San Francisco : 1968First edition, uncommon. Fascinating document of the San Francisco underground scene. A sequence of amphetamine-fuelled metaphysical explorations combining the Satanic, astrological, and psychedelic in equal measure, with just a dash of biker lore. Reynolds was secretary of the notorious SF chapter of the Hell's Angels, and the previous year had seen... Learn More£850.00
Stock Code: 129123
THE BANKER'S DAUGHTER. Family archive illustrating the consequences of bankruptcy.
London : [c.1803-71]A fascinating and varied archive which vividly illustrates the ramifications of bankruptcy upon family life, comprising financial, promotional, and personal documents related to the late Regency-era performer Mary Radcliff Chambers, "the Banker's Daughter", who took up an onstage career to revive her family's fortunes after the collapse of her father's... Learn More£4,000.00
Stock Code: 128644
SCOTT, Walter - REMY, Nicholas. Daemonolatreiae libri tres,
Lyon : 1595Rare first edition of this seminal work on the worship of demons, Sir Walter Scott's copy, with his ownership inscription on the title page and his library shelf mark on the front free endpaper: "Abbotsford Library O13". Scott's fascination with witchcraft led him to spend years gathering "perhaps the most curious library of diablerie that man ever... Learn More£27,500.00
Stock Code: 123052
GRIMOIRE - AGRIPPA, Henri-Corneille. Les Œuvres Magiques.
Rome [actually Lille : 1740 & 1744 [but 1830 & 1813]A superb early 19th-century French copy of two grimoires, printed by Simon Blocquel (1780-1863). This is a clear, neat, and evocative example of contemporary popular grimoires and contains the works of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535) including his Heptameron, a concise book of magical rites concerned with conjuring specific angels for the seven... Learn More£4,000.00
Stock Code: 121171
LELAND, Charles Godfrey Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches.
London : 1899First edition, in notably bright condition, of this uncommon work. Aradia is study of the persistence of "la vecchia religione" in Italy and despite being the subject of continuing controversy, the text undeniably exercised a persuasive influence over Gerald Gardner in the development of his ideas of witchcraft, and is widely considered to be the foundation... Learn More£2,000.00
Stock Code: 114094
CHEVANES, Jacques de. L'Incredulité scavante, et la credulité ignorante:
Lyons : 1671First edition, a reply to Gabriel Naudé's sceptical Apologie pour tous les grands personnages, qui ont été faussement soupçonnés de magie, recently republished in 1669.
Jacques de Chevanes (c.1608-1678) of Autun had personal experience of a witch-hunt in Burgundy in 1648/9, and the present work includes extracts from a 1670 interview with... Learn More£2,000.00
Stock Code: 84955
ROGERS, G. A. F. The Arts Club.
London : 1920First edition, first impression, presentation copy, inscribed by the author and publisher on the front free endpaper: "Presented to the Arts Club by G. A. F. Rogers and J. Truslove". The book charts the history of the Arts Club from its foundation in 1863. It includes detailed histories of the Club's premises at Hanover Square and Dover Street, and... Learn More£350.00
Stock Code: 141029
GEORGE, Henry. Our Land and Land Policy, National and State.
San Francisco : 1871First edition of Henry George's first book, a vigorous remonstrance against indiscriminate land concession to corporate bodies, in which he "outlined the basic idea to which he devoted the rest of his life: that society's 'fundamental mistake is in treating land as private property'. Human labour can create wealth, he argued, only when it is applied... Learn More£2,000.00
Stock Code: 136978
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER; French & English. Le Livre des Prieres Communes, Et de l'Administration des Sacremens,
Oxford : 1717An attractive early Georgian binding for this bilingual BCP. "A reissue of the French-English 1717 'Book of common prayer', with a new titlepage and preliminaries in French added before the original parallel French and English titlepages, and slight resetting by removal of ornaments in the direction lines" (ESTC). In this copy, the French title appears... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 71427
KINGSLEY, Charles. Phaethon.
Cambridge : 1852First edition. Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), best remembered for his works The Water-Babies and Westward Ho!, produced this work to seek to refute the doctrines of Ralph Waldo Emerson, using the form of a Platonic dialogue. Learn More£325.00
Stock Code: 123965
SHAKESPEAR, John. A Grammar of the Hindustani Language.
London : 1826Third edition of an essential text for the dedicated servant of the East India Company; preceded by editions of 1813 and 1818, all early iterations being uncommon. This copy with an appealing Indian provenance, bearing the contemporary ownership inscription at head of the title page of John H. W. Waugh, assistant surgeon on the Bengal Medical Establishment.... Learn More£850.00
Stock Code: 140865
BIRD, James. Historical Researches on the Origin and Principles of the Bauddha [sic] and Jaina Religions:
Bombay : 1847First and sole edition. An important early work in the transmission of information about the celebrated Buddhist caves of western India, which Bird saw as repositories of universal value, mindful of "the duty imposed on us, as a nation, to preserve these relics of ancient art". Inevitably scarce, as just 59 subscribers contributed towards the expense... Learn More£6,250.00
Stock Code: 129805
KORÖSI CSOMA, Sandór. Essay towards a Dictionary, Tibetan and English. Prepared, with the Assistance of Bandé Sangs-Rgyas Phun-Tschogs, a learned La'ma of Zangska'r, during a Residence at Kanam, in the Hima'laya Mountains, on the Confines of India and Tibet. 1827-1830.
Calcutta : 1834First editions of the first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar, remarkably scarce in commerce, with one copy only of the Dictionary appearing on auction records (2007) and just two complete copies of the Grammar (1955 and 1998). This set has an excellent provenance: from the library of Thomas Herbert Lewin (1839-1916), army officer and frontier... Learn More£22,500.00
Stock Code: 122418
MACKAY, Charles. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions.
London : 1841£10,000.00
Stock Code: 121427
PALMER, Richmond. The Bornu Sahara and Sudan.
London : 1936First and only edition, one of 500 only.
Sir Herbert Richmond Palmer (1877-1958) was an English barrister who became a colonial supervisor for Britain during the inter-World War period. He served as a Lieutenant Governor in Nigeria, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of The Gambia and Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Cyprus where this book was... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 133465
MACLEAY, Kenneth. Highlanders of Scotland:
London : [c.1874]First plain lithograph edition, specially bound and personalised for Archibald Fraser Macdonald, jäger (or gillie) to Edward, Prince of Wales, mentioned in that capacity by Queen Victoria in her best-selling Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands (1868). "As a documentary record of contemporary tartan the publication was unrivalled and... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 137270
ARS MORIENDI. Ars Moriendi ex.
Nuremberg : First of three Latin editions printed by Weissenburger. The book derives from the Tractatus (or Speculum) artis bene moriendi, composed in 1415 by an anonymous Dominican friar, probably at the request of the Council of Constance. Owing to its popularity, a shorter version of Ars Moriendi was taken from the second chapter, dealing with the five temptations... Learn More£18,500.00
Stock Code: 90894
LEE, Chauncey. The American Accomptant;
Lansingburgh : 1797First edition, an exceedingly significant book in the field of Americana, containing the first known appearance in print of the symbol for the United States dollar, previously only used in manuscript form, and additionally in its frontispiece containing the earliest known illustration of a United States coin. This copy retains the original trade sheep... Learn More£2,000.00
Stock Code: 144618
CAILLARD, Antoine Bernard. Catalogue des livres rares et précieux de la bibliothéque.
Paris : 1810First edition, second issue, presentation copy from a member of Caillard's family, inscribed "Donné à Monsieur Grutter, par son ami S. C. Caillard" on the half-title, with the rare four page sale schedule. First published by Debure in 1808, the catalogue was printed again, with the additional schedule inserted, for the posthumous auction of the library... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 122638
SOUBHY, Saleh. Pèlerinage à la Mecque et à la Médine.
Cairo : 1894First and only edition. Saleh Soubhi was an Egyptian public health official commissioned by Khedive 'Abbas II to write a report on the sanitary conditions experienced by pilgrims travelling to Mecca. He performed the hajj twice, in 1888 and 1891, producing this detailed account, to which are affixed a response to European criticisms of Islam and an... Learn More£4,000.00
Stock Code: 99252
THATCHER, Margaret - MAY, Paul. Mrs Thatcher's Bag.
London : 1978A humorous take on Thatcher's image and her infamous handbag, produced during her opposition period, the year before she was elected Prime Minister. Thatcher supposedly tells the buyer: "I have gathered together in this stylish handbag a most useful collection of practical tips so that even the most deprived of you who have the will and the enterprise... Learn More£300.00
Stock Code: 131394
GRIFFIN, Lepel H., & Charles Francis Massy. Collection of three works on the rulers of the Punjab, handsomely bound in matching style.
Lahore and Allahabad, : 1870-90A genuinely rare opportunity to acquire these three highly elusive monographs on the ruling families of the Punjab, each a remarkable work of exhaustive research written or inspired by Lepel H. Griffin, one of the most colourful officials in nineteenth century British India, the man described by his fellow Indian administrator, Sir Walter Lawrence,... Learn More£12,000.00
Stock Code: 140157
SMITH, Charles, & Walter Harris. The Antient and Present State of the County of Down.
Dublin : 1744First edition of The Antient and Present State, here combined unusually with the first London edition of its parent work, A Topographical and Chorographical Survey, presented in a very well preserved plain period binding.
Charles Smith (c. 1715 - 1762), the moving force behind this important book, could be described as an Irish John Aubrey,... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 141048
FRANCKLIN, W. The History of the Reign of Shah-Aulum,
London : 1798First edition of this uncommon account of the eventful if mournful reign of Shah Alam II (1728-1806), one of the last of the Mughal emperors, restored to his throne by the Marathas in 1788. Having been defeated decisively by the East India Company's forces at the Battle of Buxar in 1764, Shah Alam sought the protection of the British and signed the... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 140891
STEIN, Sir (Marc) Aurel. On Ancient Central-Asian tracks. Brief Narrative of Three Expeditions in Innermost Asia and Northern-Western China.
London : 1933First edition, first impression, described by Yakushi as a "comprehensive summary of the results of the author's first three Central Asian expeditions and of his researches carried out during the years 1900-16".
Stock Code: 139883
EBERS, G. Egypt: Descriptive, Historical, and Picturesque.
London : c.1880First edition in English of this impressive work, originally published as Aegypten in Bild und Wort (1878-79), by the German Egyptologist Georg Ebers (1837-1898), who gave his name to the Ebers Papyrus, one of the world's oldest medical documents, acquired in Upper Egypt from a Coptic antiquarian during the winter of 1872-3. This English version is... Learn More£500.00
Stock Code: 139417
WOOLF, Virginia. Three Guineas.
London : 1938First edition, first impression. Written as a companion piece to her earlier essay, A Room of One's Own, Woolf addresses how women can influence and prevent the rise of militarism, even though they are excluded from education, professional employment, and the public sphere. Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 138941
SERJEANT, R. B., & Ronald Lewcock (eds.) San'â': An Arabian Islamic City.
London : 1983First edition, number 1,911 of 2,000 copies only. The work of a team of internationally respected experts in a wide range of disciplines, this is a case-study of major scholastic importance in which the society - along with the complex religious, legal and mercantile setting - long history, crafts, arts, and religious and vernacular architecture of... Learn More£500.00
Stock Code: 136295
WEBB, John. An Historical Essay Endeavoring a Probability That the Language Of the Empire of China is the Primitive Language.
London : 1669First edition of "the first extensive European treatise on the Chinse language" (Chen Shouyi), and one of the earliest books in English discussing Chinese culture in any depth.
The architect John Webb, a pupil of Inigo Jones, argued that Noah could be identified with the legendary king Yao; that he had withdrawn from the tribes whose languages... Learn More£13,750.00
Stock Code: 128767
PERKINS, Edward T. Na Motu: or, Reef-Rovings in the South Seas. A Narrative of Adventures at the Hawaiian, Georgian and Society Islands.
New York : 1854First edition of a key book on Hawaii - "an important and lively narrative" (Forbes) - containing one of the earliest accounts of surfing and attractively illustrated from the author's own sketches.
"Surfriding and surfrider also hold the honour of being the terms in longest continual use to describe the act of riding waves and those who ride... Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 121426
MACPHERSON, Duncan. Antiquities of Kertch and Researches in the Cimmerian Bosphorus.
London : 1857First and only edition, uncommon. "An example of the degree of technical virtuosity reached by this time in lithography, giving plates brilliant in effect, the equivalent of modern four-colour process work from photographs. It is very difficult to tell whether, or to what extent, the plates are touched by hand The inks are excellent, with some strong... Learn More£2,875.00
Stock Code: 71516
WILSON, James. The Life and Dreadful Sufferings of Captain James Wilson, In various Parts of the Globe,
Portsea : 1810The highly uncommon first edition of the first biography of James Wilson, captain of the Duff on her first missionary voyage to the South Seas. None of the four copies listed at auction in the last 40 years has had the attractive frontispiece.
"Although there are several accounts of James Wilson's life, sufferings and missionary voyage, this... Learn More£4,500.00
Stock Code: 70373
WARREN, George F., & Frank A. Pearson. Prices.
New York : 1933First edition, first printing, of this work on the causes of the Great Depression. Warren was one of Franklin Roosevelt's key economic advisers, and was well regarded for his agricultural economics. Learn More£200.00
Stock Code: 146544
LAWRENCE, Richard. Elgin Marbles.
London : 1818First edition of this representation of the famous Elgin collection of Greek sculptures, controversially removed from the Parthenon at the beginning of the 19th century. This is uncommonly found in the original boards.
While he was British ambassador at Constantinople from 1801 to 1803, Thomas Bruce, the Earl of Elgin, had received permission... Learn More£2,750.00
Stock Code: 146344
BIBLE; Latin, Vulgate. Bible, with prologues and the Interpretations of Hebrew Names, illuminated manuscript in Latin.
[England, doubtless Oxford : mid 13th century]A fine English manuscript Bible, probably written and illuminated in Oxford between c.1240 and c.1260, as suggested by the illumination, text, and layout. The palette, particularly the somewhat pale milky blue found in some of the major initials (e.g. Psalms, fol. 248v), in addition to the deep blue used for the chapter and verse initials, is characteristic... Learn More£97,500.00
Stock Code: 144627
LE ROSSIGNOL, Ethel. A Goodly Company.
[London : First edition of this scarce, privately published work which beautifully presents the psychedelic spirit paintings of the Argentinian-born medium and automatist Constance "Ethel" Le Rossignol (1873-1970). During the 1920s and early 1930s Le Rossignol painted a series of 44 psychic works - the "Goodly Company" series - which she insisted were the true... Learn More£1,750.00
Stock Code: 135609
SINATRA, Frank - KENNEDY, John F. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy.
Washington, DC : 1962-63-64First editions, first printings. From the library of Frank Sinatra, his name in gilt to each front cover. An outstanding memorial to one of the most remarkable relationships in modern political history and the two men who stood at the nexus of glamour and power in mid-20th century America.
The relationship between the singer and JFK has been... Learn More£7,500.00
Stock Code: 135154
LINGUET, Simon Nicolas Henri. Essai Philosophique sur le Monachisme.
Paris : 1775One of two editions bearing a Paris imprint printed in 1775, without known priority, though the absence of a contents table in this edition, present in the other, implies this is the earlier. Simon Nicolas Henri Linguet (1736-1794) was a French journalist and lawyer "whose delight in taking views opposing everyone else's earned him exiles, imprisonment,... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 127673
BAUDEAU, Nicolas. Principes économiques de Louis XII et du Cardinal d'Amboise,
[Paris]; Geneva : 1785First editions of these two commentaries on Necker. The first upholds the two great finance ministers of France's past, Cardinal d'Amboise and the Duke of Sully, as superior to Necker in their financial administration, and as offering models for France's current financial predicaments. The second seeks to serve as a corrective to the arguments outlined... Learn More£2,750.00
Stock Code: 127446
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT - L'ASSIETTE AU BEURRE. La peine de mort.
Paris : 1907First edition of the visually compelling and famously anarchic illustrated French satirical journal's issue on the death penalty. Published weekly from March 1901 to October 1912, L'Assiette au Beurre eventually totalled 594 issues, each composed of full-page black and white and colour illustrations by a variety of artists, tackling current events and... Learn More£125.00
Stock Code: 119341
LUCAS, Charles. Appendice à la théorie de l'emprisonnement,
Paris : 1838First edition of the leading prison theorist and Inspector General's supplement to his influential work, De la réforme des prisons, published two years previously.
On the whole, Lucas's work in penal reform was received favourably by his contemporaries; his Du système pénal et du système répressif en général de la peine de mort en particulier... Learn More£125.00
Stock Code: 91149
TOCQUEVILLE, Alexis de, & Gustave de Beaumont. Système pénitentiaire aux États-Unis,
Brussels : 1837Third edition of this landmark report on prison reform, first published in 1833. Prompted by the dismal and ineffective state of France's penitentiary system in the 1820s, the French government commissioned Tocqueville and Beaumont - two friends, both young magistrates at the time - to complete a tour of America (which was then seen as leading the way... Learn More£225.00
Stock Code: 91100