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 893
HERALDRY; HARLEIAN SOCIETY. The Visitation of London, Anno Domini 1633, 1634, and 1635.
London : 1880-83First edition, a distinguished copy: from the library of Sir George John Armytage, honorary secretary of the Harleian Society, extra illustrated with a complete suite of proof engravings of the arms on india paper, each mounted on fine paper and bound in at the appropriate page; presented in a refinedly unpretentious binding by Zaehnsdorf - "choice"... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 144925
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
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
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
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
STEIN, M. Aurel. Serindia.
Oxford : 1921First edition, first impression, of this landmark work which has a strong claim to be the single most important text on Central Asia. Stein explains in his introduction: "The term Serindia, as adopted (in the form Sérinde) by valued French fellow-scholars, is excellently suited for the designation of this region, well-defined by nature as well as by... Learn More£17,500.00
Stock Code: 125986
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 : 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£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
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
KHAN, Gazanfar Ali, & Wilfrid Sparroy. With the Pilgrims to Mecca. The Great Pilgrimage of a.h. 1319; a.d. 1902.
London : 1905First edition of this uncommon and attractive account of the hajj. "The early 20th century saw a growth of British travel texts and religious commentaries concerned with the religion of Arabia. It was in this vein that in 1902 the Morning Post sent its 'Special Correspondent' Hadji Khan, a Persian Sufi, on the hajj to Mecca. His experiences were written... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 143000
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
MISSAL; Venice printed. Missale Romanum.
Venice : 1725A striking eighteenth-century Roman Missal, attractively printed in Venice and apparently bound in Brescia in the year of publication: a note on p. lxxxiii reads "Brixiae-Conglutinator est Ioseph Goltius in Via Pallade iuxta Xenodochium Mercaturae. Die 13. Decembris 1725" (The Brescian binder is Joseph Goltius on the Via Pallade, next to the marketplace... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 112562
RABADAN, Muhammad. Mahometism Fully Explained.
London : 1723-25First ever English language edition of a biography of the Prophet written by a Muslim, presenting for the first time to a European readership a sympathetic view of Muhammad himself, and of the culture of Islam. Well represented institutionally, we can trace only two complete copies at auction.
English translation of a biography of the Prophet... Learn More£4,250.00
Stock Code: 141305
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
MARIGNY, François Augier de. The History of the Arabians,
London : 1758First English edition, originally published at Paris in 1750, decidedly uncommon and presented here in an attractive period binding. This is an important history, covering the period from the foundation of Islam down to the death of the last Abbasid caliph Al-Musta'sim (reigned 1242-1258), executed following the Mongol sack of Baghdad.
The Abbé... Learn More£2,250.00
Stock Code: 144269
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 - 1890A 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
SHAW, Henry. Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages.
London : 1843First edition in book form following issue in parts in 1840, this a large paper copy, with the plates and initials enhanced by gilt, originally issued at 18, compared to 7 7s for the regular paper copies, which did not have the gilt embellishment.
An exceptional, highly regarded book: McLean states that "it has considerable claim to be called... Learn More£3,850.00
Stock Code: 129144
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
LUCAS, Charles (intro.) Recueil des débats des Assemblées Législatives de la France sur la question de la peine de mort.
Paris : 1831First edition of this collection of reports on the subject of the death penalty given to the French National Assembly, including those delivered by Berenger and Lapelletier, among others, with an introduction and notes by the influential early French abolitionist and Inspector General of prisons Charles Lucas. Learn More£225.00
Stock Code: 91118
GUTENBERG, Johann. Biblia Sacra [Facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible.]
New York : 1961Number 6 of 1,000 copies, the first American facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible, in the deluxe binding of full morocco (copies were also issued in half morocco or red cloth).
The Gutenberg Bible was the first complete book printed from moveable type, published in Mainz in 1455. This facsimile was derived from the German Insel Verlgag facsimile... Learn More£10,000.00
Stock Code: 146771
JESSE, John Heneage. Memoirs of the Court of England.
Boston : [c.1900]Artistique edition. Limited to 50 numbered copies for England and America of which this is number 30. A particularly handsome set.
This set was specially bound and printed for Effingham Buckley Morris, the great Philadelphian financier and President of Philadelphia's Girard Trust Company.
Stock Code: 144860
DUPONT DE NEMOURS, Pierre Samuel. Examen et parallèle des différens projects de droits sur les boissons, par M. Dupont, député de Nemours à l'Assemblée Nationale.
Paris : 1790First edition. A supporter of constitutional monarchy, Dupont represented Nemours in the National Assembly. The present work is his report on the taxation of drink. A scarce item, with WorldCat listing copies in ten institutions: one in the UK, five in the US, three in France, and one in Switzerland. Learn More£450.00
Stock Code: 127703
CHASSEPOL, Francois de. Traité des finances et de la fausse monnoie des Romains, auquel on a joint une dissertation sur la maniere de discerner les médailles antiques d'avec les contrefaites.
Paris : 1740First edition of this study of counterfeit money among the Romans, with advice to contemporary numismatic collectors. An English edition followed in 1741. Library Hub lists copies in four British institutions. Learn More£350.00
Stock Code: 127721
SMITH, Charles. Three Tracts on the Corn-Trade and Corn-Laws.
London : 1766First edition of these three important tracts on the corn trade, by the son of a mill-owner of Croydon, in Surrey. Smith argued that in a country largely dependent on domestic supplies, price variations were the natural result of good or bad seasons, following a shortage of domestically produced corn in 1757, which roused public feeling against the... Learn More£875.00
Stock Code: 93452
DUCPETIAUX, Edouard. De la peine de mort.
Brussels : 1827First edition. De la peine de mort was the Belgian journalist and prison reformer's first book, written when he was twenty-three years old. Ducpétiaux earned himself a name and an official position as inspector general of prisons on the strength of this passionate and ambitious plea for the abolition of capital punishment. He argued that the alternative... Learn More£550.00
Stock Code: 91158
VALENTINE'S DAY. Collection of poetic Valentine's Day Cards.
[USA : 1870-1900]A charming collection, in remarkable condition, of eight poetic Victorian Valentine's Day cards, exemplifying the popularisation and commercialisation of the romantic uses of poetry in this period, and the creation of what we know as the Valentine's Day card today.
The Valentine's Day card phenomenon can be accredited largely to two key players:... Learn More£950.00
Stock Code: 143932
IKBAL ALI SHAH, Sirdar. Fuad: King of Egypt.
London : 1936First edition, first impression, of this uncommon and timely biography of Fuad I (1922-1936), published in the year of the king's death and the signing of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, which required the withdrawal of British troops from Egypt, conversations for which had opened in the last weeks of Fuad's life.
The Indian-Afghan author... Learn More£200.00
Stock Code: 143248
MACAULAY, Lord. The History of England.
London : 1870An attractively bound set. "The first historical work deliberately designed to outsell the best-selling novel of the day, Macaulay's book immediately fulfilled its author's aspiration. His colourful style and stirring power of description secured for the History a success such as no historical work in the English language had had since Gibbon. Each... Learn More£575.00
Stock Code: 144884
LEE, Clarence D. The Instrumental Detection of Deception.
Springfield, IL : 1953First edition, first printing. Lee, a retired police chief, details how to use lie detector tests outside of police work: "Since the psychograph has now extended its usefulness beyond criminal investigation into other fields, this book will prove of great importance to workers in psychiatry, psychiatric social work, personnel administration, experimental... Learn More£125.00
Stock Code: 146063