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George Washington: Rare 1777 Revolutionary War Hand Colored Engraving

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Print. With captions in English and French: “George Washington Eqer General and Commander en Chief of the Continental Army in America . . . d’Apres l’Original de Champbell [sic] Peintre de Williambourg Capitale de la Virginie.” Likely published in Paris, ca. 1777 to 1780. 1 p. 7.75 x 11.75 in. in a wooden frame 10 x 14.5 in.

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Lovely condition, drum-mounted on board, original full hand-coloring. Framed. Line engraving derived from the portrait done by “Alexander Campbell” with facial elements after the  Nuremberg version of the print. This enjoys the independent addition of battle flags placed within the image to flank the portrait.

Item #27113, $12,500

Earliest Known Printing of “Tikvatenu” [Our Hope – the origin of “Hatikvah”] Inscribed by Author Naftali Herz Imber to Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the “revivalist of the Hebrew language”

NAFTALI HERZ IMBER, Sefer Barkai [The Morning Star], book of poems. Jerusalem: M. Meyuhas Press, 5646 [1886]. Hebrew and some German.

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Dedicatory inscription on verso of title page (partly cropped by binder), handwritten in Hebrew by Imber: “To my wise friend, the linguist... of the periodical HaZvi in Jerusalem. [...] The renowned wordsmith from the ranks of the Jewish sages [...], Ben-Yehuda. This booklet is a memento from the author.

Inked stamps on title page and on several additional pages (Hebrew): “House of Reading and [Home of] the Book Collection, Jerusalem, may it be rebuilt and reestablished” / “Beit Sefarim Livnei Yisrael... Yerusahalayim…” [House of Books for the Children of Israel in the Holy City of Jerusalem]. The library known as “Beit Sefarim Livnei Yisrael” was established in Jerusalem by a group of scholars led by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda in 1884 (upon its closing in 1894, its book collection was transferred to the Midrash Abarbanel Library, which eventually evolved into the National Library of Israel.)

In 1886, prior to the publication Barkai, Imber published the following advertisement in Eliezer Ben-Yehuda's Hebrew-language newspaper, HaZvi (2nd year, Issue No. 36): “There is a book with me among my writings [to] which I have given the title ‘Barkai’ [...] Any printer who wishes to purchase it from me in order to publish it should contact me...” An editor’s note follows the advertisement: “We have seen these poems which have been written by Mr. Imber, and [regard them] in keeping with the principle to which we adhere, ‘Look upon the vessel and relate not to its creator' [in a play on words on the chorus of the well-known liturgical poem for the Day of Atonement, ‘Ki Hineh KaHomer’]. It is incumbent upon us to state that the spirit of lofty poetry hovers over them; their thoughts are pleasant and desirable. The language in them is pristine and clear, and the ideas are exceptional. Many of these poems are worthy of becoming national songs. In general, these poems are faithful national songs, writings of a distinguished poet.”

VI, [2], 127, [1] pp., 15.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains, mostly to first and last leaves. Tears, some open and some long, to title page and to several other leaves, mostly restored with paper or mended with adhesive tape. Handwritten notations to some pages. New binding and endpapers.

Item #26582, $60,000

Masonic Apron, Neck Sash & Medal of U.S. Mint - California Gold Refiner James Booth, with a Lithograph of Him

[JAMES CURTIS BOOTH], Collection.

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Item #23610, $1,600

Thomas Jefferson’s Unique, Personally Assembled Seven-Volume Set of the Works of Greek Tragedian Aeschylus

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Signed or owned books. The Works of Aeschylus. Illustrated with engraved plates from the French du Thiel edition. Original marbled tan calf, stamped in gilt, spines and joints professionally restored to style; marbled edges, matching marbled endpapers; by Frederick A. Mayo, Richmond, Virginia, and with his binder’s ticket on front paste-down of each volume. The volumes are housed in seven individual fall-down-back archival boxes, enclosed in a single slipcase. The binder’s tools used during restoration are included in a matching fall-down-back box.

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Jefferson chose specific editions of the works of Aeschylus in English, French, Greek, and Latin, and had them cut up and rebound to make this unique set of seven volumes. In addition to ten of his customary ownership autograph initials (on signatures “I” and “T” throughout the set) parts of four title-pages have autograph amendments by Jefferson and there are approximately 18 marginal autograph annotations, presumably made by him (largely in Vols. IV and V).

This was the second time Jefferson owned these translations. The first set he acquired was sold to Congress as part of his library in 1815.

Item #27809, $180,000

Brooklyn Ferry in 1666 - British Royal Governor Confirms Dutch Owners Land Grant for the Brooklyn End of the Ferry

RICHARD NICOLLS, Manuscript Document Signed, March 12, 1666, to Egbert van Borsum. 2 pp. with attached wax seal, 12¾ x 16¼ in.

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Whereas there is a certaine Plott of Ground, with a House or Tenement there upon, Scituate and being at the Ferry, within the Bounds of the Towne of Brucklyn, in the west Riding of Yorkeshire upon Long Island…

Item #23988.12, ON HOLD

Seventeenth-Century Deed for House and Lot in New York City Signed by Anglo-Dutch Millionaire (SOLD)

FREDERICK PHILIPSE, Manuscript Document Signed, September 21, 1682. Deed to Joris Jansen for the King’s Head property. 2 pp., large folio.

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Through this indenture, merchant Frederick Philipse sells to boatsman Joris Jansen a house and lot in New York City that Phillips had purchased from Alexander Watts and his wife.

Item #23988.34, SOLD — please inquire about other items

1686 Huguenot Protestant religious prisoner’s pin prick note, with notes of wife and child, and 1842 letter of Dr. Johnson Eliot, a founder of Georgetown Medical College

[FRENCH HUGUENOT PRISONER], Pin-pricked Manuscript Note, with his wife’s Autograph Note, in French, [1686]. 1 p. Also with his son or daughter’s additional note in English. JOHNSON ELIOT, Autograph Letter Signed, June 19, 1842, gifting the above letter. 1 p. In all 3 pp.

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Item #24146.01, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Turtle Bay Lease for Use by the Royal Navy, 1741

[NEW YORK CITY], Manuscript Document Signed. Fifty-year lease on Turtle Bay from Captain Robert Long to Peter Warren. Signed by Peter Warren (with his wax seal), his father-in-law Stephen Delancey, and two other witnesses. New York, March 2, 1741. 1 p., 13 x 16 in. Docketed on verso, with later notes on payment through 1750 signed by Long.

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A future hero of the French and Indian War leases Turtle Bay for fifty years of use by the British Navy. From the beginning of European settlement, it offered sailing vessels refuge from the East River’s treacherous currents and winter storms. Today, it helps weather different kinds of storms: it was filled in and is the site of the present United Nations complex.

Item #23647, $4,400

Acquittal of Printer John Peter Zenger in Colonial New York Establishes Foundation for American Freedom of the Press

[JOHN PETER ZENGER], The Trial of John Peter Zenger, Of New-York, Printer: Who was charged with having printed and published a Libel against the Government; and acquitted. With a Narrative of his Case. To which is now added, being never printed before, The Trial of Mr. William Owen, Bookseller, near Temple-Bar, Who was also Charged with the Publication of a Libel against the Government; of which he was honourably acquitted by a Jury of Free-born Englishmen, Citizens of London, 1st ed. London: John Almon, 1765. Three-quarter olive calf, red morocco spine label, stamped in blind and in gilt, over marbled paper-covered boards; some sunning to leather; all edges trimmed. 60 pp., 5 x 8.25 in.

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It is not the cause of a poor printer...it is the cause of liberty.

This volume, printed in London three decades after John Peter Zenger’s trial, illustrates the continuing relevance of his acquittal to the freedom of the press. The volume also includes the story of William Owen, a London bookseller, who had been prosecuted for libel at the request of the House of Commons in 1752. Like Zenger, Owen was also acquitted by a jury.

John Almon, a publisher and bookseller known for his commitment to the freedom of the press, printed the volume as part of his challenge to governmental censorship of the press. In the same year that Almon published this pamphlet, the attorney general prosecuted him for the publication of a pamphlet entitled Juries and Libels, but the prosecution failed.

Item #27745, $3,500

In Benjamin Franklin’s Paper, Colonel George Washington Reports as Positively as Possible on the Surrender of Fort Necessity, Which Sparked the French and Indian War

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Pennsylvania Gazette, August 1, 1754. Newspaper. Philadelphia: Benjamin Franklin and David Hall. 4 pp., lacking the advertising half-sheet, 9¼ x 14½ in.

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Item #22426.03, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Pennsylvania Deputy Governor Urges General Assembly to Resist French Expansion in North America in Early Stages of the French and Indian War

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Pennsylvania Gazette, October 24, 1754. Newspaper. Philadelphia: Benjamin Franklin and David Hall. 6 pp., 9¼ x 14½ in.

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This issue of Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette reports the speech of Deputy Governor Morris of Pennsylvania to the General Assembly, urging them to prevent the French and their Native American allies from gaining control of the colony’s western border. The General Assembly responded that they were eager to assist but lacked any “Instructions from the Crown how to conduct ourselves on this important Occasion” and requested a recess until called together again.

Item #22426.07, $1,500

Connecticut Governor’s Proclamation Calling for a Day of Thanksgiving to Commemorate the Defeat of the French in Canada, and the Taking of Quebec

THOMAS FITCH, By the Honourable Thomas Fitch Esq; Governor ... of Connecticut ... A Proclamation for a Public Thanksgiving ... Thursday the sixth day of March next .... New Haven: by James Parker & Company, February 21, 1760. 12 x 14.5 inches.

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Broadside with a woodcut vignette of royal British arms at the top and woodcut initial. Some loss to upper right corner, a few nicks to the left and right margins. Penned inscription on the back.

Reference: Evans 8568; ESTC W34681 (locating only 2 copies)

Item #26605, $6,500

Brown University Holds First Commencement in 1769 - as Rhode Island College

[BROWN UNIVERSITY], Rhode Island College, Broadside, Commencement Exercises, September 7, 1769, Warren, Rhode Island. In Latin.

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Chartered in 1764, Rhode Island College - now Brown University - began in Warren, Rhode Island. The college’s first commencement, held on September 7, 1769, was the only one in Warren. In 1770, the college moved to Providence, and in 1804, the name was changed to Brown University.

This broadside, issued under the authority of the first chancellor, Stephen Hopkins, lists the seven members of the college’s first graduating class: Joseph Belton, Joseph Eaton, William Rogers, Richard Stites, Charles Thompson, James Mitchell Varnum, and William Williams.

The commencement was held at the Baptist Church in Warren. The event’s principal feature was a “Disputatio forensica,” or forensic debate, on the thesis “The Americans, in their present Circumstances, cannot, consistent with good Policy, affect to become an independent State.” According to reporting in The Newport MercurySeptember 11, 1769, James Mitchell Varnum (the future Continental Army General) defended the thesis “by cogent arguments,” and William Williams opposed it “subtilely, but delicately.” The president and graduating students made their opinion evident in their apparel; all were dressed in American manufactures. William Rogers also delivered an oration on benevolence, and Richard Stites gave an oration in Latin on the advantages of liberty and learning. Charles Thompson delivered the valedictory oration.

Item #27380.02, $8,500

June 1776 Charles Thomson Signed Continental Congress Resolution Defining Treason

CHARLES THOMSON, Manuscript Document Signed, Copy of Resolution Extracted from Minutes Journal as Secretary of Confederation Congress, June 24, 1776, Philadelphia. 2 pp., 6⅜ x 8 in.

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This resolution of the Second Continental Congress, approved days before it adopted the Declaration of Independence, defines a person as guilty of treason if they “levy war” against any of the united American colonies or give “aid and comfort” to any of their enemies. This resolution was the first public act to declare King George III the enemy and was a de facto declaration of independence.

Item #27107, SOLD — please inquire about other items

A Stone/Force Printing of the Declaration of Independence

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving printed on thin wove paper. Imprint at bottom left, “W. J. STONE SC WASHn” [William J. Stone, Washington, D.C. ca. 1833]. Printed for Peter Force’s American Archives, Series V, Vol I. Approx. 24¾ x 29½ in., framed to 32½ x 37½ in.

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The Stone/Force printings are the best representation of the Declaration as it was when members of the Continental Congress put their lives on the line to sign it in August of 1776. 

Item #27694, ON HOLD

Continental Congress Declares Independence – on July 2, 1776

[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE], Pennsylvania Magazine: or American Monthly Museum. Philadelphia, Pa., R. Aitken, June 1776 [published ca. July 4.] 48 pp., 5¼ x 8¼ in., without fold out map.

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Due to a shortage of paper,The Pennsylvania Magazine: or American Monthly Museum, edited by Thomas Paine, held the June issue past its normal publication date (which would have been July 3rd), allowing time for the last-minute insertion of the actual resolution of Congress declaring independence. The Pennsylvania Evening Post is the only other contemporary publication of the resolution we have found, in their July 2 issue.

Item #26797.99, $35,000

John Binns’ Scarce & Most Decorative Early Declaration of Independence Facsimile (1819)

[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE], Engraved Broadside. “In Congress July 4th. 1776. The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.” [Philadelphia:] John Binns, 1819. Text designed and engraved by Charles H. Parker, facsimiles of signatures engraved by John Vallance of the firm of Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co. Ornamental border, drawn by George Bridport, incorporated the seals of the thirteen original states after Thomas Sully, engraved by George Murray. Medallion portraits of Washington (after Gilbert Stuart, 1795), Jefferson (after Bass Otis, 1816), and Hancock (after John Singleton Copley, 1765), were engraved by James Barton Longacre. Printed by James Porter. 27½ x 36 in.

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Historical Background
In 1816, the publisher John Binns was the first to announce plans to publish a decorative broadside of the Declaration of Independence, to be sold by subscription for $10 each. The project was completed in 1819, by which time four others had already imitated the idea and issued less ornate and less expensive copies, including a pirated copy of the Binns. Binns later said that his publication cost him $9,000, an astonishing amount at that time.

In a prospectus accompanying an incomplete state of the print submitted for copyright on November 4, 1818, Binns describes the work: “The Design in imitation of Bas Relief, will encircle the Declaration as a cordon of honor, surmounted by the Arms of the United States. Immediately underneath the arms, will be a large medallion portrait of General George Washington, supported by cornucopias, and embellished with spears, flags, and other Military trophies and emblems. On the one side of this medallion portrait, will be a similar portrait of John Hancock,...and on the other, a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. The arms of ‘The Thirteen United States’ in medallion, united by wreaths of olive leaves, will form the remainder of the cordon, which will be further enriched by some of the characteristic productions of the United States; such as the Tobacco and Indigo plants, the Cotton Shrub, Rice &c. The facsimiles will be engraved by Mr. Vallance, who will execute the important part of the publication at the City of Washington, where, by permission of the Secretary of State, he will have the original signatures constantly under his eye.”

The Binns broadside bears an engraved facsimile attestation to the accuracy of the document by John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, from April 19, 1819: “I certify, that this is a Correct copy of the original Declaration of Independence, deposited at this Department; and that I have compared all the signatures with those of the original, and have found them Exact Imitations.

Despite the competition, Binns’ print remains the best decorative reproduction of the Declaration of Independence. Binns wanted to have his copy adopted as official, and one was displayed in the House of Representatives. For political reasons—and perhaps because Binns failed to include an engraving of John Adams—John Quincy Adams soon after commissioned William J. Stone to make an exact facsimile in 1823.

The Library Company of Philadelphia owns the original copper printing plate for this print.

Item #27257, SOLD — please inquire about other items

A Stone/Force Printing of the Declaration of Independence

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving printed on thin wove paper. Imprint at bottom left, “W. J. STONE SC WASHn” [William J. Stone, Washington, D.C. ca. 1833]. Printed for Peter Force’s American Archives, Series V, Vol I. Approx. 25 x 30 in.

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The Stone/Force printings are the best representation of the Declaration as it was when members of the Continental Congress put their lives on the line to sign it in August of 1776. 

Item #26740.99, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Declaration Signer’s Copy of the Declaration of Independence (SOLD)

[CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. ROGER SHERMAN, Signed Book. Journals of Congress. Containing the Proceedings in the Year, 1776. Published by Order of Congress. Volume II. Philadelphia. Robert Aitken, 1777. First edition. Rebound. [2], 513, [26, Index] pages. The Declaration is printed on pages 241-246.

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Roger Sherman’s copy of the 1776 Journals of Congress, including the Declaration of Independence, signed on the title page. This is the second printing of the Declaration to list the names of the signers (after the Goddard broadside) and the third official printing overall (after the Dunlap and Goddard broadsides).

Item #26426, SOLD — please inquire about other items

A Stone/Force Printing of the Declaration of Independence (SOLD)

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving printed on thin wove paper. Imprint at bottom left, “W. J. STONE SC WASHn” [William J. Stone for Peter Force, Washington, D.C. ca. 1833]. Printed for Peter Force’s American Archives, Series 5, Vol I. Approx. 25 x 30 in.

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“In Congress, July 4th 1776. The Unanimous Declaration
of the thirteen united States of America...”

Item #26238, SOLD — please inquire about other items
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