Antique Maps, Illuminated Manuscripts, First Edition Books

The valuable books, manuscripts, and maps for sale here are exquisite artifacts of exploration across cultures. Here, plates from Audubon join signed letters by Einstein, Freud, Gandhi, and Lincoln to form an encyclopedic collection of the written word. Our dealers put forth an impressive offering of the finest antique maps, first edition books, celestials, handwritten letters, and rare books, all for sale. Also on offer are a signed first edition of Gone with the Wind, city views, rare maps and atlases, and impressive star catalogues. These join unique typed manuscripts, an illuminated manuscript of the Book of Hours, and a hand-written nineteenth century whaling journal. Every form of the written word is taken into account in this intellectually stimulating collection of printed masterpieces encompassing several centuries and generations of readers.

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Rare Books for Sale

Prints and etchings are included in this category as many of them are part of encyclopedias, larger reference books, and other printed books that included some of the more important drawings, prints, and etchings of our time. Loose leaf manuscripts and letters that were found after years are also on display here for a collector to preserve and cherish for years to come. This is a touching and vast assortment of important, rare, and antique books for sale that shows the written word in its ultimate form, and lasting generations to continue to move, inform and inspire us infinitely.

Antiquarian Books

You will find publications by authors and writers from all over the world, and many examples of fiction and non-fiction genius. Browse our antiquarian books on religious texts from a variety of religions, or our art books that detail the lives of famous painters, their work, and processes for creating artistic works that will have lasting impact on their audiences. Literature for enjoyment isn’t the only thing on display here as scientific journals, books and articles are also available from noted and well-respected practitioners. If you are looking for a historical account of a famed event, look no further than the historical section of this thorough and rare gathering of printed text.

Science & Philosophy

Important scientific or philosophical texts and documents are on offer by our member dealers within. View a first edition copy of The Origin of Species alongside the first European copy of the works of Confucius. First edition of Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA and many zoological studies are also on display. Illustrations, photos and articles are all included in the historical and rare science section of the books category.

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These texts include the account of Charles Darwin’s Beagle voyage in 1839, The Universal Conchologist, exhibiting the figure of every known Shell, accurately drawn and painted after Nature, the first European publication of the Chinese philosopher Confucius in 1687, and more. These ancient and rare scientific texts document the greatest minds and discoveries in science that were groundbreaking foundations for the knowledge we have today.

Illuminated Manuscripts and Leaves

View this fine selection of historic manuscripts including illuminated manuscripts, manuscript leaves, and texts. Our dealers present items such as an intact 19th century whaling journal, an autograph letter by Freud, and a land grant from William Penn. Some of the manuscripts are bound and printed while others are illustrated and printed but in loose pairings, evidence of a work in progress or work that has changed several hands and locations over time. Many of the pages, though aged, are still intact and in wonderful shape.

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What makes illuminated manuscripts so rare is that they included decorative features such as borders, initials and tiny illustrations. One manuscript that exemplifies this is on parchment, printed in Latin and French in 15th century Paris. The document contains paintings completed by artists and a section that was added some time after the initial creation of the manuscript. Another French text is a miniature of the Crucifixion, complete with nearly 30 lines of text, initialing, borders and a full color illustration.

Other

The rare books, manuscripts, and maps brought together on The Curator's Eye are artifacts of thought and exploration across cultures. In this section, you will discover an assortment of volumes, printed text, articles and prints that tell many historical tales of success and adventure from hundreds of years ago. For anyone looking to peruse a wide range of rare books and documents, browse these pages for ample options of rare and antique books offerings.

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Our dealers have displayed a plethora of choices that include a complete set of Baskerville classics from 1773 (seven volumes in all), a receipt for Bill of Exchange at the Cape of Good Hope, and an issue of The Botanical Magazine from 1819, an important early botanical journal with thousands of beautiful coloured plates. These are just some of the many findings in this assortment of rare books and texts.

Historical Books

These texts are immensely important in recording the history of human civilization. Historical texts from antiquity through the Second World War can be found in our dealers’ handpicked offerings available only at Curator’s Eye. Find a first published copy of Historie Florentine by Niccolo Machiavelli alongside Darwin’s original account of the Voyage of the HMS Beagle. There are also several journals and original accounts of voyages and ship expeditions included in these historical texts that tell us about life on the high seas hundreds of years ago.

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Collectors may inquire about many editions of books, such as a fine vellum-bound text from 1706 titled Noctium Atticarum, in remarkably excellent condition considering its age, or Father Du Halde’s 1741 work on the Chinese Empire, which arrives in two large volumes with 51 maps and plans plus 13 plates. Many of the historical texts here include several volumes in prime condition from Europe, America and India.

Documents, Letters and Autographs

Offered here are a plethora of historic documents—items important to the history of world cultures, such as an autograph note from Gandhi and a letter from Einstein. View an Abraham Lincoln signed naval commission, among other notable documents from countries and cultures around the world. These pieces feature signatures and notes that may be over a few hundred years old. Some are drawings signed by artists; others printed on typewriters and then signed beneath the text. This is an exclusive gathering of signatures, letters and memos by some of the most influential people in the world.

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Collectors have the opportunity to purchase leaves from George Washington’s personal draft of his first inaugural address, a print of the Declaration of Independence with signatures, and the act signed by Thomas Jefferson giving Alexander Hamilton authority to complete the Portland Maine Lighthouse. These are just a few of the autographed documents available from prominent historical American political figures.

Prints, Etchings and Lithographs

John Audubon, William Swainson, Antonio Quadri and Joseph Lycett are all representing within this collection of Prints, Etchings and Lithographs. Rare books containing some of the most important prints from the history of printed word are on offer within this collection, including the rare Zoological Illustrations by William Swainson. There are also Native American portraits and international landscape pictures available from the most elite dealers in prints, etching and lithographs. The fine art and print collector will have a pleasant selection to browse through with very rare images to choose from.

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Included in these prints is an 1889 lithographed panorama view of the Yangtze River Gorges in Chinese style. There are also several prints from Currier and Ives that show bird’s eye view of major cities such as Chicago in 1874, and binded books that include illustrations and prints of Venice’s Grand Canal and various places in Australia. The international scope of these prints and etchings is unmatched, as nearly every corner of the globe is represented in these works.

Rare Maps, Atlases and Celestials

Fine antique maps, Atlases, and celestials make up this collection of antique cartography. View a Chinese woodcut fan map, thirty-inch standing terrestrial globes, a Hondius map of the Chesapeake, and other rare maps and globes from Japan and China to the Americas, and many places in between. Some of the maps show specific countries and regions within a nation while others show an entire hemisphere or globe. You can search for atlases dated in different decades and centuries to follow the changing landscape and structure of your favorite nations.

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Some of the maps in this collection have inscriptions, handwritten notes and illustrations on the surface. Collectors may purchase a print of a highly desirable 1824 aquatint of New York City and harbor as seen from Brooklyn, or a 1630 of the Chesapeake Bay with brightly colored illustrations and color-coded features. There are also numerous maps that focus on cities abroad, such as an 1849 hand-colored map of Edo or Tokyo, Japan. Also included in this collection are manuscript maps, such as a 1796 map of New York City.

Religious Texts

Our dealers put forth the finest religious texts in human history to provide you with the premier antique religious text selection in the world. Find the first Hawaiian Bible, at first printing of the Decrees from the important Council of Trent. Bibles, prayer books, missals and religious texts are all on display within this collection that contains a selective assortment of valuable religious documents and books from international faiths. This is the place to look for any collector who is desirous of obtaining texts and documents from some of the world’s most popular religions.

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Many of the religious texts within this collection are illuminated, and thus feature hand colored inscriptions and drawings that depict the stories and messages within the pages, such as the leaves of St. Christopher carrying Christ, circa 1485, framed in a handsome gold moulding, or the leaf that portrays the coronation of Mary from a French Book of Hours. There is another illuminated document that studies the world Jerusalem and its meanings.

Literature

Mark Twain, T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway and William Shakespeare are among the giants of literature represented within this collection. Find a first edition Huckleberry Finn or view an extremely rare first edition copy of “In Our Time.” Literature is one of the great art forms and here you will have the opportunity to enjoy the greatest international and American classics in their period, with original first editions and print runs from the time of publication.

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Included in this selection are novels like Huckleberry Finn, a second edition copy signed by the author with several clippings, prints and ephemera included; and T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland. This poem, highly regarded as one of the most striking and influential of the twentieth century, is available here in the first edition and issue, number 91 of one thousand copies that were printed. The original flexible black dust cover is still attached and the entire text is still in pristine condition from its 1922 print date.

Art Books

Giorgio Vasari and his pivotal work "The Lives of Artists" is at the forefront of this prime selection of art books spanning the past 500 years. Frans Balthazar Solvyns and Joan Miro help round out an impressive collection that will surely pique the interest of any art lover and avid reader. Some of the books are antiquities while others are newer and focus on fine art painting, photography or multiple genres. There is a wealth of information within these publications from some of the most prolific art writers and artist in the industry.

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Our art books selection is comprised of very different subjects, like Marc Chagall’s 1956 Illustrations for the Bible inscribed by the artists with a full-color drawing of Moses and the tablets and an invaluable provenance. The book is complete with 16 lithographs, some of which are in color. There is issue 48 of Camera Work, featuring the work of Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand, some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. Included among books and manuscripts are unexpected treasures, for example: a large gelatin silver print of one of Yousef Karsh’s most iconic images: Georgia O’Keefe sitting in her desert studio.

All Categories of Art from Leading Dealers

View artworks from leading dealers in all categories, including; Asian Art, Ancient Art, Books, Decorative Arts, Ethnographic Arts, Fine Art, Modern and Contemporary, Jewelry, and Natural History.

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