November 2012 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Raptis Rare Books, #3

Catalogue Review: Raptis Rare Books, #3

Screen shot 2012-11-08 at 5.09.10 PM.pngAlmost exactly one year ago I reviewed Raptis Rare Books' catalogue #1. It has been my pleasure over this past week to page through their newest release, #3. What I liked then, I still like; i.e., Raptis offers a range of amazing books, but I most enjoy the focus given to the fine books not often seen.

The inscribed first edition of Zora Neale Hurston's Jonah's Gourd Vine fits into that category ($6,000). What an amazing original jacket, too! Or a signed first American edition of Jose Saramago's The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis ($1,500). Or a signed first edition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Angels in America by Tony Kushner ($3,750). Or a signed first edition of Tracy Kidder's The Soul of a New Machine ($400).

Then there are the heavy hitters, like an inscribed first edition of The Catcher in the Rye ($200,000). As the catalogue notes, it is "one of the true rarities of twentieth-century American literature." A near fine first edition of The Hobbit in a near fine dust jacket is further enhanced by its "brilliant custom full morocco box, with the front panel mimicking the frontispiece" ($50,000). A first edition of Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust, signed by the author, in the rare dust jacket ($38,500) comes just before its prettier sister, Helena--also a signed first edition and inscribed to fellow novelist J.F. Powers ($2,500).  

There are great galleys to be had in this catalogue, too, including an uncorrected proof of The World According to Garp, signed by the author ($2,250); a signed uncorrected British proof of Nadine Gordimer's The Conservationist ($1,250); and a collection of eleven signed, uncorrected proofs of Steven Millhauser's books ($3,500).

James Bond collectors should take note of an entire Fleming section. Plus, sets of fine bindings, some sci-fi, economics, and poetry. One last pick: how about an association copy of Daniel J. Boorstin's The Discoverers, signed to Caspar Weinberger and bearing his bookplate ($450) -- that's the Librarian of Congress to the Secretary of Defense. Pretty neat.

The catalogue can be downloaded here.

See also Raptis Rare Books in our Bright Young Things series.