Short List of Items for Firsts London

I am excited to share with you a list of some of the items I will be showing in London at the 2023 “Firsts London” Rare Book Fair, at the Saatchi Gallery, May 18-21.

Included are a few highlights from each of the subject areas we are showing: Indigenous, Art, A.A., Literature, Canadiana, and Etcetera.

Click the link to read the PDF, or scroll down to read online. London 2023 Catalogue


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A Short-List



Ojibwe Grammar & Dictionary

Baraga, R. R., Bishop [Frederick] [1797-1868] / Father Alber Lacombe. A Theoretical and Practical Grammar of the Otchipwe Language /with/ A Dictionary of the Otchipwe Language, Explained in English, Part I: English-Otchipwe [Two titles. Issued together; bound together].

Montreal: Beauchemin & Valois, 1878. Second edition; New Edition. pp. xi, 422; 301. 8vo. 1/4 leather over marbled boards. Raised bands and gilt lettering to spine. Marbled endpapers. Spine slant, edges worn, previous owner’s homemade bookplate and signature. Leather Bound.

With tipped-in NOTICE explaining that these two titles are offered together by the publishers, in June 1879, with Part II of the Dictionary expected to go to publication the following winter. This edition was produced with the “generous aid” of the Canadian government “to be of use to our Missionaries, especially those in Manitoba and Kiwatin, who are asking earnestly for those books, the first edition of which is completely out of print”. Sabin 3247, 3248. Pilling Algonquian p. 27, 28. TPL 3327.  (#083089)                   SOLD


Early novel by an Indigenous American

Pokagon, Chief Simon. O-gî-mäw-kwe Mit-i-gwä-kî (Queen of the Woods) Also Brief Sketch of the Algaic Language.

Hartford, Michigan: C. H. Engle, 1899. First edition. pp. viii, 255. 8vo. Green cloth with black lettering and decoration to spine and front board. Frontispiece portrait photograph, a few b&w plates. Edgewear, a few spots, ink ownership names to front endpaper (one dated Christmas 1900), internally clean and unmarked, binding sound; very good. Hardcover.

With publisher’s notice on pink paper before the dedication page. “Simon Pokagon, the son of tribal patriarch Leopold Pokagon, was a talented writer, advocate for the Pokagon Potawatomi community, and tireless self-promoter. In 1899, shorty after his death, Pokagon”s novel Ogimawkwe Mitigwaki (Queen of the Woods)-only the second ever published by an American Indian-appeared. It was intended to be a testimonial to the traditions, stability, and continuity of the Potawatomi in a rapidly changing world. Read today, Queen of the Woods is evidence of the author”s desire to mark the cultural, political, and social landscapes with a memorial to the past” – OCLC 2960139.  (#083001)                £1200.00


Micmac Gospel of St Matthew

Rand, Silas Tertius. The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, in the Micmac Language.

Charlottetown: T. Haszard, 1853. pp. 118. 12mo. Leather spine with gilt lettering, over patterned paper-covered boards. Minor edgewear, bookplate and ink name, some foxing. Hardcover.

Text in Micmac, phoenetic characters. The first book of the Bible, printed in Micmac. Pilling Algonquian, 419. Darlow & Moule 6781. Sabin 67756.  (#083897)                          SOLD


Cree Common Prayer

Hunter, James and John Alexander Mackay. Ayamiawiw masinahikatow: The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church According to the Use of the Church of England in Canada. Translated into the language of the Cree Indians.

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1917. pp. viii, 299. 12mo. Bound in pebbled black leather, with gilt lettering to spine. Page edges gilt, ribbon page marker. Lightest edgewear: a beautiful copy. Leather Bound.

Peel 4314. “In the Eastern Swampy Cree dialect of Cree. Title in English and Cree syllabics; text entirely in Cree. Pages 1-65 and 172-217 in syllabics with text in Roman characters on facing pages; rest of text only in Cree syllabics. Includes tables and key to orthography.” Inscribed: “A memento of Christmas 1919 at the Mackay Indian Boarding School”, and with ALS from Mackay to “My dear Miss Phillips”, thanking her for a donation to the school.  (#079263)            SOLD




 Avant Garde Polish Art

Robakowski, Józef. PST! czyli Sygna Nowej Sztuki or Signs of New Art 1981-1984.

Waszawa: Akademia Ruchu, 1989. 4to. Paperback.

Documents underground art activities in Poland: “Józef Robakowski is one of the most famous Polish artists and filmmakers associated with the neo-avant-garde movement of the 1960s and 1970s. As founder and initiator of various independent film groups and art associations, Robakowski was extremely active in developing a strong independent film scene in Poland.” –   (#083063)                         £275.00


Warhol, signed, twice.

Warhol, Andy; Pat Hackett. Popism The Warhol ’60s.

New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980. ISBN: 9780151730957. pp. 310. 8vo. Black cloth spine with blue lettering. Duotone photographic plates. Lightest shelfwear, author’s signature to ffep. Dustjacket shows author’s signature above title, some offsetting to front flap from ffep signature; near fine in near fine dustjacket. Hardcover.

SIGNED, twice, by Warhol: on jacket and front free endpaper, in Sharpie. From foreword: This is my personal view of the Pop phenomenon in New York in the 1960s. In writing it, Pat Hackett and I have reconstructed the decade, starting in ’60 when I began to paint my first Pop canvases. It’s a look back at what life was like then for my friends and me – at the paintings, movies, fashions, and music, at the superstars and the relationships that made up the scene at our Manhattan loft, the place known as the Factory – Andy Warhol.”  (#083640)           SOLD


With Jasper Johns lithograph

[MOMA]. Technics and Creativity II Gemini G. E. L.

New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1971. ISBN: 0870706152. pp. 108. 4to. Glossy paperback crisp and lovely, but for a couple of light smudges to the cover; in a vinyl clamshell box, with a two-color offset lithograph of Jasper Johns’ “Target 1970”, the three watercolour pads, foam insert, and a promotional leaflet about the item. Paintbrush not included. Box shows minor scuffing, the edges don’t quite line up, and there’s a 1-cm split along one of the top edges. Paperback.

With an essay by Riva Castleman. A publication produced in conjunction with the MOMA exhibition of the same name; the catalogue includes 364 illustrations (20 in color).  (#083088)                        £275.00


Lynd Ward

Ward, Lynd. Prelude to a Million Years A Book of Wood Engravings.

New York: Equinox, 1933. Limited edition. 8vo. Patterned black boards, with metallic spine; hand-sewn, with black ties intact. Some evidence of moisture exposure: front board decoration has faded to naught and has become a bit pulpy in places, and some pages show a shallow tide mark along the edge. Spine ends worn, front board a bit bowed with loss to top corner, smudge to read board, eight ink names to first blank page, a few occasional tiny spots to contents. Hardcover.

This is copy number 720 of 920 copies printed in this limited edition, with Lynd Ward’s signature. A wordless story hauntingly articulated through the magic of Ward’s iconic woodcuts.

(#083245)                        £600.00




 First edition, 13th printing

Wilson, Bill [Alcoholics Anonymous].

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism.

New York: Works Publishing Inc., 1950. 13th printing. pp. viii, 400. 8vo. Navy cloth with gilt lettering to spine. Rear board bumped at bottom edge, surface creasing to cloth over spine, internally clean and crisp. Dustjacket shows a one-inch open tear to top edge of front panel, two closed tears, small chips to edges, some general rubbing and age-toning. Hardcover.

13th printing of the first edition, in original dustjacket.  (#083215)                 £1200.00


[Wilson, Bill; Alcoholics Anonymous]. A. A. Alcoholics Anonymous.

New York: The Alcoholic Foundation, 1943. pp. 28. Age-toned around edges, cup ring to cover, corners slightly curled, a few spots here and there. Stapled Wraps.

Early promotional pamphlet. With the twelve steps listed on page 25, and a Review by Harry Emerson Fosdick.

(#083585)                        SOLD


[Members of Alcoholics Anonymous of Akron, Ohio, “A. A. Group #1”]. A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous [The Akron Manual].

Fifth revised edition. pp. 29. 19 x 9 cm. Pale blue-green cover with brown lettering to cover, and Union label at bottom. Cover sunned with a few spots, staples a bit corroded, contents clean and crisp and complete, with coupons to mail in for additional copies included at the end. Stapled Wraps.

Rare. Ends with a summary of the Twelve Steps, and a list of suggested reading.  (#074104)                         SOLD



 First edition

Waugh, Evelyn. Brideshead Revisited.

London: Chapman & Hall, 1945. First edition. 8vo. Publisher’s rose-colored cloth, gilt lettering to spine. Cream dust jacket printed in dove grey and red. Slight curve to front board, rubbing to edges, corners slightly curled-in, very light spots to endpapers and page edges, internally unmarked. Unrestored jacket shows price of 10s. 6d. net., age-darkened spine, small nicks to edges, and some general rubbing/soiling. A lovely copy. Hardcover.

First commercially sold issue, with catalog number “5010/4” on copyright page, in an un-restored jacket.  (#082443)                     SOLD


Signed by Bukowski

Bukowski, Charles. Factotum.

London: W. H. Allen, 1981. ISBN: 9780491028059. pp. 205. 8vo. Bound in black cloth with gilt lettering to spine. Light edgewear. Dustjacket showing light shelfwear, protected with plastic brodart sleeve; contents clean and bright. Hardcover.

SIGNED by Bukowski. First British Edition.  (#079368)                      £1600.00


First edition Bronte

Bell, Currer [Charlotte Bronte]. Shirley. A Tale [Three Volumes]

London: Smith, Elder a nd Co., 1849. First edition. pp. 303; 308; 320. Bound without half-titles, and Vol. I without the ads; but including the ads at the end of Vol. III. 8vo. 1/2 vellum over waxed-paper-covered boards; bound by Holder & Son, Kirkdale, Sydenham, with label to front pastedowns. Gilt lettering to spines. Bookplate to front pastedowns, some spotting (wax drips, fingerprints, and the like, occasionally and throughout), creases from dog earing, a few pencil marks, expected age-toning. The contents show heavier use than the bindings, suggesting to me that the books were voraciously read at perhaps indiscriminate times (like breakfast), and the story loved well enough to deserve a lovely (re-)binding, ca. 1900. Vellum.

With bookseller’s catalogue description of a like set, taped to front pastedown of Vol. I.  (#083447)                         £1200.00


Signed limited edition

Ford, Ford Madox. The Good Soldier A Tale of Passion.

New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1927. Limited edition. 8vo. Periwinkle-blue spine over lime green boards. Green lettering to spine, publisher’s green topstain. Light scuffs to spine ends, spine a trifle darkened; remarkably crisp. In glassine jacket (quite tattered), and with the patterned-paper covered slipcase with pink title label (a bit grubby and showing some chipping around opening edge). Hardcover.

Numbered 152 of 300 numbered copies, printed on Rag-laid, deckle edged paper. SIGNED by author on front free endpaper.  (#082955)                     £1400.00


First edition, 8th printing

Herbert, Frank. Dune.

Radnor, PA: Chilton Book Company, 1965. 8th printing. ISBN: 9780801950773. pp. 412. 8vo (9″ tall, NOT the book club ed.). Red boards with white lettering to spine. Minor scuffing to edges, clean, unmarked, binding sound; very good, in very good dust jacket showing a price-clipped front flap, a few light scuffs at extremities, and a short closed tear to bottom edge of front panel. Hardcover.

With the mis-spelled chapter title.  (#084131)                          £1200.00



 Signed, limited edition Atwood

Atwood, Margaret. The Circle Game.

Toronto: House of Anansi, 1967. pp. 80. 8vo. Black cloth with white lettering and spiral-dot decoration. Minor shelfwear, half-title shows offsetting from ffep. Clean and unmarked. Lacks slipcase. Hardcover.

First Anansi printing, following the Contact Press first of 1966. SIGNED and numbered 58/100, on half-title page.  (#084047)                          SOLD


Rare in hardcover!

Ondaatje, Michael. Rat Jelly.

Toronto: Coach House Press, 1973. ISBN: 9780889101074. pp. 71. 8vo. Blue boards with gilt lettering to spine. Canada Council bookplate to front free endpaper. Spotting to top page edge, minor shelfwear; very good, in very good dustjacket showing quarter-sized scuff to rear panel, overall light rubbing, and inked numeral to front flap. Hardcover.

Rare in hardcover. Ondaatje’s fourth book of poetry.  (#083495)                   SOLD


First edition

Moodie, Susanna. Roughing it in the Bush, or, Life in Canada / 2 volumes.

London: Richard Bentley, 1852. First edition. pp. xiii, 293, ads; 294, ads. 8vo. Newer green cloth bindings with off-white spine labels showing hand-lettering (a bit chipped at edges). Spines slanted, minor edgewear, bumped at bottom corners. A couple of signatures of Vol. I standing proud (sewing a trifle loose), front endpaper of Vol. 2 showing some soiling, contents show dogearing and the occasional spot, but generally unmarked, and bindings perfectly serviceable. Hardcover.

Sabin 50306. “The glowing narrative of personal incident and suffering which she gives in the present work, will no doubt attract general attention. It would be difficult to point out delineations of fortitude under privation, more interesting or more pathetic than those contained in her second volume.” -from the preliminary “Advertisement”.  (#082634)                      £400.00


Early Canadian Female Novelist 

Flewellyn, Mrs. [Julia Colliton]. Hill-Crest.

Toronto: Cooper & Co., 1894. First edition. p. 269. 8vo. Tan buckram with gilt lettering. Portrait frontispiece. Spine slant, edges scuffed and corners curled, spotting to binding, spine toned, inkwell blotch to front endpapers, ink name (dated Xmas 1896) to early page, spotting and fingerprints throughout. A voraciously read, but still serviceable copy of the first edition of a very scarce book by a 19th century female Canadian fiction writer. Hardcover.

Watters p. 289. Flewellyn “write two novels and a play that support her causes of Sabbath observance and temperance”, this title being the first of the three. (-Canada’s Early Women Writers project website).  (#083167)                        £150.00


First and finest edition

Mackenzie, Alexander. Voyages From Montreal, on the River St. Laurence, Through the Continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans; in the Years 1789 and 1793. With a Preliminary Account of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the Fur Trade of That Country.

London: T. Cadell, Jun. & W. Davies, 1801. First edition. 4to. 20th century fine leather binding. Folding maps with expert repairs.

Wagner-Camp notes that ‘Mackenzie discovered the river that now bears his name, and descended it to the Arctic Ocean in 1789. In 1793, he became the first European to cross the North American continent north of Mexico’. Peel 55: “After the preface there follow 132 pages on the history of the fur trade in the North West. Some authorities think this was written by his cousin, Roderick MacKenzie. According to the Dictionary of National Biography , Voyages , 1801, was compiled by William Combe from Mackenzie’s notes. Includes vocabularies of the Knisteneaux, Algonquin, Chepewyan, Nagailer, and Atnah Indian languages.” Sabin 43414 calls this the “first and finest edition”.  (#079699)                     £4800.00



 Grotius 1670, Blaeu

Grotii, Hvgonis [Hugo Grotius]. De Ivre Belli Ac Pacis Libri Tres /with/ Commentatio in Epistolam Pavli Apostoli ad Philemonem /and/ De Mari Libero In Quibus Jus Naturae & Gentium, Item Juris Publici Praecipua Explicantur.

Amstelaedami [Amsterdam]: Joannem Blaev [Johann Blaeu], 1670. Editio Nova cum Annotatis. pp. viii, 620, + Index ; 21; 28 + conts. list. 8vo. Bound in brown leather with gilt lettering and decorations, and 5 raised bands, to spine. Red speckling to page edges. Vignette title, title page in red and black, engraved portrait, Formerly the property of Queen’s College Library, Kingston, as shown by a bookplate to front pastedown and blind stamps to ffep and title page. Loss to spine ends, joints splitting, leather dry with surface cracking over spine, pink ink letters to front pastedown, gift inscription to ffep (dated 1885), ink inscriptions to title page, occasional spotting throughout. Binding still tight and sound, and contents very clean. Leather Bound.

Text in Latin, with some Greek. Includes a commentary by Grotius on Paul the Apostle’s Epistle to Philemon, as well as Grotius’ dissertation on free access to the ocean, ‘De Mari Libero’.  (#083641)                      £725.00


Lawrence, T. E.; Jeremy Wilson, preface; Don Stewart, foreword.

An Invitation to British Columbia A letter from T. E. Lawrence to Martin A. Grainger.

Vancouver: Heavenly Monkey, 2005. Slim 8vo. Bound in limp parchment wraps with lettering to spine, and black block letters “T.E.L / M.A.G” to cover. Woocut frontispiece by George Kuthan; fold-out facsimile of letter on parchment. Set by hand in Garamont, printed on HM Text paper with a Washington handpress. Covers slightly splayed, no other detectable flaws; near fine. Paperback.

No. 49 of fifty numbered copies. signed by Wilson and Stewart.  (#079325)                    £675.00


Princess Louise’s Copy

Haultain, Arnold. The Mystery of Golf A briefe Account of Games in generall: their Origine; Antiquitie; & Rampancie: and of the game ycleped Golfe in particular: its Uniqueness; its Curiousness; & its Difficultie; its anatomical, philosophicall, and moral Properties; together with diverse Conceipts on other Matters to it appertaining.

Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, at the Riverside Press, 1908. Limited edition. pp. vi, 151. Slim 8vo. Gilt-lettered teal cloth spine over decorated paper boards in a teal and red floral pattern.  Wear to edges (worn through at corners), boards slightly grubby, pink smudge to rear board, small moisture stain to foredge of first few pages, contents otherwise clean and unmarked, binding sound. Hardcover.

Copy 121 of 440. Rubber stamp to front pastedown: “Duchess of Connaught Memorial Hostel”, London; with “Presented by H.R.H. The Princess Louise Duchess of Argyll. Aug 1924” in ink.  (#068636)                          £1200.00


Fold-out star charts

Rosser, W. H. [William Henry].

The Stars How to Know Them, and How to Use Them; with Copious Astronomical Definitions, and numerous problems and tables: illustrated with diagrams, and four large maps of the stars.

London: James Imray and Son, 1866. pp. viii, 59 + four fold-out star charts: Northern Constellations, from the Pole to Declination 40 degrees N.; Southern Constellations from the Pole to Declination 40 degrees South; Constellations from Declination 40 degrees N. to 40 degrees S., and showing the Northern Signs of the Zodiac; Constellations from Declination 40 degrees N. to 40 degrees S., and showing the Southern Signs of the Zodiac. The charts show the stars on a black background. Slim 8vo. Bound in newer black cloth with original gilt-lettered teal cover laid on to front board. Spine lettered in gilt. With figures in-text, tables and charts at rear. Binding sound, internally clean and unmarked, complete. Hardcover.

  1. H. Rosser wrote a handful of books about navigation, nautical astronomy, and meteorology. This title is scarce! A (36 pg) reprint of this book sold at auction in 1907; no other auction has recorded a sale; there is only one extant copy noted in Worldcat, located at The British Library. OCLC 1050471737. (#068542)                       £600.00


An Act for the Better Suppressing of Theft Upon the Borders of England and Scotland, and for Discovery of High-way Men and other Felons.

At the Parliament begun at Westminster the 17th day of September, An. Dom. 1656. London: Printed by Hen: Hills and John Field, printers to His Highness the Lord Protector, 1657. First edition. pp. 9. Wraps.

Title page with ruled border. ESTC 30671. Contains instructions for Justices of the Peace to apprehend people suspected of crimes along the English-Scottish border, and jail them or send them to American plantations.  (#082004)                       £200.00