Rare first edition of Adam Smith's 1776 'Wealth of Nations' anchors Heritage Auctions' Rare Books event

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Rare first edition of Adam Smith's 1776 'Wealth of Nations' anchors Heritage Auctions' Rare Books event
The centerpiece of the very special James and Deborah Boyd Collection, could bring $80,000+.

NEW YORK, NY.- A rare and well-kept 1776 first edition of Adam Smith’s groundbreaking work of economics, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, described by Printing and the Mind of Man as “the first and greatest classic of modern economic thought,” the centerpiece of the very special James and Deborah Boyd Collection, could bring $80,000+ when it is offered in Heritage Auctions’ April 11 Rare Books Signature® Auction at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America) at 2 East 79th Street (at 5th Ave.).

The James and Deborah Boyd Collection, a stunning collection featuring more than 200 fine books in economics, military history, literature and science, is being offered as a stand-alone catalog in the April 11 auction.

“James and Deborah Boyd embarked on their book collecting journey as a labor of love and with two thoughts in mind: amass first edition books of note in the field of economics – with an emphasis on the history of thought – and to create a library focusing on the art of war specifically in the modern era,” said James Gannon, Director of Rare Books at Heritage. “James, a doctorate in economics, catalogued each volume in a comprehensive bibliography recording how he viewed it in the larger framework of the collection.”

Collectors of important works on science and sociology will find particular interest in a first edition of the most influential work of science of the 19th Century, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life(Estimate: $60,000+), a first edition of Sir Isaac Newton’s 1704 work, Opticks, or, A Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. Also Two Treatises of the Species and Magnitude of Curvilinear Figures(Estimate: $50,000+) and Thomas Robert Malthus’ 1798 historic work on population growth, An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society(Estimate: $40,000+).

Charles H. Grosvenor’s 1902 first edition The Book of the American Presidents (Estimate: $40,000+) will thrill collectors of American history, as it is replete with an autographed letter or signed document from each U.S. president, Washington through Hoover, while World History aficionados will delight at the inclusion of a first edition of T. E. Lawrence’s 1926 opus Seven Pillars of Wisdom. A Triumph(Estimate: $40,000+), an extremely scarce privately printed edition, one of only 170 complete copies, initialed by Lawrence himself.

Further highlights of The James and Deborah Boyd Collection include, but are not limited to:

Sir Isaac Newton, The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Translated into English by Andrew Motte. To which are added The Laws of the Moon's Motion, according to Gravity: London: Benjamin Motte, 1729. The rare first edition in English of Newton’s landmark, Principia. Estimate: $35,000+.

Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments: London: Printed for A. Millar, in the Strand; and A. Kincaid and J. Bell, in Edinburgh, 1759. First edition of the author's first book. Estimate: $12,500+.

David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an attempt to introduce the experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects. Vol. I. Of the Understanding [Vol. II. Of the Passions]: London: Printed for John Noon, 1739. First edition of one of the most important texts in western philosophy. Estimate: $8,500+.

Civil War Autograph Album, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, circa 1865: Original Civil War-era autograph album, containing approximately 50 original historic signatures, including those of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, George Gordon Meade, Phillip Henry Sheridan, William Tecumseh Sherman, and many more. Estimate: $8,500+.

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace: New York: William S. Gottsberger, 1886. First edition in English, first printing, with all title-pages dated 1886 and with the proper Gottsberger imprint on versos, in stunning condition. Estimate: $7,500+.

Charles Stedman, The History of the Origin, Progress, and Termination of the American War: London: Printed for the Author and Sold by J. Murray, et al., 1794. First edition, described by Sabin as “the best contemporary account of the Revolution written from the British side.” Estimate: $6,500+.

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