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"THE OLDEST FUNCTIONING WRITTEN CONSTITUTION IN THE WORLD"

(ADAMS, John). Constitution or Frame of Government… Massachusetts-Bay. Boston, 1780.

First edition of the landmark 1780 Massachusetts Constitution, "one of the great, enduring documents of the American Revolution." Chiefly authored by Founding Father John Adams, this "ideal of a 'perfect constitution'" (Wood) notably contains the Massachusetts' constitutional convention's revision of his initial wording—that all men are "born equally free and independent"—to "All men are born free and equal," reflecting Jefferson's timeless phrase in the Declaration. Handsomely housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $14,500.

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"THE MAGNA CARTA OF THE UNITED STATES"

(CONSTITUTION). Constitutions of the Several Independent States. Philadelphia Printed: London Reprinted, 1782.

First English edition of the collected constitutions of the newly independent American states, issued only one year after the first American edition of 200 copies, the first collected Constitutions of the Several States to contain the constitutions of the 13 original states, the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution—"the oldest functioning written constitution in the world"—the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and key treaties, handsomely bound. $6200.

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“SO NEAR TO PERFECTION… I THINK IT WILL ASTONISH OUR ENEMIES”

(AMERICAN CONSTITUTION). Plan of the New Constitution for the United States of America. London, 1792.

1792 British printing of Plan of the New Constitution for the United States, affirming the “rise of a new Empire in the World,” handsomely housed in a custom half morocco folding case. $4200.

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"THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO CREATE A WRITTEN CONSTITUTION"

LOCKE, John. Collection of Several Pieces. London, 1720.

First edition of this important posthumous collection, with the historic "first attempt to create a written constitution" (Streeter II) in Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, "here first 'printed from Mr. Locke's copy, wherein are several amendments made with his own hand'" (Pforzheimer 596). Also containing the first publication of four key essays, including Locke's Elements of Natural Philosophy, with full-page engraving of the Solar System, in contemporary paneled calf. $4200.

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VERY SCARCE EARLY ENGLISH PRINTING OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

(CONSTITUTION) URBAN, Sylvanus. Gentleman's Magazine. Volume LVII, Number 5 and Number 6. London, 1787. Two volumes.

First edition of two 1787 issues of England’s influential Gentleman’s Magazine for November and December, featuring one of the earliest English printings of the American Constitution, also containing a rich array of articles on science, government, religion, economics and art, along with four copper-engraved plates (one folding). $3500.

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"THE BEST DEFENSE OF THE POLITICAL BALANCE OF THREE POWERS THAT WAS EVER WRITTEN” (JOHN ADAMS)

DE LOLME, J. L. Constitution of England. London, 1784.

1784 edition in English of De Lolme's important constitutional work, the preferred "corrected and enlarged" edition with his final revisions, a key influence on The Federalist Papers and intensely followed by John Adams in authoring his own Defense of the Constitutions (1787)—his papers containing "closely copied verbatim notes from the 1784 edition" (Appleby)—the power of "the executive for Adams, as for De Lolme and for Lincoln, was the mainstay of the entire mechanism" (Wood), scarce in contemporary calf. $750.

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"THE BEST DEFENSE OF THE POLITICAL BALANCE OF THREE POWERS THAT WAS EVER WRITTEN” (JOHN ADAMS)

DE LOLME, J. L. Constitution of England. London, 1784.

1784 edition in English of De Lolme's important constitutional work, the preferred "corrected and enlarged" edition with his final revisions, a key influence on The Federalist Papers and intensely followed by John Adams in authoring his own Defense of the Constitutions (1787)—his papers containing "closely copied verbatim notes from the 1784 edition" (Appleby)—the power of "the executive for Adams, as for De Lolme and for Lincoln, was the mainstay of the entire mechanism" (Wood), scarce in contemporary calf. $750.

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