24 June 2009
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
ROOSEVELT, Franklin D. The Inaugural Address of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Thirty-Second President of the United States. [New York]: n.p. [Privately printed for the friends of The Harbor Press], March 1933. 8o, paper wrappers (offset on upper cover and to pp.12-13).
FIRST EDITION, THIRD STATE, 150 COPIES. BOLDLY SIGNED AT END ("FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT"). "The people of the United States...have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift, I take it..." The Harbor Press edition of FDR's First Inaugural was taken from a stenographic transcript and thus incorporated the many last-minute changes Roosevelt made to his text. It "is therefore the first appearance in book form of the First Inaugural as listeners actually heard it delivered" (Halter, p.107). The elegant design of this publication is characteristic of the work of John S. Fass (1890-1973), who co-founded the Harbor Press with Roland Wood (1896-1980) in 1925. FDR greatly admired the quality of their work, and over the course of the 1930s they published several Limited Edition Club versions of English and American classics. Copies of any of the three states of the Harbor Press edition are exceptionally rare (10 copies bound in scarlet calfskin were issued to FDR and his closest advisors, followed by 30 unnumbered copies in green cloth, and the 150 in gray wrappers). ONLY ONE COPY HAS APPEARED AT AUCTION SINCE 1933, (Parke-Bernet, 1 March 1948, lot 481). RARE. Halter T548.
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