Lot 1 of 218:
John Adams defends U.S. Constitution 1788  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$840
$1,000 - $1,500

A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America

Adams, John


Printed for C. Dilly... and John Stockdale



Volume 3 only. [2], 528, [36] pp. (8vo) 21x12.5 cm (8¼x5"), period calf, spine gilt, morocco lettering piece.

The third and final volume of the first "complete edition" of American patriot and future President John Adams' important series of letters defending the Constitution from European criticisms of the doctrine of legislative balance. Adams compares the constitutions of the various states of the Union, and of the Union itself, with those of foreign countries and ancient cultures. Adams wrote these works while Minister to Britain, admiring their parliamentary system, but praising the U.S. Constitution as "admirably calculated to preserve the Union". Adams' Vice-Presidency began under Washington in 1789, directly following his return from Britain and this publication. On this copy, the volume number III on the title page has been neatly eradicated, someone at some time in the past perhaps attempting to conceal the fact that it was jus one volume of a larger set. Howes A60; Sabin 234.

Lot Amendments

Covers worn, front detached; minor foxing/darkening within, light stain to title-page and free endpaper, the latter leaf being detached; ink streak at top of title page covering an early signature; internally very good.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS.  For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting Brandon Olsen prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.