Skip to main content


    Early Argument for a
    System of Checks and Balances

    John Adams. A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America. London: Printed for C. Dilly, 1787. First edition. Octavo. [ii], xxxi, [1, blank], [3 (sic)]-392 pages. Contemporary brown calf, rebacked to style in modern brown calf ruled in blind and gilt on the spine, preserving the original burgundy gilt morocco title label. Some wear, soiling to binding, marginal worm damage to first leaves (up to page viii), a repaired tear to page 105-106 (very minimal damage to text), small hole on page 189-190 lightly touching text. A wax sticker on rear pastedown, which has torn away a small corresponding hole on the rear free endpaper. Some light intermittent foxing in text. A very good copy of this important work, a classic of American political theory.

    Written while Adams was serving as envoy to the Court of St. James's in England. Later in 1787, and in the following year, Adams completed two additional volumes, though volume one can stand alone as an independent work. Howes A60. Sabin 233.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Books & Catalogs (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    15th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 824

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 30 days left to consign to the 2018 June 9 Featuring The Glen Swanson Collection of Indian War Relics, Including Little Big Horn Legends of the West Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 March 17 Western Americana & Texana Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2018 March 17 Western Americana & Texana Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $320,964