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Rosenbach Museum & Library
One of the glories of Philadelphia is the Rosenbach Museum & Library. Attractively housed in an 1860s townhouse, it contains treasures acquired by the Rosenbach Brothers, antique dealers. The furniture is mainly 18th century English — Chippendale, Adam, Hepplewhite and Sheraton. One of its most valuable objects is an olive wood box with silver gilt mounts made for Charles II. The silver by Paul Storr, Hester Bateman and others is masterly. There are more than a 1000 portrait miniatures, including one of James I of England. You'll see the only known portrait of Cervantes as a young man and a self-portrait of Major Andre done shortly before his execution. It is impossible to see all 30,000 rare books and nearly 100,00 pieces of manuscript material, but there are always special exhibits. Some highlights include letters of Cortez, Pizarro and De Soto, copies of the first three extant books printed in the Western hemisphere, the Bay Psalm Book, the first U.S. book (printed 1640); and the only known copy of the first issue (for 1733) of Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanack."