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ILAB News 39 | | ILAB News 39

ILAB News 39

Published on 19 Sept. 2014

De Caro and the Girolamini Thefts

ILAB President Norbert Donhofer and ALAI President Fabrizio Govi will meet with the chief prosecutor in Naples

Dear Fellow Presidents and Affiliates,

It's my pleasure to be able to report to you that ILAB's "Note of Protest" has caused a remarkable reaction. Fabrizio Govi, the President of ALAI, and I have been invited to meet with the chief prosecutor in the Girolamini-Affair, Dssa Antonella Serio, on September 23rd, in Naples. Both of us, Fabrizio and myself, believe this to be a progress as this is the first substantial reaction from the Italian authorities since May 2012.

We will, of course, inform you about our talks and/or results of our talks soon afterwards.

Kind regards,

Norbert Donhofer (President of ILAB)

De Caro and the Girolamini Thefts

List of books withdrawn from Auction 59 at Zisska & Schauer in May 2012

Following ILAB's strategy to bringing as much light as possible in the Girolamini thefts, the ILAB Committee had asked the Munich based auction house Zisska & Lacher (formerly Zisska & Schauer) to provide us with a list of the books which had been confiscated or withdrawn from their auction No 59 in May of 2012 (the books from the Girolamini library). ILAB is very grateful that the auction house has provided such a list which is now available as a pdf file on the ILAB website and on

The list can be searched here.


CABS - or seeing the book trade with clarity

"A week at the Colorado Rare Book Seminar is a week like no other I know. It is a highly practical week, it is an inspiring week and it is one of those weeks when, at least metaphorically, you feel you can see for miles. I felt as though I was standing, together with everyone else who attended, on a hill above the plain of bookselling. This hill on which we stood together had a view so good that the trade was fully revealed and clarified. The strengths and weaknesses of the trade were shown with coherence something that is very difficult, if not impossible to achieve in the day to day, month to month rush of the ordinary bookselling business."

ILAB Committee Member and CABS Faculty Member Sally Burdon attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar last August. Read her great report!

Three Men in a Boat encounter Russian pirates

This year is the 125th anniversary of the first appearance of Three Men in a Boat, published by J. W. Arrowsmith in Bristol (who, three years later, was to bring out that other classic comic novel, George and Weedon Grossmith's The Diary of a Nobody). Although slated by some critics at the time, the book sold in huge numbers, leading Arrowsmith to comment: ‘I pay Jerome so much in royalties, I cannot imagine what becomes of all the copies of that book I issue. I often think the public must eat them.' It has never been out of print since.

Simon Beattie shows us rare and unauthorized edtions from Russia.

Charles Dickens and the impenitent prostitute

Charles Dickens, in many ways, stands for Victorianism; indeed it's impossible to think of the era without him, and he defined the period in many ways. Yet we cannot assume that Dickens represents his contemporaries in all things. His own upbringing shaped his sense of social justice in ways that did not always reflect the common views of the era. One such topic on which Dickens thought differently than his contemporaries was that of prostitution. Dickens firmly believed that women could (and should want to) reform.

"Not everyone agreed", Vic Zoschak writes in his article, "including a few women who were prostitutes themselves!"

Collector Spotlight - acquiring an authoritative Stephen King collection

David A. Williamson began collecting Stephen King novels and memorabilia in the 1980s and has amassed a collection that ranks as one of the largest in the world. In 2009, he bought Betts Books and one of his greatest joys is helping other King collectors find that "special" collectible for their own collections. He says: "My advice to a new collector would be: (1) do your homework; know exactly what you are buying; (2) have a collecting budget for yourself and try very hard to remain within your budget; (3) if you are in doubt about a purchase, ask a professional like myself for an opinion. ...Collecting is a slippery slope. One must always try to think rationally about a potential purchase. I often see "collecting passion" overcome rationale thought whereby a collector overpays for a particular item because they either want it so badly or they fear they will not ever get the opportunity to find the same item again."

David A. Williamson has shared his collecting experience with Books Tell You Why in an interview published in Part 1 and Part 2 on the ILAB website.

Antiquarian Book Fairs - Why do I have to play Lotto?

On her brilliant new blog Ines Bellin of A Venue of Art Ltd. writes about rare books, beautiful manuscripts, recent catalogues, antiquarian book fairs and other amazing places for rare book dealers and collectors. In one of her recent articles she looks back to the first antiquarian book fair of the year 2014. The Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair has always something special: a lottery.

"First we need to understand the lottery itself. The rules are that any title published in the general fair catalogue must remain available for purchase until 45 minutes after the opening of the fair. After that, if there are more than one interested parties in an item, then one can fill in a lottery card with their name, the book title and the exhibitor's details."

And then: let the games begin ...

Next fairs:

35th Amsterdam Antiquarian Book, Map and Print Fair, October 3-4, 2014

Passenger Terminal, Amsterdam (Netherlands), organized by the Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren, NVvA.

Click here for more information:

Scandinavian Antiquarian Book Fair 2014, November 6-8, 2014

Round Tower, Copenhagen (Denmark), organized by Den Danske Antikvarboghandlerforening, ABF.

Click here for more information:

Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair, November 7-9, 2014

Baillie Court, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (Canada), organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada, ABAC.

Click here for more information:

24th Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair, November 7-8, 2014

Old Chelsea Town Hall, London (UK), organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, ABA.

Click here for more information:

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