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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Press Articles

Bibliomaniacs in Battersea

Published on 08 June 2018
“Palpable history”, says Sir David Attenborough. We are at the annual Antiquarian Booksellers Association Rare Books Fair, and he is describing the pleasure of holding an incunable – a book printed in the fifteenth century, in the first few decades after the printing press was invented.
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Press Articles

In the Press - How James Bond books have soared in value ahead of Spectre

Published on 18 Sept. 2015
The Telegraph: "Collectors' demand for rare, first-edition Ian Fleming books has spiked in recent weeks ahead of the release of the 24th James Bond film, Spectre. New Bond films never fail to spark fresh interest in Fleming's books and James Bond memorabilia. And the value of some of the most sought-after pieces has risen steadily. Rare-book seller Peter Harrington said Ian Fleming's books had been consistently strong sellers over the past 50 years, but became even more sought-after when new films were released."
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Press Articles

Peter Harrington Rare Books Featured on BBC News: Charles Dickens inscribed book offered for £275,000 sale

Published on 20 Aug. 2014
"A signed copy of Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities bearing a personal inscription to fellow author George Eliot has gone on sale for £275,000. Dated December 1859, the dedication expresses "high admiration and regard" for Eliot - real name Mary Ann Evans. It is being sold by rare book dealer Peter Harrington and is currently on show at its central London bookshop. If it reaches its asking price, the book will be among the most expensive Dickens works ever purchased." Read the whole story on BBC News.
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Press Articles

On the Blog - Provenance in Pictures: Tracking the Ownership of Three Early Printed Books

Published on 27 May 2014
"Last week a group of Melbourne bibliophiles were treated to a delightful talk by preeminent bookman Nicolas Barker, editor of The Book Collector since 1965, and whose bibliography records an impressive 1,000+ entries. Barker examined twenty or so works from Special Collections and talked to the salient points of each book. This post highlights three of the selected items that had multiple signs of ownership, all of which caught Barker's eye."
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Press Articles

Shakespeare’s Beehive - Rare Book Dealers George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler claim to have found Shakespeare's dictionary

Published on 28 April 2014
George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler, both ABAA members and ILAB affiliates, have now published a study about their extensive researches: In Shakespeare's Beehive: An Annotated Elizabethan Dictionary Comes to Light, they conclude that the annotations in their copy of Baret's Alvearie purchased on eBay belong to William Shakespeare. Using example after example, the authors demonstrate how closely the annotations and Baret's text are tied to Shakespeare's own work. The annotator, while not once leaving his name on a page, nevertheless leaves behind an astonishing personal trail of fingerprints. This great discovery hit the news last week. A press review:
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Middle Temple Crimes - British Booksellers Pop Up at Middle Temple on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day

When I first wrote about a World Rare Book Day on the blog only last September (see the post of that title) it was an idea still in the making. The charity tie-in with UNESCO was hoped for but not confirmed. Most of the events not even thought of. I am just absolutely thrilled that it has all come together so successfully. Huge congratulations to all concerned, especially my good friends Norbert Donhofer, Sally Burdon and Barbara van Benthem – you can see the full extent of what they have achieved on the official blog at http://ilabpopupbookfairs.blogspot.co.uk/ ... What a day it is going to be. It is all turning out just as imagined, kicking off with a Shakespeare first folio on display in Sydney. An antiquarian book plaza in Tokyo. Events as far afield as Cape Town and Moscow – Zurich, Vienna, Budapest, Milan, Munich, Paris, Antwerp, Copenhagen and elsewhere – books on a barge in Amsterdam, books at Haarlem Central railway station, a pop-up of pop-ups in Sweden, a fair at the Middle Temple Library here in London, and then across the Atlantic to New York, Chicago, Washington, Delaware and Seattle – and ending up, as good booksellers everywhere always do, in the pub. This one in Portland, Oregon.
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Booksellers

Speculating on the Book Trade - Rare Books as Investments?

The stock market appeals to the gambler in me. The first thing I do in the morning is switch on my computer and check stock prices. Unlike the price of rare books, they change every day. My earnings as a book dealer have always been either supplemented, or often superseded by, my earnings from the stock market. I can see a time when the book trade will be reduced to a handful of big businesses in London. There are not enough books to go round, and the present hierarchy of dealers operating at different levels will ultimately disappear. The internet has made the business a level playing field.
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Booksellers

Mitsuo Nitta

My father started in the book trade when he was fourteen years old, working for Ganshodo, in its day the Foyles of Japan. It was an enormous business in Jimbocho, the bookselling district of Tokyo, and had branches all over Japan and one in Korea and Taiwan. My father was educated at Ganshodo's own school, which enabled him to work part-time in the business before becoming a full-time employee at the age of seventeen. In 1932, when he was in his mid-twenties, my father left the firm to start Yushodo, his own bookshop. This way was a rather traditional way of independence at that time when starting from zero.
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Article

Taking a Gamble: On Being Wrong III

Here's something that has hung on the wall of every office I've had for the past five years (that four offices, in case you're counting). It's a single sheet; text and image on one side, text alone on the other. I have two more much like it. But I don't keep them up because I am interested in polo or Middle Eastern art. Or even because I like the images. They serve as a reminder.
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Article

Artists’ Children’s Books - Catalogue 10 by Michèle Noret

After a longer break Michèle Noret has now published her tenth catalogue of picture books – and this is right at the time like a christmas-gift! In 2004, after having made herself independent (before she worked together with Thierry Corcelle, where she gained great experience of illustrated children's books in general) she began to publish her catalogues, now mainly concentrated on artists' children's books of the 20th century, each catalogue like a little portable gallery! I do not (and one probably cannot) know how many collectors of this sort of illustrated books exist in the world, but I hope: many! Collecting these books is one of the most adventurous and inspiring book-activities: it does not only confront us with the beauty of book-art and illustration (which, of course, would also be a result of collecting older books!), it also motivates - through the obviously never ending great creativity of artists worldwide in the field of book-making - to believe in the future of the book (inspite of all complaints about its coming „death"). Collecting contemporary picture books (be they children's books or illustrated books in general) means to be aware of the great challenge that every day an hitherto unknown object of beauty might be published. There is no predestination of a repertory, there is only your own decision: are you fascinated or not!
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Article

The Life and Library of Victor Manheimer – A New Book by Sebastian Kötz

In the year 1927 a library of Baroque literature was auctioned in Munich at Karl & Faber. Nowadays, the catalogue of this auction belongs to the main reference works which are quoted by antiquarian booksellers, bibliographers and auctioneers when it comes to cataloguing literature of that period. Owner of the library was the German Jewish bibliophile Victor Manheimer.
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