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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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Press Articles

In the Press - Collector and Bookseller: A Vanishing Relationship?

Published on 06 March 2014
"It's a cliché, but it's true: Things aren't the same as they used to be. Over the last twenty-five years, we've transformed the way that we buy books and build our collections, and most of the familiar bookshops, old and new, have disappeared. There aren't nearly as many local places to browse and buy books as there once were, but there are more books available to buy than ever, and great collections are still being formed. But collectors and booksellers have lost something along the way, and it's important to recognize that just as Frank Bruni's favorite restaurants offer something that he can't get anywhere else, this is what the book market, at its best, used to do, and still sometimes does." A thoughtful article about rare book dealers and collectors by Joel Silver for Fine Books & Collections. Read it!
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Women Who Read and Write Too Much

In 1844, French painter and caricaturist Honoré Daumierpublished Les Bas Bleus, a series of forty lithographs satirizing bluestockings, i.e. intellectual women. They turn traditional gender roles topsy-turvy and cramp a man's style. Instead of doing the laundry they hang men out to dry. Sacrebleu!
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Article

Paris 2016

The International Rare Book & Autograph Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris is one of the most prestigious fairs in the world, attracting nearly 200 exhibitors and over 20.000 visitors each year who enjoy the opportunity to browse, buy and admire more than 100.000 historical documents – rare books, manuscripts, autographs, prints and ephemera from all centuries – in the elegant glass-domed hall of the Grand Palais.
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Article

Don’t Panic! Douglas Adams: Turning Science Fiction into Comedy

It's a well-told story: a man is hitchhiking his way across Europe, has a few too many pints at the pub, lies down in a field, looks up at the stars, and thinks, "Hey, someone should write a guide to hitchhiking across space!" The British writer Douglas Adams (1952-2001) admitted that he'd told the story so many times, he wasn't completely sure which parts were true and which were embellished.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: "Every Boy Needs A Hero"

American boys, in the first half of the 20th Century, often found their heroes in print, tantalizingly displayed on the shelves of the corner drugstore. These heroes usually took two forms: the superhero, such as Superman, the Green Lantern, Spiderman, etc, who populated the comic book pages published, primarily, by DC and Marvel. Their other heroes were of the mundane, albeit of an idealized nature. Tom Swift. The Hardy Boys. Their ilk, the genre known as 20th Century Boys' Serial Fiction, shall be the subject of this short essay.
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Article

Collecting Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania)

The prominence of printed material relating to Van Diemen's Land – that is, Tasmania before 1855 – amongst desirable Australiana is not at all surprising given that it was the second of the Australian colonies to be established (some three decades before Port Phillip/Victoria or South Australia).
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Article

How to Read a Graveyard - The Guardian presents “The 10 best ... famous graves”

William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Bette Davis, John Keats, Sylvia Plath and, of course, Oscar Wilde whose grave in Paris is always covered with red lipstick kisses. The memorial - a naked birdman - was unveiled in 1914, but it had to be covered up because of complaints about the figure's exposed genitals. Oscar Wilde's grave on the Père Lachaise is a tourist attraction, as well as Jim Morrison's grave nearby.
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