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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

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Mysterious Waters

We know of course that there are earlier fictions with claims to priority as tales of detection – stories in Chinese, in Arabic, Voltaire's Memnon (1747 – better known as Zadig, ou, La Destinée), William Godwin's Things As They Are, or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794), the anonymous Richmond; or, Scenes in the Life of a Bow Street Officer (1827) and above all, of course, the three stories published in the USA by Edgar Allan Poe and featuring the amateur sleuth C. Auguste Dupin – The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841), The Mystery of Marie Rogêt (1842) and The Purloined Letter (1844). All honour to them, they make their own case, but deep in our English hearts we know there is only one proper sort of detective – the Man from the Yard – and it is only with these modest tales in Chambers that we reach the real thing – the first professional detective in English fiction.
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Young Dealers / Old Books - Blinded: On Being Wrong Part II

"Well," he said slightly embarrassed, "if you can't sell it you can always return it." He was joking a bit, but I also knew he meant it. That's how the book business is supposed to work. - Brian Cassidy on buying books on book fairs. How it should be, and how it should not be.
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Wide Media Coverage - Rare Booksellers send their books "on vacation"

By 6th November 2018, over 550 booksellers had sent their books "on vacation", pausing their listing on AbeBooks. The protest by rare booksellers worldwide resulted in an unprecedented echo in the media.
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The Art of American Book Cover - When did we leave the Victorian era?

Sarah Wyman Whitman was a gifted painter who was also a prominent hostess to Boston culture, married to a prosperous wool merchant. She was a student of the painter William Morris Hunt, and also studied in France with Hunt's teacher, Thomas Couture. She met Couture and Hunt's earlier student, the multi-talented American painter and illustrator John La Farge, who was responsible for the revival of stained glass in America, and apprenticed with him. Hunt had also studied with Millet, and brought the influence of the Barbizon School to La Farge and Whitman. The earliest example of her book cover design is on Verses by Susan Coolidge, published in Boston by Roberts Brothers in 1880. Whitman adapted Rossetti's concept of stylized Japanese medallions, creating what might be the first American "Aesthetic" binding.
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Four Prominent Book Sellers Join Forces to Open The Bookshop in Old New Castle

On May 1 2010, Oak Knoll Books, Between the Covers Rare Books, The Kelmscott Bookshop, and the Old Bookshop of Bordentown will open The Bookshop of Old New Castle. Located on the second floor of the historic Opera House at 308 Delaware Street, the shop will sell books on all subjects from each individual store's inventory.
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In Memorian: Michael R. Thompson, Los Angeles

On Sunday, 25th August 2018, friends and colleagues gathered at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles, to celebrate the life of Michael R. Thompson. A tribute by the library's Head Librarian Emeritus, Mr. Bruce Whiteman is published here with the permission of the author. Mr Thompson will be missed by many of his colleagues in the rare book trade.
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