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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Renaissance

Rare Books - When is an inscription not an inscription?

Published on 14 Oct. 2014
Two folks identified the key elements of this month's crocodile mystery in their comments: Misha Teramura correctly noted that the inscription in the middle of the page - "pp. 184-190 refer to the progress of religion westward toward America" - refers to George Herbert's final poem from The Temple, "The Church Militant." And David Shaw noted that the other inscriptions - "8652″ on the top left and "A176″ on the bottom right - look to be an accession number and a shelf mark. But let's back up for one moment to understand why I find these marks interesting. The book in question is a first edition of George Herbert's The Temple (STC 13183). It's an interesting work, and a popular one in the 17th century. And as you can see from the notations on the front pastedown and the recto of the first free flyleaf, it's a work that was prized by later collectors.This particular copy was owned by Sir Leicester Harmsworth before it came into the Folger Shakespeare Library collection, and its value is shown in part by the blue goatskin binding signed on the bottom turn-in by Riviere and Son. Its value is more obviously indicated by the inscription on the pastedown, "a copy sold in the Terry sale in Dec 1935 for $3600."
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Renaissance

The Giunti of Florence. A Renaissance Printing and Publishing Family

Published on 24 Oct. 2012
This ambitious project explores the history and output of the Giunti Press in Florence, covering the firm from its beginnings in 1497 to its end in 1625, and providing descriptions of each Giunti book published with extensive indication of the libraries holding copies of each edition. In doing so, it describes the literature and history of Florence in the late Renaissance as well as the development of the Italian language within this important period of time.
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Renaissance

The Library of Symbolism - A Glossary and Bibliography of Renaissance Symbolic Literature

Published on 09 Nov. 2010
"For 2,000 years, from the time of Plato in 400 BC until the start of the modern era of empirical science in approximately 1600 AD, the culture of Western Europe was dominated by a single mode of expression: the symbol. The symbol was the universal medium for the approach to God, for the investigation of the natural world, for the interpretation of the Scriptures and for an understanding of and a guide to proper moral conduct. Towards the end of the period, enabled by the invention of printing by movable type, this obsession was translated into a vast literature of symbolism of which some eighty distinct species were identified by contemporary writers and theorists." The Renaissance symbolism refers to a time in which human thinking and the human view of the World changed radically. On the one hand Renaissance symbolism is one of the most interesting research fields for scholars. On the other hand it is one of the most fascinating fields of bibliophily at the very beginning of the history of printing.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

New Work On Irish Painter, Jack Yeats

"It was not easy to be Jack Butler Yeats. Beset with the dual burden of identity and fame, he wisely distanced himself from most of the Yeatses and proved more a Pollexfen (his mother's line) than a Yeats. In the second half of his career (circa 1920s-1950s), when he moved from commercial art to fine art, he proved more a European painter than an Irish one ..."
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Article

The Book Illustrations Of Humphrey Bogart's Mother

In 1898, Baby's Record was published by Frederick A. Stokes Co. of New York. Issued in three simultaneous editions featuring one, six, or twelve color illustrations, the book was by Maud Humphrey, who, in the same year, married Dr. Belmont De Forest Bogart. A year later, on Christmas Day, she bore a son. The couple named him Humphrey.
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Article

Hermann Hesse online - First Editions, Autographs Letters, Illustrated Books

Hesse's personal library and his literary remains were divided between the Marbach Archives (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach) and the Swiss National Library (Berne) in 1964. Links to databases, bibliographies and museums.
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Article

Robert Wright, President of ABAC on bookselling in Canada

After the completely unexpected death of Michael Park earlier this year, who had served as ABAC President since November of 2015, Robert Wright of Robert Wright Books has taken on the role of Interim President. Mr. Wright spoke to us about bookselling in his home country and where the trade is going.
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Article

The Bancroft Library, Berkeley in partnership with the 50th California Antiquarian Book Fair 2017

This year's California Antiquarian Book Fair will include a special exhibit from The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, which has a long history of collecting the literary fiction of California.
We spoke to librarian and curator of the special exhibit, Randal S. Brandt about the library and its collections and why the special exhibit was chosen for this year's California fair.
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Article

Rubens in Stuttgart

There are many books with a Rubens design. Even in books from the 19th century we find frontispieces copied from a Rubens design which was often simply reproduced and thus many editions were adorned with a Rubens.
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