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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Alexander Pope’s Legacy of Satire and Scholarship

On May 21, 1688 Alexander Pope was born to Alexander and Edith Pope. Despite all odds, Pope would blossom into a preeminent British poet of the eighteenth century. Pope left behind an ingenious translation of Homer's Iliad, along with a robust body of poetry and criticism. Though history has not always been kind to Pope, he's recognized as a truly masterful poet whose influence can still be felt.
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Congress

1954 - Vienna

In 1954 the ILAB delegates met in Vienna for their 7th Congress in the history of the League. It was the time of the Cold War, Vienna was still divided into five occupation zones between the Soviet Union, the USA, the United Kingdom and France, and with the first district, the city centre, being patrolled by all four. Christian Nebehay, at that time President of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers' Asscociation (VAO), had invited the ILAB booksellers to Vienna. He and his colleagues had organized a fabulous congress programme including visits of libraries and palaces, concerts, flower bouquets and chocolate for the ladies, an elegant welcome reception - and a memorable "Heuriger" party.
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Rare Book Collector Spotlight: Modern First Editions of Moshe Prigan

Moshe Prigan is an accomplished book collector, freelance writer, and retired teacher of art and history. He lives in Haifa, Israel but searches globally to make new acquisitions for his collection. While mainly interested in English and Italian volumes of Umberto Eco, he also collects other authors including Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood. Moshe has generously shared his collecting insights with us in the following interview.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Betty Smith

December 15 is the birthday of writer Betty Smith (1896), whose first novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943), became an instant bestseller. The semi-autobiographical book chronicles the struggles of an Irish-American family in New York City in the early part of the 20th century. The title is a reference to the Tree of Heaven, an invasive species from China that is found on vacant lots in New York. Its struggles for survival are the central metaphor of the book.
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Article

Collecting - Who Is the Real Robinson Crusoe?

With any truly great novel, the questions are usually the same. Where did the story come from? What inspired it? Were the characters or plot based on real-life elements? But these tried-and-true questions might mean a little more when asked about Daniel Defoe's 1719 debut novel Robinson Crusoe, a book literary scholars the world over regard as one of the first realistic fiction novels and one that helped popularize the form we still crave today.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Pop-up Cigarette Cards

As aficionados of both miniature and movable books, we were drawn to these small, pop-up cigarette cards depicting famous British landmarks. Twenty-four different cards were distributed with packages of Herbert Tareyton cigarettes as a promotional premium, encouraging the purchaser to collect them all. Among the landmarks included are Buckingham Palace, Canterbury Cathedral, Covent Garden Theatre, Scotland Yard, Windsor Castle, and the Houses of Parliament. Although Herbert Tareyton was an American cigarette brand, their marketing image and mascot, a dapper, monocle-wearing spokesman known as "Dude," was meant to seem British and aristocratic. The subject matter of these cigarette cards served to enhance this association.
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