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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Obituaries

Renate Geisenheyner (1937-2016)

Published on 12 April 2016
We are deeply saddened to learn that Renate Geisenheyner, German antiquarian bookseller and renowned expert in autographs and children's books, passed away on 6th April 2016. Renate Geisenheyner (Weltin) was born in Berlin on 5th August 1937. After several years, first as an apprentice, then as a rare book dealer at Amelang and Peter Naacher in Frankfurt, she moved to Stuttgart in 1963 and started working at Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing Rare Books. During the 1970s Renate Geisenheyner came to Heidelberg and worked for the famous Tenner Auction House, where she met her later husband Winfried Geisenheyner. On 1st July 1981 they both founded their own business in Münster-Hiltrup. Already in the same year, in July and November 1981, they published two remarkable catalogues specializing in Sciences, Natural History, Geography and Travel. From then on Renate and Winfried Geisenheyner have been exhibiting at the international antiquarian book fairs from California to Europe, and they have been regular guests at the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair for more than 30 years. It was Renate Geisenheyner who edited a long series of Autograph and Children's Book Catalogues for which Geisenheyner Rare Books gained worldwide renown. She was a jury member of the Antiquaria Book Prize, awarded every year in January to outstanding book artists and bibliographers, and, as a passionate reader to whom one could listen for hours, she founded a Reading Club in Münster to celebrate the importance of books and the joy of reading.
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Obituaries

In Memory of Mitsuo Nitta

Published on 07 Jan. 2016
As I had retired from the publishing business more than fifteen years ago, it was only when we sent our annual Seasonal Greetings to Mr. and Mrs. Nitta that we learned from Yushodo that Mitsuo had passed away two months earlier. I was shocked that my old friend had died, as was my wife and son. It seemed impossible, a person with such brimming enthusiasm and largess of life. And I felt particularly saddened that we had become so out of touch since my retirement that I only recently discovered this great loss.
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Obituaries

Franklin Victor Spellman (1945-2015) – An Obituary

Published on 19 Nov. 2015
Franklin Victor Spellman was born August 15, 1945 in Stamford, Connecticut, moving to the Bronx, New York, at 8 years. He is named in honor of Franklin Roosevelt and his middle name was in celebration of V-J day. Although Jewish, he was born in a Catholic hospital where the nuns prevailed upon his mother to give him a middle name of Victor. He was not a fan of Roosevelt, but Franklin did love his name. He has an older brother Douglas Spellman, and a younger sister, Jill Polan.
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Obituaries

In Memoriam Mitsuo Nitta - We have Lost a Giant of the Antiquarian Book World

Published on 11 Nov. 2015
My "boss" has passed away. It is true that all humans must one day face this inevitable fate. When I met Mitsuo Nitta in the middle of October after returning back from the ILAB Presidents Meeting in Seville, aside from thinking his stomach looked little inflated than the usual, he spoke and moved in his usual energetic ways. So when I heard the news, I literally had to ask myself twice to make sure I heard the news right.
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Obituaries

In Memoriam Mitsuo Nitta, ILAB Member of Honour

Published on 04 Nov. 2015
I was deeply saddened to learn that Mitsuo Nitta, President of Honor of the ABAJ, Member of Honor of ILAB, CEO at Yushodo Ltd., former Chair of the ILAB-Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, legendary bookseller and friend to so many of us, has passed away on October 27 of 2015. Mitsuo Nitta played a leading role in developing antiquarian bookselling not only in Japan but also in the surrounding countries like Korea and China, and he had been teacher and friend for generations of younger booksellers. His role in spreading out ILAB's device "Amor Librorum nos unit" in East-Asia cannot be underestimated. Since my first meeting with Mitsuo Nitta back in 1988 during the Congress in Paris, we had been in constant contact, and I will always remember countless discussions about ILAB with him, the last one – alas - only earlier this year in Tokyo.
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Obituaries

In Memoriam, Antiquarian Bookseller and Author Patricia Ahearn

Published on 02 June 2014
Last week Patricia Ahearn of Quill & Brush (Dickerson, Maryland, US) passed away. Patricia and Allen Ahearn started collecting in the early 1960s and founded Quill & Brush in the year 1976 specializing in in first editions of literature, mystery/detective fiction and collectible books from all fields of interest. With over 45 years of experience in the rare book trade they were also authors of numerous articles and books like: “Collected Books: The Guide to Values” (4th, revised and enlarged edition published in 2011), “Book Collecting 2000” (Putnam: 2000) and over 200 individual Author Price Guides.
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Obituaries

"There's enough beauty in the world to keep me here” - David Spode (1936-2013)

Published on 28 Jan. 2014
A couple of weeks before he died I asked David why he was so determined to hang on as long as he could. After all, we shared trenchant, dour, views of the universe, of human existence. He replied, "There's enough beauty in the world to keep me here." That didn't make me pause for thought; what did was the realisation that he was so good at sharing beauty. If I begin to count up all the things that I treasure that I learnt from David either directly or indirectly - by following leads given by him down paths of my own making - then I find myself with a tangle of debt that can't and doesn't need to be unpicked.
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Obituaries

Past Presidents of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association - Alan Gradon Thomas (1911-1992)

Published on 11 Oct. 2013
This week – revisiting the past again with another in the occasional series on past presidents of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association. Alan Gradon Thomas was born in Hampstead, North London, on the 19th October 1911 – the son of Albert Edward Thomas, a local newsagent and stationer, and his wife Evelyn Gradon, originally from Durham, who had married the previous year.
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Deny
Obituaries

GEORGES A. DENY 1920-1999 - Founder and First Secretary of the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography

Published on 09 July 2013
The ILAB Prize for Bibliography was founded in the early 1960s when Georges A. Deny was President of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. He also became the first Secretary of the Prize which was called Prix Triennal de Bibliographie in the beginnings. The first Prize was not awarded in 1964 due to a lack of quality of the submitted books, as Deny clearly stated in his report of the same year. Thus, since 1967 famous scholars like like Jean Peeters-Fontainas, I. C. Koeman, Claus Nissen, Anthony Hobson, Lotte Hellinga or Jan Storm van Leeuwen were honoured with this most prestigious prize in the broad field of bibliography worth 10.000 USD.
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10 - 18 / 40

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

London International Antiquarian Book Fair, 28th to 30th May 2015

From May 28th to 30th the halls of Olympia will once again present an unparalleled array of literary material at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. Now in its 58th year, this major three-day event is one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world, showcasing rare, unique and unusual items from 180 leading UK and international dealers. From medieval manuscripts to modern signed first editions, visitors hold history in their hands as they view and buy museum-quality books, maps, prints, photographs, manuscripts, letters, ephemera and original artwork. With prices ranging from a few pounds to many, thousands there is something for everyone here.
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Article

Online Sales – Getting Rid of the Middleman

The vast majority of ILAB booksellers sell through the Internet. This does not mean that they have given up selling through more traditional methods (paper catalogues, book fairs, open shops, direct offers to customers, etc.); selling through the Internet is just another means of working. Whereas the vast majority of ILAB booksellers would definitely refuse selling all their wares through a middleman at book fairs, through their catalogues, etc., they find it very natural to do so online. The question is why?
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Article

Bibliographies - English Literature

Online: The Cambridge History of English and American Literature - Case, Poetical Miscellanies 1521-1750 - Grolier Club, English writers from Langland to Prior, 3 volumes - The Victorian Literary Studies Archive
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Booksellers

The Right Book - Derek McDonnell

Derek McDonnell has, over the course of 25 years at Hordern House, established himself as a pre-eminent dealer in Australiana and the history of Pacific exploration. He and his partner Anne McCormick have produced a series of beautiful and scholarly catalogues, which have established a new bibliographical standard for their subjects, as well as publishing a series of essential bibliographies. He enjoys a global circle of colleague friends and is one of the most admired figures in the trade.
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Article

50 YEARS OF ABAJ AND THE CHALLENGES ILAB HAS TO FACE AT PRESENT

This year, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Japan (ABAJ) celebrates its 50th anniversary. On this occasion the Japanese rare book dealers invited colleagues and bibliophiles from all across the world to meet in Tokyo for an International Antiquarian Book Fair in March 2015. ILAB President Norbert Donhofer officially opened the fair on 5th March together with ABAJ President Masaji Yagi and ILAB Member of Honour Mitsuo Nitta in a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony. In his speech he thanked ABAJ for its various contributions to ILAB within the past 50 years and spoke about the present challenges ILAB has to face.
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