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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Obituaries

Michael Silverman 1949-2011

Published on 01 Sept. 2011
"With the untimely death of Michael Silverman, the world of literary and historical manuscripts has lost one of its most respected dealers, and the antiquarian trade in general a much loved and popular colleague. Internationally acknowledged as a dealer of great integrity and expertise, Michael wore his knowledge lightly. He liked to affect an air of mild indifference to the exceptional material that often passed through his hands. His self-deprecating style, so far removed from that of the hustling businessman, was much appreciated by the many collectors, private and institutional, who responded to the good manners that informed his dealings as a whole." An obituary by Sheila Markham and Robert Bartfield.
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Obituaries

Dr. Lotte Roth-Wölfle 1912 – 2011

Published on 02 May 2011
It is with great sadness that the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association reports the death of its long-deserved member and Member of Honour Dr. Lotte Roth-Wölfle. She died on April 29, 2011, shortly before her 100th birthday, and only one day after the re-opening of her beautiful antiquarian bookshop which has been situated in Munich since 1945. Dr. Lotte Roth-Woelfle was a remarkable woman, probably the oldest rare book dealer in Germany and in Europe. From time to time she still visited her shop in Munich's Amalienstraße which has been a famous address for rare and fine books for more than 60 years. The shop is now run by Franziska Bierl, while Lotte Roth-Wölfle's daughter Dr. Christine Grahamer continues the tradition of the family company Robert Wölfle KG in the third generation, also still in the same premises.
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Obituaries

In Memoriam Menno Hertzberger (1897 - 1982)

Published on 05 April 2011
For Menno Hertzberger the addition 'Internationaal' to his firm's name was not just an embellishment: From the very beginning onwards his business was internationally orientated, and it aimed for a wide public of bookcollectors, librarians and fellow-dealers. As early as 1921 Menno held his first auction-sale and he soon became known as an important auctioneer as well. The growth of the firm necessitated a move to larger premises and in 1935 the firm's new address became Keizersgracht 610 in Amsterdam, a large and elegant house along one of the famous canals. Menno Hertzberger, the Father of the League, died in 1986. Bob de Graaf's obituary characterizes him as a truly international antiquarian bookseller and a man with a vision: to unite dealers worldwide under one roof, the ILAB.
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Obituaries

A Life for Rare Books - W.R. “Bill” Fletcher 1906-1996

Published on 24 March 2011
"As I stood admiring the book and ruminating on its worth, that wise and shrewd bookseller, Bill Fletcher, doyen of the British trade, and a man some thirty years my senior in both age and experience, came up to me. 'What are you looking at, my son?' he inquired. I told him. 'What's so special about that then? he asked. I explained. 'Then why don't you buy it?' Bill said ... I replied to the effect that were I to buy it with a view to selling it again, I would in effect be trading gold for gold. 'Shall I tell you something, my son?' Bill responded. 'The price of gold [pause] is going up!'" (Anthony Rota, Books in the Blood). Keith Fletcher recounts the life and personality of his father, the doyen of the trade and former owner of H.M. Fletcher Rare Books: Bill Fletcher.
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Obituaries

In Memoriam: Bob de Graaf, Antiquarian Bookdealer, Publisher and Bibliographer (1927-2011)

Published on 18 Feb. 2011
When antiquarian bookdealers, talking among themselves, call a colleague a "great dealer", they don't always mean the same thing. Some mean a dealer with many staff, a large turn over and great profits. Others mean a dealer who masters the art of really studying a book, a dealer who is able to discover something in or about the book that suddenly makes it interesting for all readers, not just the obvious specialists. When Bob de Graaf once said: "I have not become a great dealer", he hastened to add: "No, that is not false modesty." And he repeated, with meaning: "I have not become a great dealer, but I have never aspired to be one." With great sadness ILAB announces the death of Bob de Graaf on February 10, 2011. An obituary by Anton Gerits.
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Obituaries

Pierre Berès, Disparition d’un bibliophile

Published on 17 Feb. 2011
Pierre Berès est mort dans sa maison de Saint-Tropez le lundi 28 juillet 2008, peu après avoir fêté son 95ème anniversaire et quelques mois seulement après la dernière des six grandes ventes au cours desquelles furent dispersés, du 5 juillet 2005 au 18 décembre 2007, le fonds de la librairie de l’avenue de Friedland ainsi que le cabinet personnel de manuscrits littéraires et de livres rares qu’il avait conservés dans son appartement de la rue Barbet de Jouy.
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Obituaries

Paul Haas (1950-2010)

Published on 08 Nov. 2010
On 3rd November, Paul Haas passed away, shortly before his 60th birthday. Paul Haas hailed from a large family: Born on 17th November 1950, he was the third of nine children, three of whom worked, and work, in the antiquarian book trade. After high school, he was apprenticed as a mechanical engineer. He took evening classes and then studied history and German language and literature at the University of Düsseldorf. Together with Stephan, born as the fourth child of nine in 1952, Paul visited flea markets and rare book shops. One day in 1979, in a shop in Arnhem, Stephan came across a particularly fine book and decided: "I'm opening my own shop." It only took Paul a few hours to make up his mind: "I'm with you!"
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Obituaries

Frits Knuf

Published on 22 July 2010
Le célèbre et remarquable libraire membre de la LILA, Frits Knuf, est décédé aux Pays-Bas dans la nuit du 9 février 1999, à l’hôpital près de la ville de Buren dans laquelle il habitait et qu’il aimait tant.  Le 15 février, des centaines d’amis et collègues ont accompagné son épouse et sa famille jusqu’au paisible cimetière de Buren où Frits repose à tout jamais.
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28 - 36 / 40

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Bibliographies - German Literature

Online: Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach (DLA) - Marbach archive for German literature - Woman Literature in Germany 1700 - 1900
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Article

'Tome Raider' jailed over rare book thefts in London

The "Tome Raider" has been sent back to jail for three-and-a-half years, the BBC News announces.
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Article

“Gelos” – Rare Book Auctions in Russia

Gelos was established in Moscow in 1988 and is renowned for being the leading Fine Art and Antiquities auctioneers throughout Russia, with offices throughout Europe in Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Prague, Riga, Warsaw and, recently opened, in London (Knightsbridge). It is the largest auction house in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The company carries out appraisals and makes expert examinations, holds auction sales, sells antiquities from its galleries and salons, forms private and corporate collections. Selling at auctions is generally practised and widely spread in the West. On the Russian market Gelos' activities are innovative. A report by Alena Lavrenova.
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Article

A World Much Changed - Laurence Worms in Conversation with Jim Hinck and Anne Marie Wall

Time now to go and have tea with some booksellers. Anne Marie Wall and Jim Hinck (Hinck & Wall) are booksellers specialising in garden history and landscape architecture, early horticulture, and architecture and town-planning in general. Americans both, they have settled in Cambridge after a spell in Paris (where they retain a pied-à-terre). It's an absorbing story. They realised, much earlier than most of us, that with the advent of the internet, the book-trade's traditional staples – the good, solid and essential books on any subject that everyone needs – were about to become a rapidly diminishing asset. As Jim puts it in a thoughtful recent post on his viaLibrian blog (required reading), "the pool of findable books exploded". Their customers, often in American institutional libraries, were no longer going to want books they could find anywhere at the click of a mouse. The correct deduction was made that they would continue to want the rare and the unique, and that American holdings would generally be weakest in early non-English language material. To Europe they came to find just that material.
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Article

Favorite Christmas Books by Legendary Authors

The holidays are fast approaching, and the spirit of the season can be seen everywhere! This time of year, we often turn to favorite books like Clement Clarke Moore's beloved The Night Before Christmas or Hilary Knight's whimsical Christmas Nutshell Library. If you collect Christmas books or books by legendary authors, you may also want to add these tomes to your personal library. Though relatively unknown, these three books delightfully capture the Christmas spirit with all the style and panache one would expect from Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, or JRR Tolkien.
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