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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Fairs

That's Why I Love My Job ... – New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, 9-12 April 2015

Okay. Hang on to your hats. Here comes the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, presented by the ABAA. This is the Big Leagues, baby. The World Series of Book. From Thursday night through Sunday afternoon at the Park Avenue Armory, we'll be keeping company with some of the world's finest books and manuscripts – mind-bogglingly rare and valuable items - sought by collectors of inestimable wealth (those unspeakably rich folks obvious to all but known by name only to Bill Reese, Don Heald, and their Continental cohorts); representatives of Institutions of Higher Learning whose annual budgets exceed those of many African nations; young men and women of good breeding who've attended the right schools and have decided to invest family millions in ruinous antiquarian ecstasy; smiling auctioneers and avaricious dealers cruising the floor like so many leopards, attended by their pimps and minions; suave counter monkeys contentedly grooming themselves, waiting for their chance; bloated industrialists, technocrats, and financial guys for whom "to want" = "to have," and their pimps and minions.
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Book Fairs

3rd Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair, 27-29 March 2015

For the third time antiquarian booksellers and collectors will meet at the Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan from Friday 27 March to Sunday 29 March to celebrate the Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will be officially opened on Friday 5.30 pm in the presence of the great bibliophile, author and scholar Umberto Eco. Organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Italy (ALAI) and supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) this high class event will attract bibliophiles, traders, journalists, collectors, intellectuals and many curious to come to Milan and to enjoy three wonderful days of browsing the shelves and exploring the fascinating world of the rare book. All the variety which has been brought up through five centuries of printing will be showcased: from incunabula and milestones of 16th and 17th century printing to modern artists books, from mediaval manuscripts to handwritten letters and documents by famous authors, artists and scientists, from children's books to natural history works to modern first editions to avant-garde.
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Book Fairs

New York Rare Book Week – 7-15 April 2015

It is the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the world. Now for the second time antiquarian book dealers, collectors, and the intellectually curious will gather in New York City for Rare Book Week from 7 to 15 April 2015. Rare Book Week - a coordinated effort to focus attention on the antiquarian book fairs, auctions, exhibitions, and bookish browsing available in New York City – is headlined by the 55th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair.
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Book Fairs

50th Anniversary of ABAJ - Tokyo International Antiquarian Book Fair 2015

It's time to celebrate! On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan (ABAJ) will be hosting an International Antiquarian Book Fair in Tokyo from 5 to 7 March 2015 at the Grand Palace Hotel in Tokyo. Some 20 dealers from Europe and the United States and around 25 dealers from Japan will show rare and beautiful books, maps and manuscripts highlighting the amazing history of printing in Asia and the Western world. A 350 page, richly illustrated book fair catalogue gives an overview over the most exciting items for sale.
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Book Fairs

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - San Francisco on the Soviet Stage

Next week Simon Beattie will be exhibiting at the 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair from 6-8 February, 2015, in Oakland. This week he shows us a most extraordinary books from his main field of interest: the cultural relations between the English-speaking world and Europe, especially Germany and Russia. This item - for sale at the California fair - shows a very special relation between Russia, Europa and California.
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Book Fairs

Jimi Hendrix’s Delinquent Bar Tab – 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 6-8 February 2015

The world's preeminent celebration of the written and printed word returns to Northern California at a new venue in downtown Oakland. The 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair will run from Friday, February 6 through Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the three-day event is the world's largest antiquarian book fair with 200 booksellers from the United States and around the globe. The annual fair features a rich selection of books, manuscripts, maps and other printed materials, including incunabula, literature from all centuries and nationalities, fine bindings, children's and illustrated books, ephemera, and antiquarian books on dozens of topics – from Jimi Hendrix's delinquent bar tab to the first English-Language Sex Manual, a 19th Century 3-D children's book, a lock of Franz Liszt's hair from 1884 and handwritten letters by Charles Bukowski.
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Book Fairs

Archives of the Paris Prefecture of Police – Guest Library of the Paris International Rare Book & Autograph Fair 2015

The International Rare Book & Autograph Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris is one of the most prestigious fairs in the world, attracting nearly 200 exhibitors and thousands of visitors each year. And each year a French library, archive or museum of worldwide renown introduces itself at the fair by presenting bibliophile treasures from its rich collections of rare and valuable books and historical documents. For its 27th edition from 23 to 26 April 2015, the International Rare Book and Autograph Fair is honoured to welcome as guest library the Archives of the Paris Prefecture of Police.
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Book Fairs

Time Travel for Bibliophiles - 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, 23 to 25 January 2015

"It has become trendy to declare the book obsolete in this brave new world of digitalized data rubbish", book historian Reinhard Wittmann declares in the new "Handbook 2015/2016" published by the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VDA). "It may have lost its general function and its social prestige, but it will survive as a historical and artistic object, far beyond its actual content, as a time machine for the aura of times long gone."The German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association would like to invite you on a bibliophilic time voyage on the occasion of the 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 23rd to 25th January 2015. About 80 leading antiquarian booksellers from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, the USA, Switzerland and the Netherlands will present rare and precious manuscripts, books, autographs and prints from five centuries of book printing and book art. Beautifully illustrated manuscripts, scientific milestones, avant-garde book art, autographs and manuscripts of important scientists and artists, rare first editions of world literature, children's books, artists' books, maps, views, decorative prints and book objects: The fair fascinates by its diversity, from unique little objects to books worth millions, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.
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Book Fairs

CHELSEA DREAMS - Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair, 7 to 8 November 2014

So – here I am (in my freshly tidied book-room) dreaming about all the treasures I'm going to find at this week's Chelsea Book Fair. Well – I say freshly tidied (see last post). It just about passed muster at this morning's inspection. Just about. The exact rhetorical diasyrm used was a kindly and encouraging, "Well, I can see you have been trying". Enough of that – I now have some freshly excavated shelf-space and I've found the cheque-book. No other way this can end but in some determined book-hunting at Chelsea. Better still, I don't have to say too much this week because I'm going to see you all there – at least I hope so. What excuse could you possibly have for not being there?
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Essential Texts in Feminist Theory & Feminist Thought

A collecting tip for all who are interested in the history of society and culture: Marie C. Hansen has published a list of the most important works on feminist theory and feminist thought. From Mary Wollstonecraft to Virginia Woolf to Simone Beauvoir to "Mad Man". Some snippets:
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Article

A Tale of Two Towns - From Library to Woolshed on UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day

HAMILTON is the major city of Western Victoria, with a population of over 8,000 people, it is surrounded by smaller satellite towns and over 2 million sheep! Given the large population of sheep it will come as little surprise to anyone to learn that agriculture forms the economic base for the region. Although the population (of people!) might be relatively small the district has a reputation for large homesteads with fine book collections. Where you find book collectors, antiquarian book dealers are often close-by, and the Western District is no exception. Bellcourt Books, Hamilton's sole bookshop is run by ANZAAB member Guy Stephens and 30 kilometres away in Dunkeld fellow ANZAAB member, Roz Greenwood of Roz Greenwood Old and Rare Books is located in stunning scenery at the foot of the picturesque Grampians Mountains.
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Article

Collecting - Serendipity and The Private Library

I visited a little antiquarian shop in Weesp (not far from Amsterdam) to do a little browsing. After half an hour I was done and ready to leave. I was taking a last look at the shop's shelf of House of Orange books (books about the Dutch Royal House) when my eye was drawn to a book with an interesting but untitled spine. The book turned out to be a catalog of an exhibition of portraits and objects relating to the House of Orange-Nassau on the occasion of the inauguration of Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina (1898).
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Article

Literary Baseball Novels

The prices of literary baseball novels have consistently been strong because of additional collecting pressure from outside the traditional pool of first edition collectors, most obviously from the vast group of baseball and sports memorabilia collectors who might not be averse to adding a few favorite novels to their hoard of baseball cards and "bobbing head" dolls of favorite players. Virtually any reasonably literate (mostly) American (mostly) male might be considered a candidate to collect one or more of the novels listed in the accompanying article ...
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Charles Dickens and the Impenitent Prostitute

Charles Dickens, in many ways, stands for Victorianism; indeed it's impossible to think of the era without him, and he defined the period in many ways. Yet we cannot assume that Dickens represents his contemporaries in all things. His own upbringing shaped his sense of social justice in ways that did not always reflect the common views of the era. One such topic on which Dickens thought differently than his contemporaries was that of prostitution. Dickens firmly believed that women could (and should want to) reform. Not everyone agreed - including a few women who were prostitutes themselves!
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Short Story and The Private Library (Part III)

The grandson of a serf, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov accomplished more in his all-too-brief 44 years than most folks accomplish in lifetimes twice that long. His handful of plays and 200+ short stories, many of which reflected the difficult circumstances of his early life and education, revolutionized both drama and short fiction ... Always modest, Chekhov thought readers might go on reading his work for no more than seven years after his death (at the time of this remark, he had about six years left to live). He was wrong. Already a literary legend in Russia, the English-language translations of his work undertaken by Constance Garnett spread Chekhov's fame far and wide.
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