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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Binding

Collecting - Serendipity and The Private Library

Published on 27 Nov. 2015
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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Book Binding

American Publishers' Bindings on the Books of Amelia E. Barr 1882-1918

Published on 11 Sept. 2015
Today hardly anybody knows the name Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr, yet a hundred years ago she was among the most prolific and popular women writing in America. If it were not for the decorated bindings on her books I would not have known she existed. Some of the best cover artists were assigned to her works, including Thomas Watson Ball, Alice Cordelia Morse, Evelyn W. Clark, Blanche McManus Mansfield, Amy Richards, William Snelling Hadaway, Harry B. Matthews, Theodore Brown Hapgood and the Decorative Designers.
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Book Binding

23 Wiener Werkstätte Bindings for Max Morgenstern – On Show in Vienna, until October 2015

Published on 09 Sept. 2015
In January 2015 Norbert Donhofer presented an extraordinary gathering of bibliophile treasures documented in a richly illustrated catalogue. The second part of this amazing collection will now be on display at the Grillparzerhaus in Vienna from 24 September to 9 October 2015. Max Morgenstern was one of the best customers of the Wiener Werkstätte. The Jewish collector belonged to a generation of Viennese bibliophiles who founded libraries with great knowledge, ultimate taste and a life-long passion. The precious bindings of the Morgenstern Collection, now on show at the Grillparzerhaus in Vienna, are a shining example of the outstanding artworks created during the Viennese Belle Epoque.
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Book Binding

The Art of American Book Covers - A Previously Unknown Amy M. Sacker Cover

Published on 03 June 2015
One exciting find was Amy M. Sacker's design on Sweet Peggy by Linnie S. Harris [Little, Brown & Company, 1904]. Like many of their rebound books, the replacement endpapers are acidic, have turned brown and are disintegrating, but this does not affect the cover art. Considering the amount of use this volume must have had, the design remains bright on the cover and spine, with just a few smudges that can be cleaned. What's exciting about it? It's not just that it's a good cover design by an important artist, and one that adopts Thomas Watson Ball's style of clouds. This is a rare book.
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Book Binding

The Art of American Book Cover - Frederick W. Gookin

Published on 20 Nov. 2014
When trying to learn more about F. W. Gookin, the first few biographical notes I found did not even mention his work as a book cover designer. I thought, "Maybe this Frederick William Gookin (1853–1936) is the wrong one." He was the Buckingham Curator of Japanese Prints at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is described as "a lifelong Chicagoan."
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Book Binding

The Art of American Book Covers - Ball Covers Identified by Lee Thayer

Published on 06 Oct. 2014
In 1970 Charles Gullans and John Espey conducted two interviews with Emma Redington Lee Thayer (1874–1973), co-founder (with Henry Thayer) of Decorative Designers, the New York firm that created thousands of book cover designs. The firm was started about 1895 by Henry, Emma joined him the following year, they married in 1909, were divorced in 1932 and DD closed. In 1919 Lee Thayer, as she then called herself, published her first mystery novel, which was followed by another 60, the last issued in 1966.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Barry Humphries appointed Patron of Honour by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Barry Humphries, AO, CBE, the Australian comedian, satirist, artist, and author has been appointed a Patron of Honour by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). The appointment recognises his major contribution to the antiquarian book trade.
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Article

Collecting F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, all but forgotten at the time of his death in 1940, is now one of the most eagerly collected American authors. His first two books This Side of Paradise and Flappers and Philosophers (both 1920) are very uncommon ...
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MASTERWORKS ON PAPER - 52nd Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, 25th - 27th January 2013

A paradise for book lovers: The 52nd Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair will be held from 25th to 27th January 2013 in the elegant rooms of the Württemberg Art Museum, opposite to the Palace, next to the Palace Garden and directly in the city centre of Stuttgart. Around 80 rare book dealers from Europe and abroad will showcase bibliophile treasures from the middle ages to avant-garde to contemporary artists' books. Magnificently illuminated manuscripts, milestones of science, autographs by famous artists, scientists, philosophers and authors, first editions, children's books, press and illustrated books, musical scores, photography, prints as well as Japanese woodcuts along with beautifully illustrated accounts of adventurous voyages to the „edge of the world" (and beyond): The fascination of book collecting lies in its unlimited variety. There is no better place to explore this unlimited variety than an antiquarian book fair.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Why California Isn’t Called “Nova Albion”

On June 17, 1579, Francis Drake claimed California for England. He anchored his ship, the Golden Hind, just north of present-day San Francisco and named the new territory "Nova Albion." But despite Drake's claim in the name of Queen Elizabeth I, he was not the first European to explore California.
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Article

New York 2018: Pre-Gutenberg to the 21st Century - Exceptional Offerings Spanning the History of the Written Word

The New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (NYIABF) produced by Sanford L. Smith + Associates returns to the Park Avenue Armory for its 58th edition March 8-11, 2018.
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