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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

Article

A Bookseller’s Adventure in Europe: Part 1

"One of the joys of being a bookseller is the chance to take occasional trips overseas as part of my business. My latest adventure was a two week, three country trip by plane, train, car, and boat to England, the Netherlands, and Hungary (with an airport layover in Poland). I saw lots of old friends and made some new ones, bought books, finalized a publishing deal, and ate many great meals. The main purpose of the trip was to participate in the International League of Antiquarian Bookseller's (ILAB) Committee meeting in Budapest." Part 1 of Bob Fleck's adventures in Europe.
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Article

Salon International du Livre Ancien, Paris - 27th to 29th April, 2012

From manuscripts to avant-garde, from medieval psalm books with magnificent illuminations to handwritten letters by artists and writers like Picasso and Marcel Proust, from the great works of the great philosophers and thinkers to futurist manifestos: At the Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair bibliophiles will browse the shelves filled with thousands of stunningly diverse documents. Around 20.000 book fair visitors will enjoy the elegant venue of the Grand Palais and discover some of the most magnificent treasures from five centuries of book printing. When the Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair opens its doors to visitors from 27th to 29th April, the fair will be accompanied by various concerts, exhibitions and events.
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Article

Sales higher in bookshops with cafés

Sales higher in bookshops with cafés: This is the astonishing insight taken from a statistical analysis by the Booksellers' Association. What shall we make out of it? Antiquarian bookshops offering tea and coffee with (on) leather bindings? First editions with red wine? Japanese block books with sushi?
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Booksellers

Talking Shop in Silent Street - Tony Cox of Claude Cox Old & Rare Books

My first scent of the world of antiquarian books had also come when I was still at school. Saturday afternoons would be spent in the many-storeyed dusty rooms of Thornton’s in Oxford -not looking for anything in particular, but taking great pleasure in handling an eighteenth century book, as a physical object as much as anything else.
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Article

Collecting Sherlock Holmes

Books about the world's first consulting detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes have been a consistently popular collecting genre since the appearance of A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA in the Strand Magazine number for July 1891. Although two of Mr. Holmes's cases were published earlier as short novels (A STUDY IN SCARLET in 1887/88 and THE SIGN OF FOUR in 1890, it was in the short story format that his life and career captured the imagination of the reading public.
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