One of London's oldest antiquarian bookshops Maggs Bros., bookseller by appointment to the Queen, closed their premises last year when their leasehold on Berkeley Square had expired after almost 80 years of trading. The opening of the new gallery in Bloombury's Bedford Square, received broad press coverage this week.
The new festival Rare Books London, which is due to be launched this year in May, will be hosting fairs, auctions, tours and talks. We will highlight a number of events at Rare Books London in the upcoming weeks. Some talks and tours have already sold out!Bernard Quaritch's "Collecting Pains - symptoms and remedies for book lovers" will provide a fascinating insight into the rare book trade, past and present. Visitors will discover the company's long history, meet staff and view highlights from the archive and current stock. Incidentally, one of Quaritch's more younger staff members Dr. Anke Timmermann was recently elected as a new Associate Member of the ABA, and her background shows the diversity of people working in our trade. We would like to share her article, originally published in the March edition of the ABA newsletter, below.
Known to many in the trade and beyond, Rick Gekoski has published a number of books throughout his life, some of them incredibly entertaining for anyone in the rare book trade."Lost, Stolen or Shredded", "Tolkien's Gown" or "Outside of a Dog: A Bibliomemoir" will be on the bookshelves of many of us. Or do you remember Rick's guide to an antiquarian book fair? Now changing direction slightly, Rick Gekoski's new book and first novel "Darke" has just been published by Canongate in the UK.
"Matthew Raptis doesn't judge a book by its cover alone. He also judges it by its publication date, its condition and its relative rarity in the antiquarian book marketplace. Think print is dead? For avid collectors of rare books, it's anything but." (Palm Beacher, 2017)The Palm Beacher recently run a profile on Matthew Raptis Rare Books, member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and therefore affiliated to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, with the fitting headline "Rare Books Are More Than Just A Business; They're A Key To The Past". Another insight into the world of rare book dealing and collecting and proof the book is not dead.
Would it help if you could get regular advice from an experienced ILAB antiquarian bookseller?Over the past few months, ILAB has developed the ILAB International Mentor Programme which was launched in January. The ILAB International Mentor Programme harnesses the enormous good will of our associates/members worldwide to offer a truly extraordinary range of expertise in, as this is written, no less than 9 languages, to support less experienced booksellers where ever they may be. We can now envisage such situations as a Dutch mentor supporting a young American bookseller, an American mentor helping a young Russian bookseller or an Australian mentor chatting regularly with their mentee in Malaysia. It is also just as likely that the mentor and mentee might be within the same country or city – there are far fewer limitations than there have ever been.
In December 2016, ILAB launched a new Mentoring Programme, which aims to help young or recently established booksellers throughout the world by offering support and counselling on a one on one basis.In our new series "Meet the ILAB Mentors", we would like to present those booksellers who are volunteering their time for newer entrants to the antiquarian and rare book trade!
London bookdealers Heywood Hill recently celebrated their 80th anniversary, now run by Nicky Dunne, son in law of Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine Cavendish, who inherited the business along with the dukedom and the Derbyshire estate on his father's death, in 2004."In an age of mega-stores and Kindle and Amazon, a bookshop in the chandeliered sitting room of a town house—with no sales or discounts—looks like a suicidal business model, and all the more so when the shop doesn't deign to stock many blockbusters. You're more likely to find a collection of African short stories than 'Fifty Shades of Grey', or a secondhand memoir by a forgotten English traveler from the 1930s than the best-selling adult coloring book 'The Enchanted Forest'."
The rare book trade has lost one of his most interesting and legendary personalities. Martin Stone (11 December 1946, Woking, Surrey – 9 November 2016, Versailles, France) was an English guitarist and rare book dealer.
The SLAM Bibliography Prize 2013 goes to: Catalogues régionaux des incunables des bibliothèques publiques de France. Volume XVIII. Bibliothèque de l'École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Édité par Dominique Coq. Collection Histoire et civilisation du livre. École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE). Genève, Librairie Droz, 2012. 334 p., ill.
Eric Gill was born February 22, 1882. A talented sculptor, typographer, and illustrator, Gill's life was a study in contrasts. A deeply religious Roman Catholic who believed that sexuality was an expression of the divine, and an artist who defiantly characterized himself as a workman in the medieval tradition while his statues, illustrations, and typefaces adorned the modern buildings and pages of his era, Gill unified seemingly opposing ideas in his life and work.
In English, French, German and Italian. "Contrary to common practice, this dictionary contains as few words as possible. I have limited the terms, to those used by antiquarian booksellers, which are not to be found in the usual bilingual, trilingual, or multilingual dictionaries. "
Edgar Franco, Dictionary of Terms and Expressions Commonly Used in the Antiquarian Book Trade
Edgar Franco's "Dictionary" was published by the ILAB in 1994. It is available as a pdf file, and as a print version.
At an age when many men settle down to daily golf games or fishing trips in the golden haze of retirement, Carl Sandburg kept right on working. He started his novel, Remembrance Rock, a sweeping saga of the American experience from the landing at Plymouth Rock to the beginning of World War II, when he was sixty-five years old. Sandburg was already remarkably accomplished; he had received Pulitzer Prizes both for his book of poetry, Cornhuskers, and for his biography, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years. Remembrance Rock was published when he was seventy. (A third Pulitzer, for another poetry book, Compete Poems, would come three years later.) He had worked all his life and he wasn't about to stop.
"There are rare books all the way up to the ceiling, so absurdly far up (like 27 feet or something) that they are almost guaranteed to never come down. In addition to the shelves, both fixed and (apparently) movable, there are piles of books. Everywhere. There are paper bags and paper bags and paper bags filled with books, on the floor and in the aisles, and there are cabinets filled with prints and folios and ephemera and beetles and god knows what else..." "This is the single most amazing place I have ever been! When I dream about getting lost in a maze of forgotten books... this is what it looks like."
It is a pleasure to be talking to you this evening. When Dianne and Kay generously invited me to speak to the Society, many different topics came to mind. I will attempt to cover several of them: how I became a bibliophile; some highpoints of my bibliophilia, with a focus on two books of special importance to me, both of them published anonymously; how I came to write Rare; some points about Rare; and a few final remarks about the future of books. Covering all these topics in 25 minutes might be difficult. We will soon see whether I can fit all these clowns into one Volkswagen. - Transcript of a talk given by Stuart Kells at a gathering of the Redmond Barry Society at Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller in Collins Street, Melbourne