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.
For some reason, I didn't get my customary invitation to the press preview of the latest British Library exhibition, "Maps and the 20th Century : Drawing the Line", when it opened towards the last year – perhaps it was something I said. No matter, it's still on for another six weeks or so – and I finally found some time to visit it a few days ago.
I found it challenging, which is a good thing.
After a longer break Michèle Noret has now published her tenth catalogue of picture books – and this is right at the time like a christmas-gift! In 2004, after having made herself independent (before she worked together with Thierry Corcelle, where she gained great experience of illustrated children's books in general) she began to publish her catalogues, now mainly concentrated on artists' children's books of the 20th century, each catalogue like a little portable gallery! I do not (and one probably cannot) know how many collectors of this sort of illustrated books exist in the world, but I hope: many! Collecting these books is one of the most adventurous and inspiring book-activities: it does not only confront us with the beauty of book-art and illustration (which, of course, would also be a result of collecting older books!), it also motivates - through the obviously never ending great creativity of artists worldwide in the field of book-making - to believe in the future of the book (inspite of all complaints about its coming „death"). Collecting contemporary picture books (be they children's books or illustrated books in general) means to be aware of the great challenge that every day an hitherto unknown object of beauty might be published. There is no predestination of a repertory, there is only your own decision: are you fascinated or not!
Online: Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC) - Union Catalogue of Incunabula (GKW) - Munich Incunabula Collection - INKA Catalogue of Incunabula, Tübingen - L. Hain, Repertorium bibliographicum - W. A. Copinger, Supplement to Hain's Repertorium Bibliographicum - Dietrich Reichling, Appendices ad Hainii-Copingeri - M. Pellechet, Catalogue Général des Incunables des Bibliothèques publiques de France - Alfred W. Pollard et al., Catalogue of books mostly from the presses of the first printers showing the progress of printing with movable metal types through the second half of the 15th century - Bancroft Library of Incunabula - History of the Book Title