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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
Rare Book Trade

The German Historical Museum in Berlin must return 4200 historical posters to the lawful heirs

Published on 16 March 2012
The Jewish dentist Hans Sachs had collected over 8000 posters with historical advertisings before he fled from Nazi Germany to the United States. The Nazis confiscated the poster collection. It was rediscovered in a cellar in Eastern Berlin during the 1960s. 4200 posters from this collection were then given to the German Historical Museum. Now the museum must return the posters to the son of Hans Sachs. The Federal Court in Karlsruhe had concluded that the family of the collector always was and still is the rightful owner.
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Rare Book Trade

Tokyo: World Antiquarian Book Plaza - The Ultimate Destination for Bibliophiles

Published on 02 March 2012
Is there an antiquarian bookshop somewhere in the world where you can browse the shelves filled with modern firsts from the United States, incunabula from Europe, woodcut books from Asia, and children's books, first editions, illustrated books, precious bindings, colour-plates and rare travel accounts from Australia, the United Kingdom, the Americas, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Austria and the Netherlands? Yes, there is such a place - in Tokyo.
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Rare Book Trade

Yushodo Celebrates its 80th Anniversary

Published on 03 Feb. 2012
Established in 1932 as an antiquarian bookstore specializing in research materials in Jimbocho, Yushodo will celebrate its 80th anniversary this year. This means, after some simple math and a bit of Yushodo history, Yushodo began its operation as a stock company 52 years ago when importing research materials from overseas was still considered a venture business; and it has been 2 very exciting years since Yushodo moved into the new office. And most importantly, our first fiscal year as a member of MCHI Holdings, a business entity established under DNP with the aim of revolutionizing how books and information are distributed, has ended at the end of last month.
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Rare Book Trade

A Kindlier Dozen for All

Published on 10 Jan. 2012
That's got that schmaltz out of the way … It's 2012! If you're of an excitable bent, then it's the year the world ends according to the Mayan Calendar (or more likely when the Mayan Calendar ends according to the world). If you're literary then it's 200 years of Charles Dickens; the man who brought you Bah! Humbug!, spontaneous human combustion, a series of character archetypes that for good or ill (or as is more usual, both) have endured (and been endured) for a good century and a half, and a new, disturbing and moving understanding of what it might have been like to be poor and deprived at the height of the British Empire's prosperity. Oh, and jolly fat people with odd names, can't forget them.
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Rare Book Trade

You Can Quote Me On That

Published on 21 Oct. 2011
My catalogs are shorter, each consisting a single item, and they are even more "special" since they only go to one person each – with photographs, but digitally. They are called "quotes" and they're what little guys like me – specialist dealers – do instead of accumulating 350,000 books and hiring a prodigy like Dan Gregory to sell them. I suspect the act of "quoting" books has been around since 1455. In the old days we used carrier pigeons. Later, we graduated to postcards. Kevin Johnson of Royal Books is a terrific bookseller. He makes the point that people actually like being contacted by dealers, especially if we're offering material that stimulates their interest. He prefers telephone, but I'm too shy. I use email instead. Still, it amounts to the same thing – we put the book in the person's hand and say, "Look at this! Isn't it cool? I'm really excited about it."
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Rare Book Trade

The Closing of the American Bookstore

Published on 11 Oct. 2011
It has been said that today's individual bookseller websites are the modern version of open shops of yesteryear. Certainly our own website was greatly influenced by Serendipity and the original Borders, as I detail in a separate essay. Is this the end of the American bookstore? Nothing like. Just the coincidental closing of two great individual, independent stores through entirely different circumstances. They live on, vigorously, in the memory of all who appreciated them. Owning and operating a bookstore has NEVER been an easy way to make a living. But booksellers are an obstinate and romantic lot. From their corps arise, from time to time, people with enough business sense to actually support their Quixotic dreams. Serendipity and Borders have closed, but independent bookstores like them will always be around.
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Rare Book Trade

The death of books has been greatly exaggerated (The Guardian)

Published on 31 Aug. 2011
"So I asked myself (somewhat desperately, positively naively): are things really that bad? What is the actual state of book publishing in Britain? Can writers really only look forward to a life of penury? Or should I stick my head in the sand, if only to deaden the sound of commissioning editors weeping into their lattes?" Lloyd Shepherd in The Guardian
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Rare Book Trade

Accessibility vs. access: How the rhetoric of “rare” is changing in the age of information abundance

Published on 30 Aug. 2011
What is really „rare"? Maria Popova asks the question which has always been essential for antiquarian booksellers, and which becomes more and more essential in our fully digitalized world where works are accessible by Google Books or The Library Archive which were buried in archives for centuries. In former times the antiquarian bookseller very often was the only one who brought these rare treasures to light. What now?
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

London International Antiquarian Book Fair, 28th to 30th May 2015

From May 28th to 30th the halls of Olympia will once again present an unparalleled array of literary material at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. Now in its 58th year, this major three-day event is one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world, showcasing rare, unique and unusual items from 180 leading UK and international dealers. From medieval manuscripts to modern signed first editions, visitors hold history in their hands as they view and buy museum-quality books, maps, prints, photographs, manuscripts, letters, ephemera and original artwork. With prices ranging from a few pounds to many, thousands there is something for everyone here.
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Article

Leonardo da Vinci's notebook "Codex Arundel" at the British Library

"This is to be a collection without order, drawn from many papers, which I have copied here, hoping to arrange them later each in its place, according to the subjects of which they treat."
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Take a Summer Travel Note from Mark Twain

It's that time of year when many of us begin to get that itch to get away. Summer is right around the corner, and with it the mystical promise of summer travel. If you're stuck at home this holiday season, or looking for a little inspiration for this year's travels, you may find help from a seemingly unlikely source: Mark Twain. That's right: this titan of American literature got his start as a travel writer.
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Article

Shakespeare’s Beehive - Rare Book Dealers George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler claim to have found Shakespeare's dictionary

George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler, both ABAA members and ILAB affiliates, have now published a study about their extensive researches: In Shakespeare's Beehive: An Annotated Elizabethan Dictionary Comes to Light, they conclude that the annotations in their copy of Baret's Alvearie purchased on eBay belong to William Shakespeare. Using example after example, the authors demonstrate how closely the annotations and Baret's text are tied to Shakespeare's own work. The annotator, while not once leaving his name on a page, nevertheless leaves behind an astonishing personal trail of fingerprints. This great discovery hit the news last week. A press review:
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Article

Extremely Rare Turkey Mill Ream Wrapper Surfaces

Beginning as a cloth fuller, by the early eighteenth century the Turkey Mill had wholly converted to making paper. In 1740 James Whatman assumed tenancy of the mill, enlarged it, and, assisted by famed British printer, John Baskerville, developed a new form of fine quality paper suitable for a greatly expanded range of printing and art work; the paper became the sought-after choice of artists such as J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Gainsborough.
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Article

Bibliomaniacs in Battersea

“Palpable history”, says Sir David Attenborough. We are at the annual Antiquarian Booksellers Association Rare Books Fair, and he is describing the pleasure of holding an incunable – a book printed in the fifteenth century, in the first few decades after the printing press was invented.
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