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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Press Articles

Bibliomaniacs in Battersea

Published on 08 June 2018
“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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Press Articles

In the Press - How James Bond books have soared in value ahead of Spectre

Published on 18 Sept. 2015
The Telegraph: "Collectors' demand for rare, first-edition Ian Fleming books has spiked in recent weeks ahead of the release of the 24th James Bond film, Spectre. New Bond films never fail to spark fresh interest in Fleming's books and James Bond memorabilia. And the value of some of the most sought-after pieces has risen steadily. Rare-book seller Peter Harrington said Ian Fleming's books had been consistently strong sellers over the past 50 years, but became even more sought-after when new films were released."
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Press Articles

Peter Harrington Rare Books Featured on BBC News: Charles Dickens inscribed book offered for £275,000 sale

Published on 20 Aug. 2014
"A signed copy of Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities bearing a personal inscription to fellow author George Eliot has gone on sale for £275,000. Dated December 1859, the dedication expresses "high admiration and regard" for Eliot - real name Mary Ann Evans. It is being sold by rare book dealer Peter Harrington and is currently on show at its central London bookshop. If it reaches its asking price, the book will be among the most expensive Dickens works ever purchased." Read the whole story on BBC News.
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Press Articles

On the Blog - Provenance in Pictures: Tracking the Ownership of Three Early Printed Books

Published on 27 May 2014
"Last week a group of Melbourne bibliophiles were treated to a delightful talk by preeminent bookman Nicolas Barker, editor of The Book Collector since 1965, and whose bibliography records an impressive 1,000+ entries. Barker examined twenty or so works from Special Collections and talked to the salient points of each book. This post highlights three of the selected items that had multiple signs of ownership, all of which caught Barker's eye."
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Press Articles

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

Published on 28 April 2014
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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The British Have Invaded, And They’ve Got Our Kids!

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with David A. Noebel's theories of Commie Rock-n-Roll Mind Control, here's a sample: "…The destructive music of the Beatles merely reinforces the excitatory reflex of the youth to the point where it crosses the built-in inhibitory reflex. This in turn weakens the nervous system to a state where the youth actually suffers a case of artificial neurosis. And the frightening, even fatal, aspect of this mental breakdown process is the fact that these teenagers, in this excitatory, hypnotic state, can be told to do anything – and they will…
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Congress

1960 - Scheveningen

Back to the roots: The Preliminary Conference, organized by the Dutch booksellers and initiated by the "Father of the League" Menno Hertzberger, was held in Amsterdam in the year 1947. In 1960, the ILAB delegates from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and USA returned to The Netherlands for their 13th Congress. They spent four fruitful and delightful days in Scheveningen, with excursions to the famous libraries and museums in Amsterdam and Den Haag. Jack Joseph, at that time ABA President and one of 51 (!) British delegates, resumed: "The harmony of this Congress had been perfect, due in part to two working days and two workless days, but in the main to the cordiality exemplified by the splendid feelings evinced by all."
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Article

The American Gift Book, Part 2

If the bindings, illustrations, novelty of the formats, or the social causes connected with gift books were not enough to entice buyers, perhaps the textual content could. These were, after all, books. Gift books were carefully calculated not to risk offense, prompting Walt Whitman (DEMOCRATIC VISTAS, 1888, p. 65) to recall them as "those highly‑refined imported and gilt‑edged themes... causing tender spasms in the coteries, and warranted not to chafe the sensitive cuticle of the most exquisitely artificial gossamer delicacy." Whitman was correct, of course, and his comment was directed toward the bad poetry, most of it by women, as previously discussed. But there was also good poetry, including many early first appearances by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, and even Henry David Thoreau.
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Article

Interview with Leo Cadogan, Chair of the 21st Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair and Exhibitor

"I'm actually new to the post, and am picking up on years of work (ten in all) by my predecessor Roger Treglown, and the fantastic administration of our trade body, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, led by Marianne Harwood, the ABA's events administrator. They have made the fair the popular and convivial event that you will see if you attend this year. What inspires me to step into Roger's large shoes is the knowledge that this fair fills an important place in the antiquarian book world, in this country and abroad." An Interview with Leo Cadogan, Chelsea's new Chairman.
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Article

Book Scouting in … Amsterdam: Holy Ground

Ever been in Amsterdam? As in every European city there is much to see. Beautiful old buildings, the historic canals (Amsterdam is one of the cities called 'Venice of the North'!) lots of museums, history and art. For booklovers there are some great old book shops and flee-markets. People are friendly, and - guess what? - with few exceptions everybody speaks English too!
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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.
[…] Read More
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