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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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1 - 8 / 19

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

ILAB History

ABA History 1906-1984, Part 2

At this point - except for a tributory bow towards all those, named or not, who had set and kept the ABA in motion, and a passage on the then imminent fiftieth anniversary and tenth Congress - Dudley Massey's account concludes. To the far from dauntless continuator its coverage seems considerable and its evidence of determined burrowing in files and minutes impressive.
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Article

Girolamini and De Caro – A Letter to the Presidents of ILAB's Member Associations

Dear Fellow-Presidents, I am very sorry to be the bearer of bad news which are related to the thefts at the Girolamini-Library at Naples and Marino Massimo de Caro. Christian Westergaard, from Denmark, was arrested some days ago - and later released - for supposedly handling stolen Italian books. The books in question had no immediate Italian provenance (some came from the Macclesfield Library) but were on an Italian list of stolen books, presumably those known to have been stolen by De Caro and his accomplices. Because Christian and other dealers openly list their stock online, it seems that the Italian investigators just matched authors and titles, without reading the detailed notes, or examining the photos on the web, which would have demonstrated that these were not the copies in question. It is also more than curious that all of the eleven books that were confiscated by the Danish Police were titles that had appeared in auction 59 at Zisska & Schauer, Munich, in May of 2012. All of the then withdrawn books– totaling up to 540 – are still kept under lock by the Bavarian Police and that factor was forgotten by the Italian investigators! It may therefore even be that they do not fully understand that these books exist in multiple copies.
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Article

Bibliophile Societies - Miniature Book Society Conclave in Boston, 2014

Who ever thought that books that can't exceed 3 inches in any direction could become such a huge success! What was to be a three day visit to Boston to learn about miniature books turned into an adventure that provided me with an excellent opportunity to meet avid collectors, printers, and booksellers that revolves around the saying "yes, a book can be too big!"
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Article

Rare Booksellers - Poppings Up

I first met Anthony Smith a good few years ago when he was a student on the long since disappeared Postgraduate Diploma in Antiquarian Bookselling course we used to run in conjunction with the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies (SLAIS) at London University. A course long since disappeared, although we hope to reintroduce something similar before too long in a collaboration between the London Rare Books School, the ABA, and those involved in the History of the Book masters course run at the Institute of English Studies (watch this space).
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Congress

1956 - London

Translated by Mr. Martin Hamlyn from the official News Sheet of the Austrian Antiquarian Association
This Year the English Association (ABA for short) issued an invitation to London. The Association was holding its fifty year Jubilee, which coincided with the ten year jubilee of the ILAB. There was a record attendance at the Conference with over 160 foreign visitors so that (with a great number of ABA members and their wives and friends), all official functions were well attended, and at the Farewell Dinner there were over 350 present!Dear old London presented herself as of old. With here lovely parks, where, unexpectedly for us, deck chairs for everyone stood ready on the lawns, with her streets, mirabile dictu, full of considerate drivers, a refreshing lack of monster cars (though with plenty of imposing Rolls-Royces), everywhere friendly and modest, helpful people, staff not always greedy for tips, countless typically English businesses, looking back on a long tradition, with handsome galleries and libraries, and in them a profusion of the finest things, shown in a modern and practical fashion.As for the book trade with their inconceivably rich stocks, one has only to stroll through one of the big houses, Maggs, Quaritch, Edwards, Joseph and the rest, to understand what the English book trade means. To which it must be added that there are few pleasanter places in which to do business than the English book trade. If the antiquarian book trade as a whole complains of a lack of wares, the English trade even today is in the pleasant position of being able to count on quick replacement, since London is the place where the greatest supply is to be found. So every foreign visitor found a richly laid table ready, and, as we heard, some astonishingly large reductions were made on the occasion of the Conference. Further proof of the importance of these yearly Conferences for all concerned.
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Article

Young Dealers / Old Books - First Efforts: Yet More Mistakes

"First catalogues are intimidating things, as you are introducing yourself to the bookselling world: your fellow dealers, serious collectors, institutions and librarians. All the more intimidating is that you are doing this in something that announces that it's your first effort, thereby – to my mind at least – inviting even closer scrutiny. So you truly want to present the best image of yourself that you can." With Brian Cassidy's musings on his first catalogue, ILAB starts a new series on its website about "Young Dealers / Old Books".
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