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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Press Articles

Bibliomaniacs in Battersea

Published on 19 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

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

"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

"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

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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Press Articles

In the Press - Collector and Bookseller: A Vanishing Relationship?

"It's a cliché, but it's true: Things aren't the same as they used to be. Over the last twenty-five years, we've transformed the way that we buy books and build our collections, and most of the familiar bookshops, old and new, have disappeared. There aren't nearly as many local places to browse and buy books as there once were, but there are more books available to buy than ever, and great collections are still being formed. But collectors and booksellers have lost something along the way, and it's important to recognize that just as Frank Bruni's favorite restaurants offer something that he can't get anywhere else, this is what the book market, at its best, used to do, and still sometimes does." A thoughtful article about rare book dealers and collectors by Joel Silver for Fine Books & Collections. Read it!
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Press Articles

In the Press - Breakthrough over 600-year-old mystery manuscript

A breakthrough has been made in attempts to decipher a mysterious 600-year-old manuscript written in an unknown language: The Voynich Manuscript, carbon-dated to the 1400s, was rediscovered in 1912, when the antiquarian bookseller Wilfrid Voynich bought it in Italy as part of a rare book collection. Since then it has defied codebreakers and scientists. Read the full article on BBC News.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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The Guardian: Harry Potter First Edition Featuring JK Rowling Drawings Sells for £150,000

"A first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, with author JK Rowling's notes and original illustrations, was sold for £150,000 at auction in London. The book, which was auctioned by Sotheby's at a charity sale in aid of the English Pen writers' association, was purchased by an anonymous bidder by telephone. The annotations by Rowling include comments on the process of writing and a section from an early draft of the novel, along with a number of illustrations drawn by her and a note on how she came to invent Quidditch, a sport played by characters in the books."
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16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography - Submit a book to the most prestigious prize until the end of April 2013!

A prize with prestige and tradition, a strong support for scholarship: The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography of $10,000 US is awarded every fourth year to the authors of the most outstanding works on the history of the book. Famous scholars like Jean Peeters-Fontainas, I. C. Koeman and Anthony Hobson belong to the prize winners alongside Lotte Hellinga and Jan Storm van Leeuwen who were honoured with the 15th Prize in September 2010. Both, Lotte Hellinga's monumental "Catalogue of Books printed in the XVth Century now in the British Library, BMC. Part XI – England" and Jan Storm van Leeuwen's opus magnum on "Dutch Decorated Bookbinding in the Eighteenth Century" are shining examples for the enormous amount of knowledge - and work - which stands behind such brilliant studies in a scientific field that is essential for every kind of academic research, and for the rare book trade. The 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded in 2014 to one or more books about books published in any language and in any part of the world between 2009 and 2012. Publishers, librarians, collectors, antiquarian booksellers and all book lovers are very welcome to submit books to the prize until the end of April 2013 by sending a single copy to the Prize Secretary: Arnoud Gerits (Distelvlinderweg 37 d, 1113 LA Diemen, Netherlands).
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Article

Schrödter (Shoe-Maker), Taurinius (Printer), Damberger (Cabinet-Maker) - One Author, Three Travel Books

Ray Howgego is currently working on a bibliography of invented, imaginary and apocryphal voyages which will be published by Hordern House. This is his most recent article about the ficticious voyages of three (three?) authors: "Christian Friedrich Damberger, whose real name was possibly Zacharias Taurinius, is the pseudonymous author of, or collaborator on, three cleverly contrived hoax narratives of travel, the first published under the name of Joseph Schrödter, the second under the name of Taurinius, and the third under the name of Damberger. Because of their bibliographic relationship and probable common authorship, the three books are considered here together."
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Bibliographies - Orient

Online: Bodleian Library Special Collections - Dorn/Rost, Catalogue des manuscrits et xylographes orientaux - Tobler, Bibliographica geographica Palaestinae - Julius Theodor Zenker, Bibliotheca orientalis ... - Amari, Biblioteca arabo-sicula, 2 volumes - Enslin, Bibliotheca Philologica
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Slavery in the French Colonies: Le Code Noir (the Black Code) of 1685

Snippets from a very interesting article by Kelly Buchanan about slavery in the French colonies and the French law which were fixed in "The Black Code" in 1685 and remained in force for 163 years.
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Rare Books in the Press: Rare Comic Taken From Nic Cage Resurfaces

"A valuable comic featuring the debut of Superman has re-surfaced in a storage locker, and police said Monday that it appears to be the same one stolen from Nicolas Cage more than a decade ago", the police reported on April 11, 2011. An article about the comic theft in Ventura County Star.
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