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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Press Articles

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

Published on 06 March 2014
"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

Published on 20 Feb. 2014
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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Press Articles

Rare Books in the Press - 16th-century manuscript could rewrite Australian history

Published on 17 Jan. 2014
"A tiny drawing of a kangaroo curled in the letters of a 16th-century Portuguese manuscript could rewrite Australian history. The document, acquired by Les Enluminures Gallery in New York, shows a sketch of an apparent kangaroo (''canguru'' in Portuguese) nestled in its text and is dated between 1580 and 1620. It has led researchers to believe images of the marsupial were already being circulated by the time the Dutch ship Duyfken - long thought to have been the first European vessel to visit Australia - landed in 1606." Read the whole story by Charli Newton in The Age:
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Press Articles

Rare Books in the Press - Prison Memoir of a Black Man in the 1850s

Published on 13 Dec. 2013
"Years ago, a rare-books dealer browsing at an estate sale in Rochester came across an unusual manuscript, dated 1858. The family selling it said little about where it had been for the last 150 years. It appeared never to have left upstate New York. Scholars now believe that the mystery manuscript is the first recovered memoir written in prison by an African-American, a discovery that Yale University says it made after authenticating the document and acquiring it for its Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library." Read the whole story in The New York Times.
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Press Articles

Rare Books in the Press: Bibliophilia for Beginners

Published on 02 Dec. 2011
"You may think that no gift could be safer or tamer than a book. Rare books, however, are a different beast—if you're planning to buy one for a friend, or to treat yourself, remember the advice that is always given about dogs: They are not just for Christmas. In Arturo Pérez-Reverte's thriller "The Dumas Club," the satanic book dealer Varo Borja declares: "Becoming a book collector is like joining a religion: It's for life." All collecting is a disease, but lusting after rare books often strikes those without the bug as deranged. Unlike paintings or fine furniture, say, books are intrinsically mass-produced objects. What's more, you can look at a watercolor or a piece of porcelain without doing it any damage, but—according to the memoirs of the writer and collector John Baxter—a rare book loses $5 in value every time you open it."
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Press Articles

„Aus dem Antiquariat“ - The September Issue of the German Magazine for Antiquarian Booksellers and Book Collectors

Published on 05 Oct. 2011
Gerd Rosen was a famous and exceptional antiquarian book dealer, with a remarkable career - and not without controversy. Although of Jewish origin, his contacts to the Nazi regime allowed him to keep working during the Third Reich. After the War he opened a gallery for contemporary art at the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin as early as 1945. The gallery became the centre of the new Berlin art scene, although Gerd Rosen quarrelled with its most prominent artists. A financial crises followed in 1950. Gerd Rosen had to close his gallery, but it took him only a short time to start a new career as an antiquarian bookseller, auctioneer, and bibliomaniac. The recent issue of the German magazine "Aus dem Antiquariat" presents an excellent article on Gerd Rosen's life and career which is, at the same time, a look back into the history of the German antiquarian book trade from the 1930s to the 1960s.
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Press Articles

Rare Books in the Press: The Death of the Book

Published on 20 April 2011
The book is dead, murdered by the internet and buried with a Kindle on its coffin … Or not? The death of the book is not a modern phenomenon, says Ben Ehrenreich in the Los Angeles Review of Books: "Nor is it new to point out that people have been diagnosing - and celebrating - the book's imminent demise for generations." As early as 1913 a futurist manifesto demanded "a typographic revolution directed against the idiotic and nauseating concepts of the outdated and conventional book".
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Photography - A Thousand Words…

Neither of my kids, doubtless traumatized by having a bookseller for a father, is much of a reader, but both are splendidly visually literate. He's a photographer and she's a florist. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and all that other stuff I don't know how to work, is about images, not words. That's how we communicate with one another these days. Even our book descriptions depend on images now. Rare is the catalog that is not lavishly illustrated, and if our online listings hope to have any chance of selling, they'd better feature plenty of images. We're in the cradle period of images and imaging. Some day soon images will be text, and text will be arcane. We will be practitioners of black arts.
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Book thefts and recovery: How the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers Use Stolen-book.org

An interesting article in the Art Crime Blog about ILAB's efforts to cope with book thefts and to catch book thieves as quickly as possible. A. M. C. Knutsson describes the Stolen Book Database of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and its worldwide influence.
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Article

Books in Hard Times Draws a Crowd

"The hotly anticipated Books in Hard Times conference held at the Grolier Club on September 22, 2009 drew 150 collectors, booksellers, and librarians. The usual suspects were in attendance along with a few new and young faces. One might have expected the mood to be dark and somber, but even before the opening remarks, the tenor of conversation in the audience was optimistic."
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Article

Papier Mâché and The Private Library

"One of the most unusual bindings one is likely to encounter among books purchased at yard sales, garage sales, friends-of-the-library book sales and the like is papier mâché." L.D. Mitchell on Papier Mâché and The Private Library.
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Apply for Scholarship - ILAB Congress Los Angeles February 2018

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America's Elisabeth Woodburn Fund is proud to give the opportunity to THREE YOUNG ANTIQUARIANS to participate in the 43rd ILAB Congress!National associations are asked to nominate a young antiquarian of their choice by 31 July 2017 and submit a short CV for the applicant and a brief recommendation by the president of the national association...
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Collecting - Who Is the Real Robinson Crusoe?

With any truly great novel, the questions are usually the same. Where did the story come from? What inspired it? Were the characters or plot based on real-life elements? But these tried-and-true questions might mean a little more when asked about Daniel Defoe's 1719 debut novel Robinson Crusoe, a book literary scholars the world over regard as one of the first realistic fiction novels and one that helped popularize the form we still crave today.
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