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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

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Sabine Keune, Germany - Why ILAB Congresses are an ideal place to meet, learn and network

Cologne was my first oneBack in 1992, the international antiquarian book world opened its doors to me with the ILAB Congress and Book Fair in Cologne. This was long before the arrival of the Internet. I was new to the trade, had been self-employed since 1987 and was thoroughly impressed by all the encounters and offerings; ...
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Byron in Russia. Washington Irving in Germany

Washington Irving's name and fame reached Germany suddenly when in 1819–20 The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. was published in England and America. Diedrich Knickerbocker's History of New York (1809), which had appeared ten years earlier and had established Irving's reputation as a writer, held no appeal for Europe. Its native satire and its mockery of American politics were incomprehensible to those not intimately acquainted with New York life and its political scene. But when British journals began to praise this first American man of letters and reprinted authorized or pirated sections from The Sketch Book, German papers and periodicals promptly translated these extracts. Editions in book form quickly followed, and the reception was enthusiastic.
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Did Ansel Adams take these photos? Are they worth $200 million? Depends who you ask

"Rick Norsigian, the antiques buff who bought a couple of boxes of old-fashioned glass-plate photographic negatives at a garage sale 10 years ago in Fresno, then set out to prove they were taken by Ansel Adams early in his career, is back in the news."
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A Bibliophile's Paradise

"Dreaming of a store devoted to books about books? Wake up to reality; Oak Knoll Books makes this fantasy come true."
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Collecting Herman Melville

Nineteen-ninety-one marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Herman Melville. Numerous observances were held to commemorate the work of that remarkable American writer, so widely forgotten a century ago and so widely celebrated today. The centenary was another step in the evolving attitude toward the man and his work. The re-evaluation of Melville's literary career began even before his death, and has grown in ever-widening circles ever since.
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Collecting History - Two Hundred Years On, Napoleon Is Still Much More Interesting than Arthur Wellesley

Despite astonishing and terrifying the world with his lightning manoeuvres and remorseless expenditure of human lives, Napoleon and Republican France were ultimately crushed. Exhausted by constant total warfare rather than strategically defeated on the battlefield, Napoleon left France economically ravished and decisively toppled from its position as the most powerful European nation. Thus this final battle, Waterloo, is rightly regarded as one of the most pivotal moments in Modern British history, ushering in a century of rapid economic and colonial expansion, and global naval domination. It is perhaps no coincidence then that our recent post-colonial age has seen these wars and their principle players romanticised by novelists such as Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O'Brian, C. S. Forester, and Douglas Reeman. These patriotic pseudo-historical accounts, often based on extensive research, present the British armed forces at their best – fighting as heroic under-dogs for the last time while saving the rest of Europe from French Republican autocracy. Cornwell's creation, the Richard Sharpe series, is perhaps the most interesting of these, since the eponymous protagonist manages to be present not only at most of the important battles of the Peninsula War in Portugal and Spain, but also at the Siege of Copenhagen, the naval battle of Trafalgar, and of course the coup de grace, Waterloo.
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