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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Collecting

Sweet Home Chicago: A Literary Tour of the Windy City

Published on 02 Dec. 2015
Though often referred to as the Second City, Chicago is second to none in terms of its rich cultural heritage, iconic architecture, sports fandom, and inventive takes on comfort food staples like the pizza hotdog and the red hot. But The Windy City is also home to a literary tradition rivaled by very few cities across the country, with some of America's most renowned writers calling Chicago their home ...
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Collecting

Collecting - J. & F. Harwood of Fenchurch Street

Published on 30 Oct. 2015
I have long admired those occasionally found sheets of decorative Victorian notepaper – a handsomely engraved view of your place of resort at the head of a folded sheet of letter-paper: enough space to write a full four-page letter – the more leisurely and elegant precursor of the picture-postcard. While they enjoyed their brief spell of fashion in the mid-nineteenth century there were a number of specialist London (as well as local) manufacturers, but the most appealing of them to my mind – a little larger, a little more artistic – employing decent artists like Thomas Abiel Prior and Edward John Roberts, and certainly better engraved – were those produced by the Harwoods of Fenchurch Street, who also produced bound selections of these views printed on heavier paper under a multitude of titles, such as "Harwood's Scenery of Great Britain", "Harwood's Views of Guernsey", "Harwood's Views of Derbyshire", etc.
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Rare Books Uncovered: Rebecca Rego Barry’s True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places

Published on 28 Oct. 2015
Few collectors are as passionate or as dogged in the pursuit of their quarry as collectors of rare books. In fact, book collecting is the only pastime that has a clinically diagnosable illness – bibliomania - to describe its more obsessive hobbyists. The focus of their desire is seemingly limitless: centuries' worth of rare and unique tomes, manuscripts, and historical documents are out there, everywhere, each with unique stories and histories. In " Rare Books Uncovered", Rebecca Rego Barry recounts some of these remarkable discoveries from the world of book collecting.
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How to Begin Collecting Economists

Published on 19 Oct. 2015
Over the course of history, the economy - and all the surmising and projecting and studying it requires - has given rise to some of the most remarkable works of human-thought. Economists in every generation provide a fascinating breadth of work and ideas. Today, we'd like to explore a couple of famous economists as well as some ideas for collecting economy-based works. A basic list of economists that merit our attention can be formed from a quick glance throughout history. These individuals punctuate the economic landscape of their times with their thought-processes, philosophies, and recommendations. So without further ado, we give you some noteworthy economists, and their contributions, to add to or to begin growing your economic collection.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Allez Allez Allez!

Published on 12 Oct. 2015
How better to celebrate sports than by going over the close link historically between writers and bicycles. Leo Tolstoy was an early adopter, procuring a English Starley safety bicycle, which he learnt how to ride in his mid-sixties, undoubtedly to the surprise of the peasant workforce on his family estate at Yasnaya Polyana. Back in England H.G. Wells was a keen cyclist with the quote "When I see an adult on a bicycle I do not despair for the future of the human race" often attributed to him. He regularly managed to weave bicycles into his writings, perhaps most memorably in 'The War in the Air' with the novel's hero Bert Smallways, who with his business partner Grubb, rented bicycles to the intrepid or the foolhardy as the following excerpt shows.
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Collecting Robert Graves

Published on 07 Sept. 2015
In wider society, many today consider the Classics irrelevant, and very few children encounter them even in translations now, let alone in the original languages. This then is a far cry from the relentless Classical education Graves himself received, and it is in part at least his own doing. By knocking them off their pedestal, along with the moral authority of Christianity, Graves and his contemporaries simultaneously ensured a future interest in the Classics, and killed off their serious study, except from a historical perspective. In my opinion, if any trace of Greek and Roman literature survives 1000 years from now, it won't be Tacitus' Annals being read, but Robert Graves' novels.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - On m’accuse?

Published on 06 July 2015
If you've been following my blog for a while, you will know that I am interested in the reception of Anglophone literature abroad, and of foreign literature in the English-speaking world. One figure in this area who cannot be ignored is Henry Vizetelly (1820–1894), publisher, journalist, and editor, whose defiance of censorship and policy of issuing cheap reprints exerted a considerable influence on British publishing, not least the demise of the three-decker.
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Collecting - A Private Library in the Netherlands

Published on 01 July 2015
I've never been in the States, so I may be wrong, but I can't imagine collecting old and rare books over there the way I collect them here in the Netherlands. First of all, there probably is a big difference in the way we search for collectibles. Of course, I use the Internet (I even bought some books from the States that way), but the right stuff for me (and I imagine for others as well) is snooping around in beautiful little bookshops such as still abound here in the Netherlands, especially around me here in Amsterdam.
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Book Collecting Basics - How to Identify First Editions by Grosset & Dunlap

Published on 03 March 2015
Although publishers Grosset & Dunlap focused primarily on reprints, they did produce first editions. For book collectors, first edition identification is a vital skill. More often than not, conventions for distinguishing first editions vary from publishing house to publishing house. Take a moment to learn more about the history of Grosset & Dunlap and find out how to identify their first editions.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - OenoLit and The Private Library

Given that the first book printed from moveable type in Western Europe, the Gutenberg Bible, contains numerous references to wine, and given that the technology for printing that first book may itself have been modeled upon the screw press used to extract wine from grapes, this writer has always found it puzzling that the cultivation, processing, distribution and consumption of wine is rarely a major thematic element in works of fiction.
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Article

52nd New York Antiquarian Book Fair - April 13 – 15, 2012

Declared by the late Andy Rooney of CBS' 60 Minutes as the "Best Book Fair in the World," the New York Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Park Avenue Armory for its 52nd Anniversary. Sponsored by the prestigious Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the 52nd Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair promises to be the best exhibit to date.
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Article

Charles Dickens collectors see prices rise as signed book fetches £275k, here's how to invest from just £100

"Charles Dickens is arguably the nation's greatest novelist – as well as the most collectable. A signed copy of A Tale Of Two Cities was last month put up for sale for a record-breaking £275,000. The previous top price paid for the Victorian author's work was $290,000 (£174,000) for a pre-publication copy of A Christmas Carol in 2009. The signed copy of A Tale Of Two Cities is special as it is inscribed to fellow writer George Eliot – real name Mary Ann Evans. But Brian Lake, president of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, says the key appeal of Dickens is that there is a wide range of books and ephemera to suit all pockets ..."
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Article

43d California Book Fair and the State of the Trade

Last weekend's 43d California International Antiquarian Book Fair in Los Angeles, the first major book fair of the year, provided an excellent overview of where the rare book trade now stands and where it may be headed.
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Article

#HarryPotter20 - Or Harry Potter 20 Years On

The Harry Potter publishing phenomena is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Is it really 20 years already? Has an entire generation of Harry Potter fans grown up into adults who are more than half way through their twenties? According to its publisher Bloomsbury, the Harry Potter series is estimated to have been sold more than 450 million copies, in over 79 languages, worldwide in the ten years between 1997 and 2007.
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Article

Naturalis historia. De terrarum gentiumque historia deque peregrinatione – Dr. Paul Kainbacher’s latest catalogue

Naturalis historia. De terrarum gentiumque historia deque peregrinatione – This is the title of Dr. Paul Kainbacher's latest catalogue. I hardly know where to start, it is so full of rare and beautiful books. Before I mention a few of these treasures, let me stress what a handsome catalogue it is. The format is a generous quarto. The catalogue is profusely illustrated in colour throughout. There is at least one, often more, pictures of each item, and there is a real lay-out, with insets and details, not just your boring description plus picture. All in all, a feast for the eye.
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