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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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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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Collecting

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 The focus of their desire is seemingly limitless: centuries' worth of rare and unique tomes, manuscripts, and historical documents are out there, everywhere, each with unique stories and histories.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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Collecting

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

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

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

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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Collecting

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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Collecting

Book Collecting Basics - A History of the Bastard Title

Published on 10 Feb. 2015
At last, it is time to read your new book. It is a crisp evening and you have made a cup of your favorite tea. You splurged and even made a fire. You sink into your chair and look at the book's cover, tracing the title with your fingertip. You sip your tea and open to the first page. Blank. You turn the page. Nearly blank, except for the title - again. With some impatience, you turn to the next page. Here the title is presented a third time but with the welcome addition of the author and publisher. Your tea nearly finished, you quickly flip past the table of contents, list of illustrations, author's note, preface, introduction, and dedication. As your fire burns out, you reach page one. As any reader knows, a book can offer a vast amount of information before the "first" page. But why, one wonders, do some books display the title no less than three times in succession? None will dispute the cover: printing the title there seems obvious and right. Even the title page, listing the title, author, and publisher, passes with little argument. But why this in-between page, this unneeded repetition between the two? Why, in the words of old-fashioned bookbinders, this bastard title?
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19 - 27 / 74

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Tomas Jansson – New President of the Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers’ Associaton (SVAF)

At the annual meeting the Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (Svenska Antikvariatföreningen, SVAF) elected a new president and a new committee. New SVAF President is Tomas Jansson of Carolina Böcker and Konst. The antiquarian bookshop, located in Uppsala and founded in 1993, is specialized on medicine and medical history, Russian and Russian literature, but also has a large general stock.
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Article

Antiquarian Booksellers Create a Unique ILAB Pop Up Book Street on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2016

It was a big success in 2015, and they have decided to do it again on 23 April 2016: Antiquariat Isis is the only ILAB bookseller in Groningen, Netherlands, but instead of thinking "there is only one of us and nothing can be done", Lyseth Belt and Theo Butterhof of Antiquariaat Isis, with the support of their local community, will organize the second edition of a rather special ILAB Pop Up celebration of UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day. Before the Second World War Groningen's Folkingestraat with the beautiful Synagogue was the heart of the Jewish community. Today it is a lively and busy quarter, full of small and independent shops, full of bookish and cultural events, a must go to for every visitor in the Netherlands. And on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016 Folkingestraat will even be something unique: with the ILAB flag flying high above the street it will become the worldwide only ILAB Pop Up Book Street!
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Article

iPhone App for Rare Books, Magnificent Manuscripts and Autographs: „Treasures of the Bavarian State Library“

Browse the treasures of the Bavarian State Library with your iPhone: the "Nibelungenlied", the Gutenberg Bible, rare manuscripts from the Orient and the Occident. The first iPhone App for book lovers.
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Article

Getting Healthy on Summer Vacation

If you were a wealthy New Yorker in the Gilded Age, you spent the summer in the resorts of upstate New York to escape the stifling heat of the city. Upstate New York meant mountains, snow-fed streams, clean air, and luxury hotels. There developed a cadre of physicians and clergy who came to believe that those pristine regions were the perfect place for people suffering from diseases and chronic "delicacy of chest" ailments. Among them was Dr. Joseph W. Stickler, a physician and pathologist at Orange Memorial Hospital in New Jersey. Dr. Stickler was something of an authority on respiratory diseases and he wrote a book, The Adirondacks as a Health Resort, published in 1886. A copy of that book is in the collection of rare and unusual books at Lighthouse Books, ABAA.
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Article

New York Antiquarian Book Fair 2012 - Field Day for the 1 %

A colleague approached me on the floor of the New York Book Fair and asked if I'd composed this week's blog yet. I told him I had not. He kindly offered to write it for me himself. It'd be a snap, he said – first the obligatory picture of booksellers slouched around the bar at Donohue's, then a photo of an unhappy dealer at set-up, surrounded by more books than he had room for, a shot of the eager line at opening, and two or three more showing people in the act of purchasing things. Add a funny story about something that happened to one of our colleagues, and a picture, with price and description, of a really neat item that I bought at the show, and it'd be done.
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Article

The German Historical Museum in Berlin must return 4200 historical posters to the lawful heirs

The Jewish dentist Hans Sachs had collected over 8000 posters with historical advertisings before he fled from Nazi Germany to the United States. The Nazis confiscated the poster collection. It was rediscovered in a cellar in Eastern Berlin during the 1960s. 4200 posters from this collection were then given to the German Historical Museum. Now the museum must return the posters to the son of Hans Sachs. The Federal Court in Karlsruhe had concluded that the family of the collector always was and still is the rightful owner.
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