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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

Rare Book Collector Spotlight: Modern First Editions of Moshe Prigan

Published on 19 July 2018
Moshe Prigan is an accomplished book collector, freelance writer, and retired teacher of art and history. He lives in Haifa, Israel but searches globally to make new acquisitions for his collection. While mainly interested in English and Italian volumes of Umberto Eco, he also collects other authors including Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood. Moshe has generously shared his collecting insights with us in the following interview.
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Collecting

Collecting - The Rembrandt Connection

Published on 19 July 2018
A wonderful story of a young collector who became an antiquarian bookseller: "I saw the documentary about its ten year renovation on television. I watched the opening ceremony on television too and I have heard from people who have been there that the museum is very beautiful. I am deliberately delaying my visit. I am feeling a bit uneasy because I know that they are still there, but not exactly where. I know that they will look at me, just as they did the first time. They will remind me of my promise and I will feel guilty, fall silent and won't have a proper answer ..."
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How I Became a Bibliophile and Other Diverse Matters

Published on 19 July 2018
It is a pleasure to be talking to you this evening. When Dianne and Kay generously invited me to speak to the Society, many different topics came to mind. I will attempt to cover several of them: how I became a bibliophile; some highpoints of my bibliophilia, with a focus on two books of special importance to me, both of them published anonymously; how I came to write Rare; some points about Rare; and a few final remarks about the future of books. Covering all these topics in 25 minutes might be difficult. We will soon see whether I can fit all these clowns into one Volkswagen. - Transcript of a talk given by Stuart Kells at a gathering of the Redmond Barry Society at Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller in Collins Street, Melbourne
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Bibliophile Societies Worldwide 1 - Bookplate Societies in Australia

Published on 19 July 2018
A bookplate (or ex libris) is a label placed inside a book to mark ownership. The rise of bookplates occurred concurrently with the advent of printing from moveable type, whilst the collecting of bookplates arose in Britain in the early nineteenth-century as an offshoot of the genteel pastime of collecting coats of arms into albums. The Ex Libris Society was formed in London in 1891 and lasted into the early years of the twentieth-century. In Australia, bookplate collecting and owning a bookplate became the height of fashion among the cultured between the World Wars. In recent years, there has again been increasing interest in bookplates among book lovers and artists, and societies have been formed in Melbourne and Sydney.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Original “Big Book”

Published on 19 July 2018
In the "random" (this week's nomination for a word that's been misused to death) way typical of buying trips, last week's journey through Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia yielded some interesting and unexpected finds. But the biggest purchase, and I mean biggest, was John Scott Russell's Modern System of Naval Architecture. The book, in three large folio volumes, measures 20 ½ x 27 ½ inches and weighs in at well over 120 pounds. I've sold three or four copies over the years. Once I had to mail one. Took me all day to wrap it.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Chapbooks: Short Books with Long History

Published on 19 July 2018
Scholars debate over the etymology of the term "chapbook." Some argue that "chap" is derived from "cheap," surely an accurate description of chapbooks, since they were indeed cheap little publications. But the more widely accepted explanation is that "chap" comes from the Old English "céap," meaning "barter" or "deal." Peddlers came to be known as chaps, and they were the primary purveyors of chapbooks. Whatever the origin of their name, chapbooks became a vital tool for dissemination of information and promotion of literacy. As publishing and readers' tastes evolved, chapbooks also provided an ideal means of addressing an increased demand for children's literature.
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Banned Books Week - ‘All that Hell could vomit forth’

Published on 19 July 2018
This week is Banned Books Week. I've written about banned books before: the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in the Weimar Republic, in the Soviet Union. Here's something a little earlier: the libellous Philippiques of François-Joseph de Lagrange-Chancel (1677–1758). These virulent satires against the Regent, the duc d'Orléans, enjoyed a huge popularity in manuscript throughout the eighteenth century, as the varied examples here show. 'In spite of its imperfections and crying injustice, it is the monument of satire in France' (Nouvelle biographie générale).
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The Life and Library of Victor Manheimer – A New Book by Sebastian Kötz

Published on 19 July 2018
In the year 1927 a library of Baroque literature was auctioned in Munich at Karl & Faber. Nowadays, the catalogue of this auction belongs to the main reference works which are quoted by antiquarian booksellers, bibliographers and auctioneers when it comes to cataloguing literature of that period. Owner of the library was the German Jewish bibliophile Victor Manheimer.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Don’t Panic! Douglas Adams: Turning Science Fiction into Comedy

It's a well-told story: a man is hitchhiking his way across Europe, has a few too many pints at the pub, lies down in a field, looks up at the stars, and thinks, "Hey, someone should write a guide to hitchhiking across space!" The British writer Douglas Adams (1952-2001) admitted that he'd told the story so many times, he wasn't completely sure which parts were true and which were embellished.
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Article

John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors

"Like all good reference books, the ABC for Book Collectors conveys much in a little, sets limits to its subject and keeps within them, and - saving grace - treats that subject with individuality as well as authority, in a style at once concise, forthright and witty. It is, in short, a masterpiece, whose merits are acknowledged by the fact that it has never, in forty years, been out of print." (Nicolas Barker in his introduction to the revised edition of the "ABC for Book Collectors", Oak Knoll Press 1995)
John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors
The ABC for Book Collectors is presented here, with our thanks, by permission of Bob Fleck, Oak Knoll Press.
Nicolas Barker about the ABC for Book Collectors
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Article

From the Private Library's Archives: Extra-Illustrated Books and The Private Library

Any independent bookstore that has been in business for any length of time is likely to have squirreled away on its shelves a tome or two (or more) that is extra-illustrated. Such books are illustrated by means of engravings, variant title pages, and the like, which were not included in the book by the publisher, but added later. This additional matter may consist of original drawings, manuscripts, etc., but it may also consist of leaves taken from other books. The added material may be mounted, inlaid, or trimmed to conform to the size of the other leaves of the book. Also called "Grangerized" (a term derived from the vogue begun by the publication of James Granger's Biographical history of England, in 1769, in which Granger had blank leaves included so that the owner could insert desired illustrations).
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Article

54th London International Antiquarian Book Fair: High visitor numbers and good sales throughout

Over 160 antiquarian booksellers as well as private presses, bookbinders and other affiliated trade exhibited last week from the 9th to the 11th June 2011 at the world's oldest antiquarian book fair, the London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia. Over 3,000 book collectors and bibliophiles, book dealers and enthusiasts attended the fair, which is organised by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) and supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). Robert Frew, Chairman of the fair: "We are very happy with the results of the 2011 fair with good sales across the range. During the fair I have spoken to a lot of exhibitors. Dealers feel confident about the future, book collecting in general as well as well organised book fairs."
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Article

Collecting - Serendipity and The Private Library

I visited a little antiquarian shop in Weesp (not far from Amsterdam) to do a little browsing. After half an hour I was done and ready to leave. I was taking a last look at the shop's shelf of House of Orange books (books about the Dutch Royal House) when my eye was drawn to a book with an interesting but untitled spine. The book turned out to be a catalog of an exhibition of portraits and objects relating to the House of Orange-Nassau on the occasion of the inauguration of Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina (1898).
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Chilling Tales from the Icy Wastes

The polar regions have always had a huge attraction for mankind and its explorers. What lay in or beyond those icy wastes? An open sea? The way to Asia? Riches beyond the dreams of avarice? Many set out to find out, never to return. Probably no other field of exploration has brought forth so many heroes, sung and unsung, so much suffering and so many, often unnecessary, deaths. Probably most of the gruesome deaths in the icy reaches will never be known or told, but several made it into print from the 16th to the 20th century. I have picked 10 expeditions at random, my only criterion being that there had to be horrible suffering, death, and, maybe, cannibalism.
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