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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Collecting

Collecting - The Rembrandt Connection

Published on 26 March 2014
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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Collecting

How I Became a Bibliophile and Other Diverse Matters

Published on 24 March 2014
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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Collecting

Bibliophile Societies Worldwide 1 - Bookplate Societies in Australia

Published on 18 March 2014
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

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Original “Big Book”

Published on 18 Oct. 2013
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

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Chapbooks: Short Books with Long History

Published on 07 Oct. 2013
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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Collecting

Banned Books Week - ‘All that Hell could vomit forth’

Published on 23 Sept. 2013
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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Collecting

The Life and Library of Victor Manheimer – A New Book by Sebastian Kötz

Published on 18 Sept. 2013
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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Collecting

You don’t by any chance know the way through this labyrinth, do you?

Published on 09 May 2013
Having thought about it though, it did occur to me that the real problem with that Treasure Detectives malarkey was not even the fact that they had no clue what they were on about … more the fact that to someone "normal" it would be really hard to tell. If I were wandering the earth all besotted with books and suddenly had a windfall from a mysterious Romanian Great Uncle I'd never previously heard of, and I wanted to start collecting books … how would I go about it? First … there are rules. They are for you, and like all of the best rules, they are rules that don't just apply to book collecting.
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Collecting

How to Prevent Ghosting and Shadowing in Rare Books

Published on 21 March 2013
When it comes to rare books, condition is everything. Any kind of damage, discoloration, or flaws can significantly impact a book's value. One of the most common flaws we see in rare and antiquarian books is a condition called ghosting or shadowing. This condition occurs when a page fades unevenly, leaving a visible outline on the page.
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37 - 45 / 74

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Yushodo - A Case for a Decisive Transition from the Past to Future

One harsh reality for booksellers in Japan is that the total sales of books is declining every year. The decline itself would not be of much concern if we were seeing an increase in the sales of eBooks. But unfortunately this is not the case. If we define books as a means by which one acquires information, Google already has the upper hand over all of us. Would "real" printed books survive this rapid development of information technologies? If so, what would the eBooks-to-printed books ratio look like in the future?
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Booksellers

"There's enough beauty in the world to keep me here” - David Spode (1936-2013)

A couple of weeks before he died I asked David why he was so determined to hang on as long as he could. After all, we shared trenchant, dour, views of the universe, of human existence. He replied, "There's enough beauty in the world to keep me here." That didn't make me pause for thought; what did was the realisation that he was so good at sharing beauty. If I begin to count up all the things that I treasure that I learnt from David either directly or indirectly - by following leads given by him down paths of my own making - then I find myself with a tangle of debt that can't and doesn't need to be unpicked.
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Article

The Rare Book Trade - Gauguin’s Model

Today's entry has to do with the way Tahiti looked to Gauguin, but it is also about colleagues, and buying things, and about surprises – about whether or not they can be surprises if we expect them.
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Article

Collecting Rare Australian Art Books

Books are visual creations, so it stands to reason that artists and publishers will be interested in making them beautiful, interesting and exciting objects. All books have some level of 'art' in them, but collectors will look to the identity of the artist, and the skill of the artwork, in judging their desirability. Books are another medium for an artist to express their ideas - this may be through reproductions or original artworks. The best Australian Art books are both beautiful publications and artworks in the one volume.
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