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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 27 May 2014
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 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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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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Interview with ABA Secretary Camilla Szymanowska

Rare Books London, the capital's new festival of old and rare books, will bring together booksellers, auctioneers, collectors, readers, experts of various professions all linked to the world of rare and antiquarian books. We spoke to Camilla Szymanowska, Secretary of the British Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) about this exciting new initiative.
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Article

How COVID-19 is Affecting Antiquarian Booksellers

Earlier today, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) hosted a 90-minute webinar to discuss how the COVID-19 health crisis is affecting antiquarian booksellers around the world.
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Article

Serendipity Books - For Sale

It was legendary: Seredenpity Books. An era came to an end when one of the iconic characters and most famous antiquarian booksellers Peter B. Howard died on March 31, 2011. Now his shop Serendipity Books is for sale, either the inventory en bloc with millions of books ranging from rare first editions to beautiful items of all fields of interests or as an ongoing business with an option to purchase or continue leasing the building.
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Article

3rd Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair, 27-29 March 2015

For the third time antiquarian booksellers and collectors will meet at the Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan from Friday 27 March to Sunday 29 March to celebrate the Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will be officially opened on Friday 5.30 pm in the presence of the great bibliophile, author and scholar Umberto Eco. Organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Italy (ALAI) and supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) this high class event will attract bibliophiles, traders, journalists, collectors, intellectuals and many curious to come to Milan and to enjoy three wonderful days of browsing the shelves and exploring the fascinating world of the rare book. All the variety which has been brought up through five centuries of printing will be showcased: from incunabula and milestones of 16th and 17th century printing to modern artists books, from mediaval manuscripts to handwritten letters and documents by famous authors, artists and scientists, from children's books to natural history works to modern first editions to avant-garde.
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Article

Book thefts and recovery: How the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers Use Stolen-book.org

An interesting article in the Art Crime Blog about ILAB's efforts to cope with book thefts and to catch book thieves as quickly as possible. A. M. C. Knutsson describes the Stolen Book Database of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and its worldwide influence.
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