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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Early Printing

History of Printing in Austria - Druckfrisch. Der Innsbrucker Wagner-Verlag und der Buchdruck in Tirol

Published on 04 June 2014
375 years ago Michael Wagner, a printer from Augsburg in Germany, founded a publishing house in Innsbruck, Austria, which is still existing today: Universitätsverlag Wagner. To celebrate the 375th anniversary of the publisher the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum has organized an impressive exhibition from 13th June to 26th October, 2014, accompanied by an attractive programme with lectures, concerts, guided tours, a children's workshop, and a conference with leading Austrian and international scholars and scientists, among them ILAB Patron of Honour Murray G. Hall.
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Early Printing

A Brief History of Broadsides

Published on 07 June 2013
Samuel F Haven, former librarian for the American Antiquarian Society, presided over one of the largest collections of broadsides in the world. Historians and rare book collectors alike cherish broadsides because they offer snapshots of moments in time, helping us to understand the zeitgeist of that era. Broadsides make ideal complements to a rare book collection, granting the collection greater depth and context.
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Early Printing

The 15th Century Equivalent of Your Cat Walking on Your Keyboard

Published on 26 Feb. 2013
"The 15th century equivalent of your cat walking on your keyboard", writes Rebecca J. Rosen, senior associate editor at The Atlantic, are ink pawprints in early printed books. "For cat owners, the scene is too familiar: You sit down to finally (finally!) get some work done, and along comes kitty, here to stroll across your keyboard." During the 15th century the ancestors of our beloved kitties walked across - incunabula. What is a big disgrace (or humiliation) for every serious collector, is nothing more than an everyday occurrence for cat lovers.
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Early Printing

Early Engraver Played His Cards Right

Published on 08 Nov. 2012
The "Meister der Spielkarten", or "The Master of the Playing Cards" is known only through the 106 engravings that have been attributed to him, including the set of playing cards that he is named for. The term "master" is reserved for someone who has completed an apprenticeship and ran his own workshop, teaching apprentices. His presumed students are also unknown but have similar names, such as "The Master of the Nuremberg Passion", "The Master of 1446", and "The Master of the Banderoles".
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Early Printing

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Johann Froben and The Private Library

Published on 11 Jan. 2012
"He was the soul of honesty himself, and slow to think evil of others; so that he was often taken in. Of envy and jealousy he knew as little as the blind do of colour. He was swift to forgive and to forget even serious injuries ... He was enthusiastic for good learning, and felt his work to be his own reward. It was delightful to see him with the first pages of some new book in his hands, some author of whom he approved. His face was radiant with pleasure, and you might have supposed that he had already received a large return of profit. The excellence of his work would bear comparison with that of the best printers of Venice and Rome." (Erasmus)
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Book-Jackets: Their History, Form, and Use, by G. Thomas Tanselle

Book-jackets (or "dust-jackets," as they are often called), have been regularly used in America and some European countries since the early part of the 19th century. Historians of publishing practices, however, have not accorded these detachable coverings with the scrutiny that one would expect for such a noticeable phenomenon. The new book by G. Thomas Tanselle examines dust jackets as resources for biography, bibliography, cultural analysis, and development of graphic design, while surveying their use by publishers and scholars of literature, art and book history.
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Article

New York Slate: A Bob Dylan Forgery (Why to be careful when buying at auction)

In one of the latest blog entries of Peter Harrington Rare Books (UK), Rachel Chanter describes the dangers of buying at auction. "This cautionary tale shows how far forgers will go to defraud dealers and avid collectors, and how they can sometimes exploit an auction house's less-than-rigorous approach to research. Fortunately, we were able to discover the spurious nature of this artwork, subjecting it to the same level of scrutiny as we do all the items we acquire, which is why we are able to assure customers of the legitimacy of everything we sell. "
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Article

Collecting Comic Strips: Fritz the Cat

"Someone once said if you remember the sixties you didn't live them right. Even if you did live them right, you probably still remember underground comix, Robert Crumb, and his arguably most popular character, Fritz the Cat. (My favorite was always Mr. Natural.)" A very special collecting tip for cat lovers, by Linda Hedrick.
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Article

Young Dealers / Old Books - Book Fairs, Hurricanes, Puppies, Oh My!

"On Tuesday, August 23rd I woke up late. I had set my alarm for 7 a.m., so that I could take a much needed shower and after hitting snooze for over an hour I abruptly woke up at 8:20, tied my hair up, threw on a dress and ran out the door. From that moment on it seemed as though all of Philadelphia was involved in a plot to keep me from my goal of an 8-hour work day. First the contretemps with my alarm, then loads of tourists crossing the street and finally the dreaded tour buses that haunt 5th and Market all summer long. I had just about given up when I finally reached the other side of the bridge. Five minutes to nine I get a phone call from Tom saying that Matt had gotten sick and did I want to go to Baltimore for the book fair?" Do you remember your first book fair? Ashley Wilde is the young cataloguing talent at Between the Covers. Her first book fair took place in - Baltimore.
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Article

BUDAPEST 2016 - ILAB CONGRESS & INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR

Have you already registered for the ILAB Congress and / or for the succeeding ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair? Have a look at the promising programme and do not hesitate to subscribe. In a series of articles we will introduce you to the most exciting places of Budapest – libraries, museums, archives, music halls and other famous sites. Joins us on our virtual tour through the Hungarian capital. Today we will invite you to a virtual tour through the: Treasures of the National Library Széchenyi.
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