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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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The ABA and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Published on 27 March 2018
The ABA and ILAB look back at a long history. The ABA is relaunching its flagship fair in London this year, the oldest antiquarian book fair in the world, under the auspices of ILAB. This text by the late Anthony Rota, ABA bookseller and ILAB President of Honour, was published in 2008 in the ABA Directory.
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From the Vault

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Limited Editions

The limited edition comes in varying forms. A limited edition of a new book is usually signed, numbered, and in a slipcase and costs three to five times the cost of the regular first edition, which is referred to as the trade, or first trade, edition. The first printing of the trade edition is still considered the first edition, so the collector must decide if both the limited signed and the first trade issue are required or if only one is necessary for the collection.
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Booksellers

Rummage in Curzon Street

Off to Mayfair again today to take a look at two rather different bookshops perched either side of Curzon Street. On the south side, at no. 46, is the retail showroom of Shepherds, incorporating of course the famous old Sangorski & Sutcliffe bookbinding business. As you might expect, all the emphasis is on fine bindings – new and not so new. Rob Shepherd, incidentally doing a fine job as the new ABA treasurer, and his colleague Kim Pooley, bemoan the fact that the stock is looking a little thin – they simply sold so many books in the run-up to Christmas and the bindery is already at full stretch. Nice problems to have, in a sense, but there are plans to move a lot of the gorgeous stationery, bookbinding accessories and so on, over to their new premises in Gillingham Street at Victoria and to concentrate on books here in Curzon Street.
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Article

Swedes Find Stolen Atlas in New York

"He was entrusted to guard Sweden's cultural heritage, but instead this senior librarian spent years surreptitiously stealing and selling scores of its rare and precious books. When the thief, Anders Burius, was finally caught in 2004, the media called him the "Royal Library Man," and his sensational crime and subsequent suicide became the subjects of a government inquiry, a radio documentary and, last year, a television mini-series. Now, for the first time, one of the missing books — the earliest printed atlas of the Americas — has been recovered by Sweden's Royal Library after a librarian there noticed that it was being offered for sale …"
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Article

The Art of American Book Covers - A Previously Unknown Amy M. Sacker Cover

One exciting find was Amy M. Sacker's design on Sweet Peggy by Linnie S. Harris [Little, Brown & Company, 1904]. Like many of their rebound books, the replacement endpapers are acidic, have turned brown and are disintegrating, but this does not affect the cover art. Considering the amount of use this volume must have had, the design remains bright on the cover and spine, with just a few smudges that can be cleaned. What's exciting about it? It's not just that it's a good cover design by an important artist, and one that adopts Thomas Watson Ball's style of clouds. This is a rare book.
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Article

Antiquarian Book Dealer Tom Boss on Copeland & Day, Stone & Kimball, and more …

Nigel Beale and Tom Boss talk about the history of Copeland & Day and other American publishers since the 1890s. Listen to the audio interview by Nigel Beale for Nota Bene Books.
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Article

A day out for the rare book trade - St. Bride

We're planning a really festive and utterly splendid day out for the book trade on Thursday 13th December – an afternoon of activity, followed by the legendary ABA Christmas Party (none of this restricted to ABA members). The venue is to be the St. Bride Foundation in Blackfriars – and what a fine choice it is. The First Lady and I were there the other day for a preview of what's in store, at the invitation of the Chief Executive of the Foundation, the very amiable Glyn Farrow. Most booksellers are in thrall with their work, of course, but how nice to meet someone else so enthusiastic, so energetic and so palpably in love with his.
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