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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting - The Rembrandt Connection

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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Article

Glub

In the week leading up to this year's New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, and its two "shadow" fairs, I'd been in a state of preternatural excitement. Two promoters - Marvin Getman of Impact Events Group and John and Tina Bruno of Flamingo Eventz – were going head to head for supremacy in the satellite book fair market. First Getman crashed the Bruno's turf by scheduling a rival New York shadow show, then the Brunos trumped Getman by moving their shadow show to a new location just across Lexington Ave. from the big show at the Park Avenue Armory. Cold war ensued. It began to get nasty, and I became increasingly excited by the steady stream of blog fodder. There could not be two more different promoters – in terms of personality, management style, and business practices – than Getman and the Brunos. By last Friday night I'd half convinced myself that their collision would result in a black hole of such magnitude that the entire trade would be sucked behind an unbreachable event horizon, allowing us all to go home and rake our lawns. But something else happened. Or maybe I should say nothing happened.
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Booksellers

Emil Hirsch (1866-1954) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

The fifth part of the series of 25 booksellers’ biographies from Ernst Fischer’s biographical handbook "Verleger, Buchhändler & Antiquare aus Deutschland und Österreich in der Emigration nach 1933" is dedicated to Emil Hirsch, who started his career in Munich in the year 1884 as an apprentice at Ludwig Rosenthal’s antiquarian bookshop. After working with Oscar Gerschel in Stuttgart, Zahn & Jaensch in Dresden and, as partner, with Gottlob Hess in Munich, he founded his own company in 1879. Emil Hirsch’s antiquarian bookshop and auction house very soon became the centre of bibliophily in the Bavarian capital. He was a founding member of the Gesellschaft der Münchener Bücherfreunde, encouraged Hans von Weber to establish the „Hundertdrucke“ and supported the Bremer Presse. Famous collectors, authors and artists like Karl Wolfskehl and Franz Marc were amongst his friends.
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Article

Australian Angling Books

Collecting Angling books has wide appeal, and not just for folk that fish. Many of the intrinsic characteristics of angling – solitude, meditative activity, excitement of the chase, celebration of the natural world – are also reflected in the collecting endeavour. Early literature with an Australian angling connection extends back to 1880, with the book Vacation Tours in New Zealand and Tasmania, by James Coutts.
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Article

The Library of Symbolism - A Glossary and Bibliography of Renaissance Symbolic Literature

"For 2,000 years, from the time of Plato in 400 BC until the start of the modern era of empirical science in approximately 1600 AD, the culture of Western Europe was dominated by a single mode of expression: the symbol. The symbol was the universal medium for the approach to God, for the investigation of the natural world, for the interpretation of the Scriptures and for an understanding of and a guide to proper moral conduct. Towards the end of the period, enabled by the invention of printing by movable type, this obsession was translated into a vast literature of symbolism of which some eighty distinct species were identified by contemporary writers and theorists." The Renaissance symbolism refers to a time in which human thinking and the human view of the World changed radically. On the one hand Renaissance symbolism is one of the most interesting research fields for scholars. On the other hand it is one of the most fascinating fields of bibliophily at the very beginning of the history of printing.
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Article

Edgar Franco, Dictionary of Terms

In English, French, German and Italian. "Contrary to common practice, this dictionary contains as few words as possible. I have limited the terms, to those used by antiquarian booksellers, which are not to be found in the usual bilingual, trilingual, or multilingual dictionaries. "
Edgar Franco, Dictionary of Terms and Expressions Commonly Used in the Antiquarian Book Trade
Edgar Franco's "Dictionary" was published by the ILAB in 1994. It is available as a pdf file, and as a print version.
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