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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Shakespeare’s Beehive - Rare Book Dealers George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler claim to have found Shakespeare's dictionary

George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler, both ABAA members and ILAB affiliates, have now published a study about their extensive researches: In Shakespeare's Beehive: An Annotated Elizabethan Dictionary Comes to Light, they conclude that the annotations in their copy of Baret's Alvearie purchased on eBay belong to William Shakespeare. Using example after example, the authors demonstrate how closely the annotations and Baret's text are tied to Shakespeare's own work. The annotator, while not once leaving his name on a page, nevertheless leaves behind an astonishing personal trail of fingerprints. This great discovery hit the news last week. A press review:
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Harry Potter in Japan

Harry Potter in Japan - A TV reporter of the Japan Probe visited the Tokyo International Antiquarian Book Fair, met rare book dealers, admired the young magician, rare scrolls and a 1.5 million dollar copy of Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (Tokyo, Japan)
ILAB booksellers on video
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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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Publishing the Fine & Applied Arts 1500-2000

This new volume of the Publishing Pathways series examines the relationship between the business of print and the practice of art and design across five centuries. It explores the role played by the book trade in the diffusion of artistic and architectural theory, fashion, and practice, and traces the impact of advances in the techniques of binding, color printing, and illustration on the appearance of books. Among the topics discussed are the printed sources for decorative motifs in sixteenth-century churches, the publication history of the works of Andrea Palladio, and the evolution of drawing manuals in seventeenth-century England. Other subjects include the library formed by the architect Sir John Soane, developments in nineteenth-century art publishing, and the role of printed catalogues in documenting the acquisitions made by English collectors of paintings, sculpture, and antiquities.
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The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril: Theft, Retrieval, Sale and Restitution of Rare Books, Maps and Manuscripts

Do we need more drastic measures to prevent the theft of books, maps, manuscripts and other art on paper? How can public institutions, lawyers, collectors and the rare book trade work more efficiently together when it comes to thefts and forgeries? How can thefts be prevented? And how can we raise the public awareness for the fact the theft of the written heritage of mankind is a serious problem that concerns of all of us? ILAB President Norbert Donhofer will be among the many internationally renowned experts - librarians, archivists, representatives of dealers and auctioneers, security experts, lawyers - who will speak at this conference at the British Library in London on 26 June 2015. He will focus on the perspectives of the rare book trade and lessons learned, amongst others, from recent spectacular cases such as the massive thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples (Italy).
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