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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Aldus Manutius

The Aldine Italic

Published on 23 Dec. 2009
From our survey of fifteenth century types it would appear that every country had its formal pointed black-letter; every country, save England, its classical roman type; and every country - except, perhaps, Spain - its cursive vernacular black-letter type, copied from the handwriting of the locality and time. Before 1500 Italy had no vernacular type simply because the current handwriting of Italy (which was not of the black-letter school) was only translated into type-forms at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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“Gelos” – Rare Book Auctions in Russia

Gelos was established in Moscow in 1988 and is renowned for being the leading Fine Art and Antiquities auctioneers throughout Russia, with offices throughout Europe in Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Prague, Riga, Warsaw and, recently opened, in London (Knightsbridge). It is the largest auction house in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The company carries out appraisals and makes expert examinations, holds auction sales, sells antiquities from its galleries and salons, forms private and corporate collections. Selling at auctions is generally practised and widely spread in the West. On the Russian market Gelos' activities are innovative. A report by Alena Lavrenova.
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Article

Searching For Books In Days Of Yore

Back in April, when I launched this blog, I was pleased that my first post managed to elicit a nice comment. One particular point made by this commenter has been banging around in my head ever since. On the suject of want lists, he wrote: Electronic book-collecting tools are all focused on "dealer push" — a vendor essentially saying, "Here's what I have. Are you interested." The tools aggregate and push this information. We know that many large booksellers do not have the time or inclination to post all of their inventories. It would be nice to go back to the old days of "pull" — posting want lists in magazines to let dealers and fellow collectors know what we are interested in and looking for. It's a service I would readily pay for within the context of a strong collector community like ViaLibri. It was an interesting suggestion, even without the hint of additional revenue. It made me wonder. I am always surprised at how easy it is to forget the "old days" of antiquarian bookselling, before the internet changed everything.
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Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 6: Paul Wakeman Dives In!

On a side note, I was becoming very active in the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA), first serving on the Board in 1982 and then becoming Chair of their Finance Committee in 1989 and Treasurer in 1990. Millie and I enjoyed the international congresses that the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) conducted and began to attend them in 1990, starting with the Tokyo Congress. This event led to many contacts in publishing that eventually paid dividends, proving yet again that the cross-over between the antiquarian book world and the publishing world is a very healthy relationship.
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Article

Photographically illustrated Books

It is widely known that in 1839 William Henry Fox Talbot invented the positive-negative system of photography that effectively was the medium until the digital age supplanted it 150 years later. It is less wellknown that from 1852 he concentrated on perfecting his photoglyphic engraving process, the precursor to photogravure, which revolutionized high-quality book illustration and art reproduction from the 1880s.
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International League Conference - Munich 1957

What is a "traditional Munich Weisswurst snack"? ILAB booksellers who attended the 10th ILAB Congress in Munich in 1957 know: "The snack consisted of white sausages, rolls and large glasses of beer, and as soon as the glasses and plates were emptied they were replenished by waitresses wearing Bavarian costume." They also admired the beautiful Baroque churches at Ettas, Wies and Andechs, and a stunning collection of incunabula from the Bavarian State Library.
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Booksellers

Rare Books on Travel and Exploration: Brockhaus / Antiquarium 1856 - 2011

Brockhaus / Antiquarium is one of the oldest and renowned antiquarian bookshops for travel, the history of exploration and ethnology. It was founded in Leipzig, Germany, in 1856 as a department of the famous publishing house F. A. Brockhaus. The company is now based in Kornwestheim, near Stuttgart, as a part of Brockhaus / Commission GmbH, one of Germany's largest book distributors, and still owned by the Brockhaus family. What links Brockhaus / Antiquarium and the "Brockhaus Enzyklopädie", an encyclopedia found in nearly every German home and library during the 19th and 20th century?
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