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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Architecture

Collectors on Tour - Masonic Lodges in Constantinople (not Istanbul)

Published on 26 May 2018
Working with rare and valuable books has a tendency to make the extraordinary seem rather ordinary. You start to wonder how certain agglomerations of leather, cloth, paper and ink can be worth so much. These doubts are cast aside, however, when confronted with something which makes a personal connection with you. The truth is that books, letters and diaries provide the most direct links between individuals from the past and those living in the present. Although it is the messages they transmit which are invaluable, surely paper and ink are no less valuable as tangible markers of history than art or architecture?
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Architecture

The Most Progressive Magazine of its Time, a Work of Art

"In Holland, the birthplace of De Stijl, modernism took various routs that ran the aesthetic gamut from hybridized Art Nouveau to systematic rationalism. Somewhere between these poles was the magazine Wendingen (Upheaval), one of the principal sources for the chronicling of twentieth-cetury design and architecture." The famous Dutch magazine Wendingen, published between 1918 and 1931, was dedicated to modern architecture and design. Stephen J. Gertz describes its influences on the history of art and modern aesthetics in the first half of the 20th century.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 11: An International Presence

Back in the US, we published the first in a series of titles written by the New York antiquarian booksellers Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern (Bib. #65) in which they reminiscence about their lengthy experience buying and selling rare books. They wrote with charm and painted vivid portraits of many of the famous collectors and dealers of their day. I had known them for a long time and had even reprinted a series of their catalogues as one of our first publications (Bib. #4). They had proposed me for membership in the ABAA in 1978. Over the years we published five of their titles including New Worlds in Old Books. This excellent book was distributed as a gift by Brigham Young University to all members of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) in tribute to these two fine booksellers. Near the end of their long and productive lives, they submitted a manuscript to us that I felt needed additional work. I called them and talked over my thoughts as gently as I could but my suggested changes were not well received. Much to my regret, they did not talk to me again before they died.
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Article

Rare Books as Victims of an Earthquake – “Classical antiquities smashed to bits in Christchurch earthquake”

Millions of rare books have been thrown from the shelves by an earthquake in New Zealand early this week. Among them a collection of Greek and Roman antiquities worth millions of dollars that has been damaged at the University of Canterbury. "The James Logie Memorial Collection of Greek and Roman antiquities is one such example of a collection that has suffered significant damage. The collection, established in the 1950s in memory of university registrar James Logie, is valued at several million dollars and includes nearly 250 items. Dr Alison Griffith, head of the classics programme, said staff were heartbroken at the extent of the damage."
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Article

The Origin of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and Its First Few Years

Vividly I do remember the origin of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, in 1947, although certain details become somewhat vague. From 1939-1945 war reigned in Europe. Five long years had put up extra barriers between several nations. There was no communication. This fact enforced extra chauvinism and worse, hatred. Was there a possibility to do something about interhuman relationship, to bring nations more together? This was my dream; but how could this be realised. Only on common ground, on mutual interests, and therefore, for an antiquarian bookseller, by his love, the Book.
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Article

The Art of the Book - An Interview with David Pascoe of Nawakum Press

We were fortunate enough to interview David Pascoe of Nawakum Press - a publisher of unique, handcrafted books. David has collaborated with an impressive group of writers and artists, including Barry Moser and Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Paul Muldoon. His books have been collected by many important institutions, including the Library of Congress, Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book Library, Stanford University's Cecil H. Green Library, Harvard University's Houghton Library, and many others. In this interview, David shares with us the story of Nawakum Press: its origins, inspirations, and notable collaborations.
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Article

A Collector’s Primer to the Wonders of Fore-edge Painting

One of the most unusual types of book decoration is fore-edge paintings. These are books which have one or more of the top, fore or bottom edge painted – usually with watercolors. The typical form is a book with a single fanned fore-edge painting. In the twentieth century other forms have developed, including the double fore-edge or even the remarkable six-way painting where all three sides of the book have a double.
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