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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 21 Jan. 2016
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

Published on 12 April 2011
"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

ILAB Internships – Out of the Classroom, into the World

Maria Rodionova: Australia 2014 (Part 2) - So now I should tell you about the last two weeks that I spent in Australia. Basically, during those two weeks I worked with Paul Feain at his auction house - Sydney Rare Book Auctions - and at Cornstalk Bookshop. There I had an opportunity to consider the huge number of completely different books. Especially I was surprised to find a few Russian books. Some of them were in English, which was absolutely no surprise to find them there. Others were in Russian and about Russia and I was very pleased and astonished about that. Two wonderful girls who worked with Paul, Krista and Olivia, showed me some very interesting things. For example, the way they work with eBay. Of course, I knew how to operate this site, but in Australia I learned for the first time how useful it is when you work with antique books and how easy it is to handle it. It is amazing, but sometimes even the obvious can be an eye-opener. All in all, I can say with confidence that I had many pleasant and useful minutes in Paul's shop, which unfortunately has already closed down, and aside from the fact that I learned some interesting things about books, I got great pleasure staying there.
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Article

A Tale of Illusion, Delusion and Mystery: Booksellers and Librarians

We are gathered here tonight surrounded by books — raise your eyes and you will see five storeys of books and there are many more thousands (millions, I guess), hidden in rooms below us. Where did they all come from? Many of you could be forgiven for suspecting that they all came from unwary collectors like yourselves, who made the mistake of having dinner with Richard Landon and ended up changing your wills, or simply finding the next day that your books were now owned by the University of Toronto. But even Richard Landon couldn't come up with this many books so if we are to have some understanding of how an institution like this gets all these books, we must look elsewhere. Let me solve the mystery for you; they come from people like me — booksellers ...
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Article

Peter Harrington Rare Books Featured on BBC News: Charles Dickens inscribed book offered for £275,000 sale

"A signed copy of Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities bearing a personal inscription to fellow author George Eliot has gone on sale for £275,000. Dated December 1859, the dedication expresses "high admiration and regard" for Eliot - real name Mary Ann Evans. It is being sold by rare book dealer Peter Harrington and is currently on show at its central London bookshop. If it reaches its asking price, the book will be among the most expensive Dickens works ever purchased." Read the whole story on BBC News.
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Article

Cervantes, UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day and the International Rare Book & Autograph Fair in Paris 2016

While ILAB booksellers gather across the world to celebrate UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April 2016 with Pop Up fairs, lectures, exhibitions, and book parties at many busy and unexpected places from Australia to Asia, South Africa, all over Europe and the United States, there will be a REALLY BIG event – the elegant, refined Parisian book fair held in the sophisticated surroundings of the Grand Palais.
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Article

Absences - "Lost, Stolen or Shredded": Rick Gekoski's Stories of Missing Works of Art and Literature

As you may already have realised, I like books which have a story to tell. By this I mean not just the book's own internal narrative, but a copy of the book with its own individual history. Not necessarily a fine and obviously important provenance (although that's always very welcome), but just a tale of its own career in the world. I'm not deterred by a book with a previous owner's inscription, far from it – this can lead into that narrative and document some evidence of the book's initial audience and reception. Who bought this book when it first came out? Where did the book fit into that world rather than ours?
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Article

Interview with Leo Cadogan, Chair of the 21st Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair and Exhibitor

"I'm actually new to the post, and am picking up on years of work (ten in all) by my predecessor Roger Treglown, and the fantastic administration of our trade body, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, led by Marianne Harwood, the ABA's events administrator. They have made the fair the popular and convivial event that you will see if you attend this year. What inspires me to step into Roger's large shoes is the knowledge that this fair fills an important place in the antiquarian book world, in this country and abroad." An Interview with Leo Cadogan, Chelsea's new Chairman.
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