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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 July 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

Published on 21 July 2018
"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

FROM GUTENBERG TO ZUCKERBERG – THE FIRST EVER ILAB ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR IN BUDAPEST

From 21 to 25 September ILAB booksellers from across the world will gather in Budapest for their bi-annual congress and the first ever ILAB Antiquarian Book Fair held in the Hungarian capital at the wonderful Vigadó. Adam Bosze, President of the Hungarian Booksellers' Association (MAE), and his colleagues have organized a fantastic programme to welcome rare book dealers from five continents for five days celebrating the world's written heritage and the culture of literacy. Follow ILAB in conversation with Adam Bosze about the importance of real books in a virtual world, the fascination of ILAB Congresses and the highlights of the Book Fair:
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Congress

1947-1949 Conferences

From a Special Correspondent
In 1906 Frank Karslake, a second-hand bookseller, called a few colleagues together and founded the Secondhand Booksellers' Association. It was the first organization of its kind in the world; but its ambitions and scope were modest. The annual subscription was one shilling, and beyond the obligation to exchange information on bad debtors and book thieves no one seemed at all clear what its purpose was to be.Tardily other countries followed the British example and, by the time the Second World War ended, there were associations in France, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Finland. Many of the countries concerned endured the rigours of enemy occupation; all had after war problems, not the least of which was the treatment of members who had collaborated with the enemy. But there were also problems of exchange control and the regulation of imports and exports, which were new to most European countries. In 1947, therefore, the Dutch association took the initiative by approaching the British, as the senior body, with the suggestion that an international conference should be called, that invitations should be extended to all those countries in which an Association of Antiquarian Booksellers existed, and that delegates should submit the many problems that beset them to a general discussion. The Dutch offered the conference a home in Amsterdam and, in September, 1947, the representatives of nine countries gathered, under the chairmanship of the British president, for the first international conference ever held by the antiquarian book trade. The delegates were unanimous in their desire for the formation of an international body and the British association – the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (International) – was entrusted with the task of calling together the presidents of the respective associations to draft a constitution.
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Article

The Wonders of the Shore in Color

Long before Darwin's Origin was published in 1859 there was in Victorian society a strong popular interest in natural history. Not only did the microscope reveal previously hidden wonders, exposing for the first time the sexual life of plants, but advances in printing technology made it possible to reproduce and disseminate such images – in color – among the new and rapidly growing middle and working class populations. An excellent example of this historically unique intersection between science, technology and religion just appeared on my desk: the 1855 edition of Rev. Charles Kingsley's Glaucus, or the Wonders of the Shore.
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Article

A Tragedy: Mali rebels torched library of historic manuscripts

Timbuktu was one of the main centres of Arab learning in Africa. The library of Timbuktu owned numerous manuscripts and scrolls. They were the impressive proof that "black Africa" did not only have an oral, but a powerful written history. Now the library had been burnt down by rebels, before the French troops reached Timbuktu. Read the whole article from The Guardian.
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Article

Rare Books in the Press: Saluting a Serial Seducer and His Steamy Tell-All

"Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was a gambler, swindler, diplomat, lawyer, soldier, alchemist, violinist, traveler, pleasure seeker and serial seducer. He was also a prolific writer who documented his adventures and love affairs in a steamy memoir that is one of the literary treasures of the 18th century. Born in Venice, he considered France his adopted country but was forced to flee Paris in 1760 after seducing the wives and daughters of important subjects of King Louis XV and cheating them out of their money."
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