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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Obituaries

In Memoriam Menno Hertzberger (1897 - 1982)

Published on 05 April 2011
For Menno Hertzberger the addition 'Internationaal' to his firm's name was not just an embellishment: From the very beginning onwards his business was internationally orientated, and it aimed for a wide public of bookcollectors, librarians and fellow-dealers. As early as 1921 Menno held his first auction-sale and he soon became known as an important auctioneer as well. The growth of the firm necessitated a move to larger premises and in 1935 the firm's new address became Keizersgracht 610 in Amsterdam, a large and elegant house along one of the famous canals. Menno Hertzberger, the Father of the League, died in 1986. Bob de Graaf's obituary characterizes him as a truly international antiquarian bookseller and a man with a vision: to unite dealers worldwide under one roof, the ILAB.
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Obituaries

A Life for Rare Books - W.R. “Bill” Fletcher 1906-1996

Published on 24 March 2011
"As I stood admiring the book and ruminating on its worth, that wise and shrewd bookseller, Bill Fletcher, doyen of the British trade, and a man some thirty years my senior in both age and experience, came up to me. 'What are you looking at, my son?' he inquired. I told him. 'What's so special about that then? he asked. I explained. 'Then why don't you buy it?' Bill said ... I replied to the effect that were I to buy it with a view to selling it again, I would in effect be trading gold for gold. 'Shall I tell you something, my son?' Bill responded. 'The price of gold [pause] is going up!'" (Anthony Rota, Books in the Blood). Keith Fletcher recounts the life and personality of his father, the doyen of the trade and former owner of H.M. Fletcher Rare Books: Bill Fletcher.
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Obituaries

In Memoriam: Bob de Graaf, Antiquarian Bookdealer, Publisher and Bibliographer (1927-2011)

Published on 18 Feb. 2011
When antiquarian bookdealers, talking among themselves, call a colleague a "great dealer", they don't always mean the same thing. Some mean a dealer with many staff, a large turn over and great profits. Others mean a dealer who masters the art of really studying a book, a dealer who is able to discover something in or about the book that suddenly makes it interesting for all readers, not just the obvious specialists. When Bob de Graaf once said: "I have not become a great dealer", he hastened to add: "No, that is not false modesty." And he repeated, with meaning: "I have not become a great dealer, but I have never aspired to be one." With great sadness ILAB announces the death of Bob de Graaf on February 10, 2011. An obituary by Anton Gerits.
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Obituaries

Pierre Berès, Disparition d’un bibliophile

Published on 17 Feb. 2011
Pierre Berès est mort dans sa maison de Saint-Tropez le lundi 28 juillet 2008, peu après avoir fêté son 95ème anniversaire et quelques mois seulement après la dernière des six grandes ventes au cours desquelles furent dispersés, du 5 juillet 2005 au 18 décembre 2007, le fonds de la librairie de l’avenue de Friedland ainsi que le cabinet personnel de manuscrits littéraires et de livres rares qu’il avait conservés dans son appartement de la rue Barbet de Jouy.
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Obituaries

Paul Haas (1950-2010)

Published on 08 Nov. 2010
On 3rd November, Paul Haas passed away, shortly before his 60th birthday. Paul Haas hailed from a large family: Born on 17th November 1950, he was the third of nine children, three of whom worked, and work, in the antiquarian book trade. After high school, he was apprenticed as a mechanical engineer. He took evening classes and then studied history and German language and literature at the University of Düsseldorf. Together with Stephan, born as the fourth child of nine in 1952, Paul visited flea markets and rare book shops. One day in 1979, in a shop in Arnhem, Stephan came across a particularly fine book and decided: "I'm opening my own shop." It only took Paul a few hours to make up his mind: "I'm with you!"
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Obituaries

Frits Knuf

Published on 22 July 2010
Le célèbre et remarquable libraire membre de la LILA, Frits Knuf, est décédé aux Pays-Bas dans la nuit du 9 février 1999, à l’hôpital près de la ville de Buren dans laquelle il habitait et qu’il aimait tant.  Le 15 février, des centaines d’amis et collègues ont accompagné son épouse et sa famille jusqu’au paisible cimetière de Buren où Frits repose à tout jamais.
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Obituaries

Leona Rostenberg

Published on 22 July 2010
Leona Rostenberg, who died Thursday at age 96, was one of New York’s outstanding rare book dealers, and half of a remarkable team of literary sleuths who discovered the secret “blood-and-thunder” writings of Louisa May Alcott.
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Obituaries

Max Israel

Published on 22 July 2010
Max Israel, antiquarian bookseller and publisher, died on Friday October 12, 2001 at the age of 85. He was one of the last representatives of a generation of antiquarian booksellers who founded flourishing companies, mostly in Amsterdam, after the second World War; companies that were soon highly respected both at home and abroad.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Books about Book Collecting

The book arts and the history of printing, publishing and bookselling fall within this genre, as do books that recount the trials, tribulations and triumphs of individual book collectors. Indeed, some book lovers only collect books about book collecting. Books which systematically record the physical and textual components of other books according to a set criterion are known as 'bibliographies'.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Short Story and The Private Library (Part V)

If you have a favorite author, and that author has achieved a modicum of fame, chances are very good that a bibliography has been published which details, as comprehensively as possible, any short stories your author may have penned (in addition, of course, to whatever other works he or she produced). Subject bibliographies also will detail known short stories relevant to the subject at hand.
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Article

Confessions of a Vintage Shoe Fetishist

"Keep your Manola Blaniks, Giuseppi Zanottis, your Dolce & Gabbanas. When I need to snuggle up and spoon I go for vintage, old-fashioned ladies' shoes. It's like collecting rare books: Modern Lit. or Antiquarian? I prefer a shoe that's been around the block, is experienced and has character. They don't make 'em like they used to. As far as I'm concerned, they stopped making shoes when Chronos hit the twentieth century." Go shopping with Stephen J. Gertz and Booktryst!
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Article

Glub

In the week leading up to this year's New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, and its two "shadow" fairs, I'd been in a state of preternatural excitement. Two promoters - Marvin Getman of Impact Events Group and John and Tina Bruno of Flamingo Eventz – were going head to head for supremacy in the satellite book fair market. First Getman crashed the Bruno's turf by scheduling a rival New York shadow show, then the Brunos trumped Getman by moving their shadow show to a new location just across Lexington Ave. from the big show at the Park Avenue Armory. Cold war ensued. It began to get nasty, and I became increasingly excited by the steady stream of blog fodder. There could not be two more different promoters – in terms of personality, management style, and business practices – than Getman and the Brunos. By last Friday night I'd half convinced myself that their collision would result in a black hole of such magnitude that the entire trade would be sucked behind an unbreachable event horizon, allowing us all to go home and rake our lawns. But something else happened. Or maybe I should say nothing happened.
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Booksellers

'Far-Flung' Booksellers

Three booksellers from the edges of Britain introduce themselves and describe how the ABA assists their businesses: Charles Cox (River House, Treglasta, Launceston, Cornwall), Alex Alec-Smith (The Old Rectory, Winestead, Hull, Yorkshire), Piers & Stephen Besley (Besley's Books, 4, Blyburgate, Beccles, Suffolk) ...
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Article

Rare Books on the Blog - Covered in Silk & Satin: Embroidered Bookbindings

"Textile bindings were produced primarily by professional embroiderers, but were also made by individual female owners. They were very much in vogue in England during the first half of the seventeenth century, particularly as covers for small devotional books, such as this copy of The Book of Common Prayer (London, 1629) that measures just eleven centimetres in height. The cover is made of white satin over blue silk, with birds and flowers embroidered with different coloured silk set within frames of gold thread, with gold thread borders on the spine and both sides." Antoni Tedeschi in book bindings made of silk.
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