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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Obituaries

Michael Silverman 1949-2011

Published on 01 Sept. 2011
"With the untimely death of Michael Silverman, the world of literary and historical manuscripts has lost one of its most respected dealers, and the antiquarian trade in general a much loved and popular colleague. Internationally acknowledged as a dealer of great integrity and expertise, Michael wore his knowledge lightly. He liked to affect an air of mild indifference to the exceptional material that often passed through his hands. His self-deprecating style, so far removed from that of the hustling businessman, was much appreciated by the many collectors, private and institutional, who responded to the good manners that informed his dealings as a whole." An obituary by Sheila Markham and Robert Bartfield.
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Obituaries

Dr. Lotte Roth-Wölfle 1912 – 2011

Published on 02 May 2011
It is with great sadness that the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association reports the death of its long-deserved member and Member of Honour Dr. Lotte Roth-Wölfle. She died on April 29, 2011, shortly before her 100th birthday, and only one day after the re-opening of her beautiful antiquarian bookshop which has been situated in Munich since 1945. Dr. Lotte Roth-Woelfle was a remarkable woman, probably the oldest rare book dealer in Germany and in Europe. From time to time she still visited her shop in Munich's Amalienstraße which has been a famous address for rare and fine books for more than 60 years. The shop is now run by Franziska Bierl, while Lotte Roth-Wölfle's daughter Dr. Christine Grahamer continues the tradition of the family company Robert Wölfle KG in the third generation, also still in the same premises.
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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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28 - 36 / 40

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

On the Blog - Provenance in Pictures: Tracking the Ownership of Three Early Printed Books

"Last week a group of Melbourne bibliophiles were treated to a delightful talk by preeminent bookman Nicolas Barker, editor of The Book Collector since 1965, and whose bibliography records an impressive 1,000+ entries. Barker examined twenty or so works from Special Collections and talked to the salient points of each book. This post highlights three of the selected items that had multiple signs of ownership, all of which caught Barker's eye."
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Article

ILAB and VEBUKU - 5th ILAB Congress in Geneva in 1952, seen through the eyes of the former Mrs President Barbara Kaye Muir

In 2012 the ILAB affiliates will travel to Lucerne and Zurich on the occasion of the 40th ILAB Congress and 24th International Antiquarian Book Fair from 22nd to 30th September. Time to remember some of the joyful and noteworthy moments in the history of the League which took place in Switzerland. The 5th ILAB Congress was held in Geneva in 1952. It was the first Congress without William S. Kundig, ILAB's first president. Percy H. Muir and André Poursin were elected Presidents of Honour, Menno Hertzberger was made Father of the League. With George Blaizot as the new ILAB President a younger generation came up to determine ILAB's future. Besides all this, there was someone who played a prominent role during the farewell speeches: a mouse.
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Booksellers

Bernard Amtmann (1907-1979) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

The seizure of power by the Nazis in 1933 was a decisive event in the world of book collecting. Numerous dealers and collectors – among them the most famous of the trade – were murdered by the Nazis. Those who survived were forced to close their companies and to hand them over to the Nazis.
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Article

The new Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp – “The Book is Central”

On 30 September 2016, one of the most treasured places for printing history and the history of the book re-opened after extensive renovations, the new Plantin-Moretus Museum. Various festivities accompanied the opening on three consecutive days and invited the public to take part in the fascinating history of the museum.
The new museum takes the visitor on a unique journey of the life and legacy of the publisher Christoffel Plantin and his inlaws Moretus whose achievements had put Antwerp on the map. The biggest authors and scientists of their time found their way to Antwerp's Vrijdagmarkt and Plantin was able to spread their ideas throughout the world.
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Article

Twelve ILAB Booksellers at Chicago’s Historical “Millionaires’ Row

On UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2016, twelve Chicago booksellers will hold an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair at this wonderful historical venue. All members of the Midwest Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), they will show a fine selection of rare books, manuscripts, prints, autographs and ephemera from all centuries and for all tastes at Glessner House to take part in the worldwide ILAB/UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day celebrations and to raise funds in support of the great work of UNESCO's Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) in South Sudan. The following ILAB booksellers invite you to enjoy a day among beautiful books in the former beautiful home of Chicago's famous Glessner family:
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Article

CABS – or seeing the book trade with clarity

A week at the Colorado Rare Book Seminar is a week like no other I know. It is a highly practical week, it is an inspiring week and it is one of those weeks when, at least metaphorically, you feel you can see for miles. I felt as though I was standing, together with everyone else who attended, on a hill above the plain of bookselling. This hill on which we stood together had a view so good that the trade was fully revealed and clarified. The strengths and weaknesses of the trade were shown with coherence something that is very difficult, if not impossible to achieve in the day to day, month to month rush of the ordinary bookselling business.
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