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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Obituaries

Paul Minet (1937-2012)

Published on 10 Feb. 2012
"He was the most widely-known member of the trade of his generation" - We are very sorry to report that ABA Honorary Member Paul Minet of Piccadilly Rare Books died on February 6th, 2012. An obituary by ABA President Laurence Worms.
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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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28 - 36 / 42

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Yushodo Celebrates its 80th Anniversary

Established in 1932 as an antiquarian bookstore specializing in research materials in Jimbocho, Yushodo will celebrate its 80th anniversary this year. This means, after some simple math and a bit of Yushodo history, Yushodo began its operation as a stock company 52 years ago when importing research materials from overseas was still considered a venture business; and it has been 2 very exciting years since Yushodo moved into the new office. And most importantly, our first fiscal year as a member of MCHI Holdings, a business entity established under DNP with the aim of revolutionizing how books and information are distributed, has ended at the end of last month.
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Article

What if They Were Right… Whoever They Were? (New York 2017)

The life of a journeyman major league book dealer (any one who makes his or her living in the trade as a hunter-gatherer, anyone not named Bill, Jim, Pom, Ed, or Don, or anyone not from the other side of the Atlantic whose shoes are worth more than most of your books)… this journeyman life, I say, is a simple one.
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Article

A New International Antiquarian Book Fair in Milan, Supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

I'm very pleased to announce that ALAI will organize an antiquarian book fair in Milan as early as March 2013, open to ILAB members only. We managed to get a truly exceptional venue, the seventeenth-century Palazzo Giureconsulti, which has its entrance in Piazza dei Mercanti and an entire side overlooking Piazza Duomo (see the attached picture and, for more details, please visit www.palazzogiureconsulti.it). The event dates are March 15-17, with opening on Friday morning and closing on Sunday in the early afternoon.
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Article

The ILAB Congress and Book Fair - Bologna, September 2010

It would be an understatement to say that I was surprised when asked, in the middle of an ABA Council meeting, if Sandy (my wife) and I would like to attend the 39th ILAB Congress and 23rd ILAB International Book Fair in Bologna – it was an unprecedented, exciting and very generous invitation which we had no hesitation in accepting. Neither of us had visited Bologna before, and we found it to be a most beautiful city - a normal working city rather than one devoted to tourism, on an industrial base but with a wonderful, large mediaeval centre. And there are, as you will read later, wonderful libraries and museums: and the food and wine are excellent. So it was a perfect place to hold Congress.
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Article

Collectors, Booksellers and Libraries: Essays on Americanists and the Rare Book Market by the late William Reese

The rare book trade lost one of its most active members earlier this year. Besides his achievements as a remarkable bookseller of Americana material and the respect he gained in the bookselling community, William Reese is also remembered for his series of essays on the rare book market and Americana which were published in 2018. In a tribute to Mr Reese, ILAB will publish two chapters of his book over the next few weeks on this website with the permission of William Reese & Co.
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Article

23rd Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair from 1st to 2nd November 2013

The 23rd Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at the beautiful Chelsea Old Town Hall in the King's Road, London, on 1st and 2nd November 2013. Over its life, the Chelsea fair has become a fixture in the November calendar for book collectors and dealers from Britain, Europe and America. Warmer than Boston, more intimate than York, less formal than Paris – Chelsea has it all. Most of our exhibitors come back year after year, and that's because sales continue to increase, and the customers return, again and again.
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