Eberhard Köstler, President of the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, has been an antiquarian bookseller and an autograph specialist for more than 30 years. He began his career in 1975, when he worked for Dr. Hans Schneider (Tutzing) during his summer holidays while studying classical Latin and Greek at the University of Munich. "At that time the German rare book trade was dominated by large companies with many employees and long traditions dating back to the 19th and early 20th century, such as Ackermann and Woelfle in Munich, Kistner in Nuremberg, Steinkopf, Neidhardt, Eggert and Kocher-Benzing in Stuttgart, Stenderhoff in Münster, Koch in Berlin or the "Hamburger Bücherkabinett" of Dr. Maria Conradt. The "golden age" of the antiquarian book trade seemed to be stable and successful. Radical changes were unthinkable." From 1988 to 2000, Eberhard Köstler had worked as an auctioneer at the Munich auction house Zisska, Schauer & Co., before he established is own business in 2000 and became VDA President in 2006. Within these years the rare book trade experienced a revolution which was totally unexpected by the elder generations of antiquarian booksellers.
The world's expert antiquarian booksellers - in 1 book! The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) is pleased to announce that the next edition of the ILAB Directory will be published in January 2015. It contains all names, addresses and specialities of the ILAB dealers who are organized in 22 national associations and who are located in 34 countries all over the world.
A few weeks ago a longtime collector sent us a few books to sell on consignment. His is a major collection of twentieth-century literature, including a healthy number of the desirable high spots acquired from many of the most respected dealers in the trade.
At the height of the festivities, our host produced an unexpected guest, even more belatedly arrived than most of us. His country of origin seemed a little uncertain, and his choice of costume, doubtless a well-meant attempt to conform with English customs - an Ascot topper, blue blazer and flannel trousers - contrasted violently with a flaming beard of patriarchal dimensions and a monocle. But he passed amicably amongst us, leaning on a malacca cane, and was observed to greet with especial cordiality Mr. Ernest Maggs, whom he addressed as "Tovarisch." What finally gave the show away was less the accent than the timbre of a voice now as familiar on the League's platform as in the rostrum at Place du Port - for it was none other than our protean President, W.S.K.