“Palpable history”, says Sir David Attenborough. We are at the annual Antiquarian Booksellers Association Rare Books Fair, and he is describing the pleasure of holding an incunable – a book printed in the fifteenth century, in the first few decades after the printing press was invented.
The Telegraph: "Collectors' demand for rare, first-edition Ian Fleming books has spiked in recent weeks ahead of the release of the 24th James Bond film, Spectre. New Bond films never fail to spark fresh interest in Fleming's books and James Bond memorabilia. And the value of some of the most sought-after pieces has risen steadily. Rare-book seller Peter Harrington said Ian Fleming's books had been consistently strong sellers over the past 50 years, but became even more sought-after when new films were released."
"A signed copy of Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities bearing a personal inscription to fellow author George Eliot has gone on sale for £275,000. Dated December 1859, the dedication expresses "high admiration and regard" for Eliot - real name Mary Ann Evans. It is being sold by rare book dealer Peter Harrington and is currently on show at its central London bookshop. If it reaches its asking price, the book will be among the most expensive Dickens works ever purchased." Read the whole story on BBC News.
"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."
George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler, both ABAA members and ILAB affiliates, have now published a study about their extensive researches: In Shakespeare's Beehive: An Annotated Elizabethan Dictionary Comes to Light, they conclude that the annotations in their copy of Baret's Alvearie purchased on eBay belong to William Shakespeare. Using example after example, the authors demonstrate how closely the annotations and Baret's text are tied to Shakespeare's own work. The annotator, while not once leaving his name on a page, nevertheless leaves behind an astonishing personal trail of fingerprints. This great discovery hit the news last week. A press review:
"It's a cliché, but it's true: Things aren't the same as they used to be. Over the last twenty-five years, we've transformed the way that we buy books and build our collections, and most of the familiar bookshops, old and new, have disappeared. There aren't nearly as many local places to browse and buy books as there once were, but there are more books available to buy than ever, and great collections are still being formed. But collectors and booksellers have lost something along the way, and it's important to recognize that just as Frank Bruni's favorite restaurants offer something that he can't get anywhere else, this is what the book market, at its best, used to do, and still sometimes does." A thoughtful article about rare book dealers and collectors by Joel Silver for Fine Books & Collections. Read it!
Recent news concerning the Girolamini thefts in Naples (Italy) and the ongoing investigations: As a further reaction to ILAB's official note of protest published in August 2014 ILAB President Norbert Donhofer and ALAI President Fabrizio Govi received an official letter from the Italian authorities. Read more ...
All ILAB members are invited to attend The Fifth Hong Kong Antiquarian Bookfair from 2 to 4 December 2011 at the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre. Last year's fair was very successful with sales of over $10,000,000 HK reported by 41 exhibitors. The fair is well attended by local Hong Kong residents as well as collectors from mainland China and other neighbouring countries. It is a genuine chance to expand your market and meet new customers and dealers. Hong Kong has a booming economy as does mainland China so if you are sitting at home cursing the local economy now is the time to try something different.
The Harry Ransom Center holds the Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. archive, which includes books published under the Borzoi imprint and books from Alfred A. and Blanche Knopf's personal library. Nigel Beale interviews the Associate Directors for Exhibitions Cathy Henderson and Richard Oram, co-authors of "The House of Knopf", a book that contains collected documents from the Knopf, Inc. archive and is part of the Dictionary of Literary Biography series.
He brought poster, advertising, and dust jacket design out of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, integrating the aesthetic and forms of modern art into his work. It was welcomed in England. It was rejected in the United States. In his time he was, ultimately, the most significant graphic designer in the English-speaking world. Born in Montana, USA, E[dward]. ("Ted") McKnight Kauffer (1890-1954) was one of Europe's most prolific and influential advertising poster artists during the 1920s and 1930s, and as innovative as his French counterpart, A.M. Cassandre.