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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Press Articles

Bibliomaniacs in Battersea

Published on 19 June 2018
“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.
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Press Articles

In the Press - How James Bond books have soared in value ahead of Spectre

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."
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Press Articles

Peter Harrington Rare Books Featured on BBC News: Charles Dickens inscribed book offered for £275,000 sale

"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.
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Press Articles

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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Press Articles

Shakespeare’s Beehive - Rare Book Dealers George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler claim to have found Shakespeare's dictionary

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:
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Press Articles

In the Press - Collector and Bookseller: A Vanishing Relationship?

"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!
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Press Articles

In the Press - Breakthrough over 600-year-old mystery manuscript

A breakthrough has been made in attempts to decipher a mysterious 600-year-old manuscript written in an unknown language: The Voynich Manuscript, carbon-dated to the 1400s, was rediscovered in 1912, when the antiquarian bookseller Wilfrid Voynich bought it in Italy as part of a rare book collection. Since then it has defied codebreakers and scientists. Read the full article on BBC News.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

What Future For Rare Books ?

The anticipated death of the book is not a new phenomena. We recall that the book published in 1967 by the Canadian Marshall MacLuhan under the title "The Gutenberg Galaxy" dealt with this matter. Over the years we have seen that the electronic revolution has not really had the effect it had been predicted to have. We may also recall the cover of a magazine which appeared in the '90s and which referred to the answer of Gutenberg to MacLuhan in the form of an arm gesture of extreme vulgarity. Desktop Publishing did not finally kill the published book. It simply vulgarised the publishing proces. For us who are interested in the book as such, we feel that the aesthetics of the book may have suffered but not its productions in terms of quantity.
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Article

Keep the cultural treasures! “Weimarer Appell”: An official appeal to the German authorities – sign it!

In the so-called "Weimarer Appell" artists, scholars, librarians, archivists and all who are interested in the history of the book as the true basis of cultural history appeal to the German authorities to take care of the German cultural treasures by financially supporting book and paper restauration and investing into the growth and protection of libraries and archives in Germany. The "Weimarer Appell" has already been signed by prominent figures like Karl Lagerfeld, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Helmut Schmidt, Bundeskanzler a. D., Friede Springer, Nike Wagner, and Wim Wenders. Join the list of supporters and click here to sign!
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Article

Booksellers in the Press - London's Heywood Hill in Vanity Fair

London bookdealers Heywood Hill recently celebrated their 80th anniversary, now run by Nicky Dunne, son in law of Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine Cavendish, who inherited the business along with the dukedom and the Derbyshire estate on his father's death, in 2004."In an age of mega-stores and Kindle and Amazon, a bookshop in the chandeliered sitting room of a town house—with no sales or discounts—looks like a suicidal business model, and all the more so when the shop doesn't deign to stock many blockbusters. You're more likely to find a collection of African short stories than 'Fifty Shades of Grey', or a secondhand memoir by a forgotten English traveler from the 1930s than the best-selling adult coloring book 'The Enchanted Forest'."
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Article

ABA Members on Postage Stamps (No. 1 in a very short series)

"Peter J. Kroger, of Ruislip, was not an ABA member for very long: the minutes of the General Committee say no more than '(October 1960) (Removed from membership April 1961)'. He and his wife Helen ran a modest catalogue business from their bungalow, 45 Cranley Drive, between 1954 and 7 January 1961, when a visit from Superintendent George `Moonraker' Smith, of Scotland Yard, put an abrupt end to their bookselling - and other - activities." The spy who loved books - An amazing story told by Angus O'Neill as "no. 1 in a very short series".
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Article

ILAB Congress visits newly opened William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, L.A.

UCLA's William Andrews Clarke Memorial Library, renowned for its collection of rare books and manuscripts from England’s Tudor period through the 18th century, including the world’s largest repository of materials related to Oscar Wilde, has just reopened after extensive renovations. Participants of the upcoming ILAB congress, will visit the library as part of the extensive congress programme.
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Article

The Finer Print - Growing Concern Over Facsimile Jackets

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.
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