Das Deutsche Literaturarchiv Marbach hat kürzlich eine Frankfurter Privatsammlung zu Eduard Mörike erworben. Der Sammler Klaus Berge, verdientes Mitglied der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft und langjähriger Freund des Hauses, hat über mehr als drei Jahrzehnte hinweg sachkundig Handschriften, Erstausgaben, Widmungsexemplare, Grafiken und Gegenständliches von und zu Eduard Mörike sowie seinem Umkreis zusammengetragen.
105 years ago, from 6th to 8th August, 1908, a famous 19th century autograph collection was auctioned by J. A. Stargardt in Berlin. The owner of the collection was Fritz Donebauer, born in 1849 as a son of a Bohemian innkeeper who became a banker and insurance agent in Prague, and most of all: a collector. In his lifetime he owned hundreds of autographs and manuscripts of mostly Bohemian theatre artists and musicians as well as rare documents from the history of Bohemia and the Thirty Years War. Little is known about Fritz Donebauer, whose collection came to auction in Berlin in April 1908, and even less is known about the private collectors, dealers and institutions who bought the documents, manuscripts and handwritten letters. Eberhard Köstler tries to reconstruct Fritz Donebauer's life and the fate of his famous collection.
This (or a variant of it) is probably the most often asked question I hear. What I'm talking about is, of course, whether it is better to buy a book (or get it autographed by the author) with just a signature alone or whether it is better to have it with a personalized inscription.
The British Library has acquired the personal archive of Sir Alec Guinness. The archive includes more than 900 of his letters to family and friends and over 100 volumes of diaries from the late 1930s to his death in the year 2000. The letters and diaries of the award winning British actor enrich the British Library's collection of archives of great 20th century artists along with those of Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.
How much is it worth? This question is most often asked by book collectors. And most often, there is not a precise answer. Although it is quite common nowadays to discuss rare books "as investments", the value of a book can hardly be counted in Dollars and Euros. It is even more difficult to measure the "worth" of dedication copies. Is the book inscribed by the author? Is this author famous and important, dead or alive? To whom is the book inscribed? Which words did the author choose to express his gratitude or sympathy? Eberhard Köstler, autograph specialist, gives examples of dedications by George Bernard Shaw, George Orwell, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann and many other authors, and he shows that nothing is binding when it comes to the "real worth" of dedications.
In detective fiction and on the cop shows it's called "chain of evidence." Book collectors call it provenance. Unless you plan to build your private library solely with "hot off the press" titles, you need to understand provenance. The concept is important for all kinds of collectibles, from works of art to books to archaeological artifacts. Basically, it means: "to confirm or gather evidence as to the time, place, and if appropriate, the person responsible, for the creation, production or discovery of [an] object."
Though best known as a British author, Aldous Huxley spent the last twenty-six years of his life living in the United States. When he and his wife, Maria, left England for the United States in 1937, they did not plan to stay, but with the war in Europe heating up and their son's acceptance to an American school, they decided to settle in Los Angeles. It was there that Huxley renewed his acquaintance with Anita Loos, the author of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
During the 41st ILAB Congress, preceded by ILAB's International Antiquarian Book Fair, both in Paris in April 2014, the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography of 10.000 USD will be awarded. Since 1967, when Jean Peeters-Fontainas received the first Prize for his outstanding "Bibliographie des impressions Espagnoles aux Pays-Bas méridionaux", famous scholars have submitted the best books about books. Many of them have become standard works both in scientific research and in the antiquarian book trade. Seventy books about books have been submitted to the Prize, which has become one of the most prestigious international awards. Among them many bio-bibliographical studies of the life and works of famous authors such as John Gilbert's highly praised Ian Fleming bibliography or C. E. Grissom's, D. C. Smith's and D. A. Richards' excellent works on Ernest Hemingway, H. G. Wells and Rudyard Kipling. Another brilliant book is devoted to an author who gave us the image of a "Brave New World": Aldous Huxley.
In English, French, German and Italian. "Contrary to common practice, this dictionary contains as few words as possible. I have limited the terms, to those used by antiquarian booksellers, which are not to be found in the usual bilingual, trilingual, or multilingual dictionaries. "
Edgar Franco, Dictionary of Terms and Expressions Commonly Used in the Antiquarian Book Trade
Edgar Franco's "Dictionary" was published by the ILAB in 1994. It is available as a pdf file, and as a print version.
I would like to tell you about the last part of my American trip which took place in Boston at 36th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. I spent four days in Boston and I was able to see the city which I liked very much. But the fair gave me much more impression and emotions. Most of the time I spent working at the Between the Covers booth, arranging books, communicating with customers, as well as exploring the fair and what everybody was selling, meeting new people and making interesting acquaintances. I got an incredible opportunity to meet the best booksellers!
The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018. Oak Knoll Press has just published the League's "Historical Index", compiled by ILAB bookseller Nevine Marchiset.
When I first wrote about a World Rare Book Day on the blog only last September (see the post of that title) it was an idea still in the making. The charity tie-in with UNESCO was hoped for but not confirmed. Most of the events not even thought of. I am just absolutely thrilled that it has all come together so successfully. Huge congratulations to all concerned, especially my good friends Norbert Donhofer, Sally Burdon and Barbara van Benthem – you can see the full extent of what they have achieved on the official blog at http://ilabpopupbookfairs.blogspot.co.uk/ ... What a day it is going to be. It is all turning out just as imagined, kicking off with a Shakespeare first folio on display in Sydney. An antiquarian book plaza in Tokyo. Events as far afield as Cape Town and Moscow – Zurich, Vienna, Budapest, Milan, Munich, Paris, Antwerp, Copenhagen and elsewhere – books on a barge in Amsterdam, books at Haarlem Central railway station, a pop-up of pop-ups in Sweden, a fair at the Middle Temple Library here in London, and then across the Atlantic to New York, Chicago, Washington, Delaware and Seattle – and ending up, as good booksellers everywhere always do, in the pub. This one in Portland, Oregon.