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.
The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers unites 22 national associations, representing 35 countries and nearly 2000 professional rare book dealers worldwide. In its over 60 years of existence, ILAB has become a truly global network of the international antiquarian book trade. Once in a year the presidents of ILAB's member associations, who form the governing body of the League, meet to discuss recent trends of the trade, the activities of ILAB within the past year along with initiatives and actions that shall be taken to promote the rare book business in the future. On 1st October 2015 Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes, President of the Asociación Ibérica de Librerias Anticuarias (AILA) and Vice-President of ILAB, welcomed the delegates of the Presidents' Meeting in Seville. The Spanish city on the river Guadalquivir is not only known to be one of the hottest European spots with a summer average high temperature of 35° C, but also one of the most beautiful places in Europe. The Roman and Medieval centre of Seville owns three UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the Alcázar Palace, the Cathedral, and the General Archive of the Indies. Only a short walk away from these famous sites the ILAB delegates met at the Palace of the Duke of Segorbe to hold their annual meeting.The items on the agenda show that the rare book trade has to face severe problems and radical changes, but that there also promising perspectives and new paths to follow for better future partnerships and cooperation within the rare book world. The most important item on the agenda of each meeting is the report of the ILAB President. Read the detailed and excellent speech ILAB President Norbert Donhofer held yesterday to open the Presidents' Meeting 2015 in Seville:
I am Master of Books at the Moscow State University of Art Print and study the antiquarian book trade. My ILAB Internship lasted five weeks, and Norbert Donhofer played a great role in its organization. For the first time young students and rare booksellers were offered the opportunity to study the world's rare book markets. Until then such possibilies were very scarce. Due to the fact that the history and the structure of the antiquarian book trade differ from country to country learning experiences in various countries are very useful. International experience will teach us how to organize the antiquarian book trade in Russia more efficiently.
Online: Great War Dust Jackets - NYPL Digital Gallery - Classic Crime Fiction - Hogarth Press Illustrated Dust Jackets - Modern Library Dust Jackets and Bindings: 1917-1939 - The ModernLib ML Database - Books for Girls - Vietnam War Literature Dust Jackets - The Robert Weinberg Collection
"Anglophiles who are planning to watch the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011, now have a new opportunity to gain insight into the history and geography of the kingdom over which the future monarch and his bride will reign. Cambridge University Library has digitized a set of proof sheets for the first comprehensive atlas of Great Britain, first published 400 years ago." Nancy Mattoon's recent article for Booktryst features one of the world's finest cartographic treasures: John Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine.
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.