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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Renaissance

Rare Books - When is an inscription not an inscription?

Published on 14 Oct. 2014
Two folks identified the key elements of this month's crocodile mystery in their comments: Misha Teramura correctly noted that the inscription in the middle of the page - "pp. 184-190 refer to the progress of religion westward toward America" - refers to George Herbert's final poem from The Temple, "The Church Militant." And David Shaw noted that the other inscriptions - "8652″ on the top left and "A176″ on the bottom right - look to be an accession number and a shelf mark. But let's back up for one moment to understand why I find these marks interesting. The book in question is a first edition of George Herbert's The Temple (STC 13183). It's an interesting work, and a popular one in the 17th century. And as you can see from the notations on the front pastedown and the recto of the first free flyleaf, it's a work that was prized by later collectors.This particular copy was owned by Sir Leicester Harmsworth before it came into the Folger Shakespeare Library collection, and its value is shown in part by the blue goatskin binding signed on the bottom turn-in by Riviere and Son. Its value is more obviously indicated by the inscription on the pastedown, "a copy sold in the Terry sale in Dec 1935 for $3600."
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Renaissance

The Giunti of Florence. A Renaissance Printing and Publishing Family

Published on 24 Oct. 2012
This ambitious project explores the history and output of the Giunti Press in Florence, covering the firm from its beginnings in 1497 to its end in 1625, and providing descriptions of each Giunti book published with extensive indication of the libraries holding copies of each edition. In doing so, it describes the literature and history of Florence in the late Renaissance as well as the development of the Italian language within this important period of time.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Lutheran best-seller turned Jesuit boxed set

Books in boxes have always held a particular appeal. But this I found particularly attractive. It's a book from 1738, Güldenes Schatz-Kästlein der Kinder Gottes (A Golden Treasure Chest for the Children of God), which has been cut into individual leaves, all the edges gilded, and then put into a custom-made gilt-tooled morocco box which features the figure of Justitia and the seal of the Society of Jesus.
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Article

14th Congress of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, Paris 1961

"Our ILAB Congresses are an important part of the infrastructures and networking possibilities of all dealers, the place where friendships are made or renewed and where we have the possibility of visiting libraries and seeing books not always very easily accessible and where we can experience other cultures and other traditions while the fair offers the possibility to meet new customers in a country not all of us visit regularly. In a globalizing world, in a world that seems to become smaller and smaller we sometimes tend to forget that personal contacts, that meeting real people, is still of greatest importance: the ILAB Congress offers precisely that opportunity to meet people who are active in the same profession and with whom we can discuss topics of mutual interest, exchange ideas and explore new possibilities." (ILAB President Arnoud Gerits) After the 40th ILAB Congress in Switzerland in September 2012 the antiquarian booksellers will look forward to meeting each other again in Paris in 2014. The 41st ILAB Congress will be one of many occasions in the history of League where ILAB affiliates come together in France on invitation of the Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) which will celebrate its centennial in 2014. The 14th Congress, for example, was also held in Paris, and it was an exciting event.
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Article

Bob Fleck – Awarded With the ILAB Medal

Was that it? Was Bob's involvement in ILAB finished and done with? Oh no! ILAB needed a Treasurer capable of taking its accounting system into the 21st Century and turned once more to Bob Fleck to take on this difficult and not so enchanting job, which he took on in April 2014. He worked relentlessly during a year and a half, until the Seville Presidents' Meeting in October 2015, to put all the accounts in order and once the job was brilliantly done … he resigned, having been asked to head New Castle's Historical Society, and for once in his life, he could not be able to find the time to work, rest, and work and work again and again. To thank him, once more, and perhaps not for the last time, for his devotion to ILAB matters, Bob Fleck was awarded during the 2015 October Seville Presidents' Meeting with the ILAB Medal, engraved on its back: "In recognition of services rendered to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers."
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Booksellers

Gilhofer & Ranschburg - A Short History

In 1924 William H. Schab founded a branch of Gilhofer & Ranschburg in Lucerne. Drawings and prints, and most of all rich and important libraries were sold at Lucerne, as for example the library of Prince Alexander Dietrichstein at Nicholsburg and those of the Austrian monasteries of Admont and Göttweig, the collection of Albert Figdor and treasures from Soviet libraries. Following the German annexation of Austria the Viennese firm was confiscated and the Lucerne branch had to stop its activities. Otto Ranschburg, sonof Heinrich Ranschburg, emigrated to London and then to New York. William H. Schab fled to the United States where he founded his own business in New York. Nevertheless Gilhofer & Ranschburg was one of the founding members of the Swiss Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (Vereinigung der Buchantiquare und Kuperstichhändler in der Schweiz, VEBUKU) was established in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1939.
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Article

New York 2017

From March 9-12, 2017 book lovers will find a fascinating treasure trove at the Park Avenue Armory. Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair, bringing a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera. The diversity of specialties includes art, medicine, literature, photography, autographs, first editions, Americana, and much more.
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