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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

51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair opens today!

Recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, this eagerly anticipated bi-annual fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs and more.
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Booksellers

Sotheran’s: 250 Years of Bookselling

It's rare that an antiquarian bookshop should have a history as long and rich as the jewels of its stock. But with Sotheran's in London's Sackville Street celebrating its 250th anniversary this year, it can justifiably lay claim to the title 'oldest antiquarian bookshop in the world'. James Sprague tells Beatie Wolfe about an amazing history and the unique pressures of maintaining such an important name.
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Article

Mania and Imagination - Perils and Pleasures of the Private Collector Present and Future

King's College, Cambridge, will hold a follow-up conference on 18 and 19 June 2016 to focus on the theme of modern private collecting, one of Munby's great interests. Titled "Mania and Imagination: Perils and Pleasures of the Private Collector Present and Future" this conference aims to investigate the nature of book collecting by private individuals today, and to look at the future in a rapidly changing world. The speakers are collectors themselves, or are involved in the manuscript and book trade, or study modern collectors and their collections. They include ABA member Justin Croft, Mirjam Foot, Meg Ford, Peter Jones, Michael Meredith and Toshiyuki Takamiya. The event will also feature themed discussion panels and presentations from young collectors and bibliographers.
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Article

www.AntiquarianAuctions.com: an internet auction venue run by booksellers for dealers

Specialist online auctions for rare books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography: AntiquarianAuctions.com has been developed by Clarke's Africana & Rare Books (ABA member) and over the past five years have run over seventy successful online auctions.
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Article

John Fuller and The Sycamore Press: A Bibliographic History

Set up in 1968, John Fuller's Sycamore Press published some of the most influential and critically acclaimed writers of the past half-century. Operating from a garage, the press published established authors like W. H. Auden, Philip Larkin and Peter Porter and young poets like James Fenton and Alan Hollinghurst. "John Fuller and The Sycamore Press", edited by Ryan Roberts, is more than a full descriptive bibliography. It includes personal reflections by Sycamore Press authors and an interview with John Fuller. Editor Ryan Roberts has met publisher John Fuller to find out more details of his press. As Ryan explains, meeting in Fuller's home in Oxford, the conversation was casual, an enjoyable time to learn the facts of the press straight from the publisher himself.
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Article

Every Dealer’s Nightmare - A Flooded Bookstore

Imagine - you live in an area where no flooding has taken place for 38 years and your stock is held in a professional storage area surrounded by some 200 other units. Sounds a good bet? . . . Read on. Here is one dealer's first-hand experience. Bon Summers was hit by a flash flood and it took her 20 day's solid hard work in temperatures exceeding 90°F with high humidity to recover the remaining stock. This is her account.
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