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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: Ernest Poole

The author wrote a pretty wide range of popular fiction, and we have managed to be able to amuse ourselves with his occasionally outlandish and screwball plots, often clad in attractive jackets with breezy Jazz Age illustrations.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Scholar–Book Thief

Here are two of Plutarch's Moralia, published from twelfth-century manuscripts in the Synodal Library in Moscow in 1777 by the German philologist Christian Friedrich Matthäi, and dedicated to Ivan Shuvalov, the Maecenas of the Russian Enlightenment.
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Article

iPhone App for Rare Books, Magnificent Manuscripts and Autographs: „Treasures of the Bavarian State Library“

Browse the treasures of the Bavarian State Library with your iPhone: the "Nibelungenlied", the Gutenberg Bible, rare manuscripts from the Orient and the Occident. The first iPhone App for book lovers.
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Article

Early Engraver Played His Cards Right

The "Meister der Spielkarten", or "The Master of the Playing Cards" is known only through the 106 engravings that have been attributed to him, including the set of playing cards that he is named for. The term "master" is reserved for someone who has completed an apprenticeship and ran his own workshop, teaching apprentices. His presumed students are also unknown but have similar names, such as "The Master of the Nuremberg Passion", "The Master of 1446", and "The Master of the Banderoles".
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Article

“Gelos” – Rare Book Auctions in Russia

Gelos was established in Moscow in 1988 and is renowned for being the leading Fine Art and Antiquities auctioneers throughout Russia, with offices throughout Europe in Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Prague, Riga, Warsaw and, recently opened, in London (Knightsbridge). It is the largest auction house in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The company carries out appraisals and makes expert examinations, holds auction sales, sells antiquities from its galleries and salons, forms private and corporate collections. Selling at auctions is generally practised and widely spread in the West. On the Russian market Gelos' activities are innovative. A report by Alena Lavrenova.
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