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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Autographs

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: The Letters of B. Traven

Published on 21 July 2011
One of the great things about working for a bookseller is you get to see some very cool items. One of the best in recent days is a collection of letters from the writer B. Traven - best known for his novel The Treasure of Sierra Madre - sent to the model and actress Ruth Ford. If you're only familiar with the classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart, you've been missing out because B. Traven was a man of mystery worthy a movie all his own.
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Autographs

When Kerouac Met Dostoyevsky

Published on 22 June 2011
Sometime during March-April, 1949, John-not-yet-Jack Kerouac, 27 years old and living with his parents as "The Wizard of Ozone Park" (Queens, NYC), as his Beat friends referred to him, bought a cheap reprint edition of short stories by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He annotated the book, and entered his ownership signature. Dostoyevsky was an important influence on Kerouac; his novel,The Subterraneans, was consciously modeled on Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, one of his favorite books, and there are many references to the Russian author in Kerouac's novels and letters.
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Autographs

Fraktur and The Private Library

Published on 23 Feb. 2011
In Germany books written in "Fraktur" are hard to sell, because especially young people are not used to read it. Often called "old German typography" the typical "Fraktur" is found in German books of the late 19th and early 20th century, mostly common literature and popular non-fiction, printed in a large number of copies. From L.D. Mitchell we learn that there is another kind of "Fraktur", very rare and worth collecting.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Congress

1957 - Munich

The 11th Congress of the International League was opened at Munich on 16th September.
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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

Book Sizes and Taking Advantage of Bald Men

Book Sizes, also known as a book's format, at first sight come across as a bit pointlessly arcane: Folio: Fo. or 2° (try and imagine the 2 as really big and the O as really small). Quarto: Qto. or 4to or even 4°. Octavo: Oct. or 8vo. Duodecimo: 12mo (usually spoken as twelvemo). Sextodecimo: 16mo (sixteenmo). Vicesimo-quarto: 24mo (twentyfourmo). Tricesimo-secundo: 32mo (thirtytwomo). They are the most commonly used. There are a myriad of variations within each theme "Crown Octavo", "Elephant Folio" , "Royal Quarto", "Small..", "Squat.." etc. These are usually tied to bibliographical descriptions from SOMEONE OLD AND DISTINGUISHED tm. who wrote about this book eighty years ago and whose word has been taken ever since.
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Article

Bibliographies - Philosophy

Online: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) - Immanuel Kant - "Warda" online
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Article

Veronese, His Legacy, Among 17th Century Book Publishers, Art Collectors, & Printmakers

This essay is an immersive, illustrated review of the spectacular Veronese show at the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida (2012-13); but it also educates readers on Veronese's legacy in the 17th century among book publishers, printmakers, and (mostly) Stuart art connoisseurs. Drawing upon an extended Gallery of Images (21 images, including some fine installation shots, all with extended caption notes by the author), the essay demonstrates the fabled invention, wit, and clever humor of this "Happiest of Painters", as Henry James wrote of Veronese. The essay gives special prominence to the currency of Veronese in the 17th-century book culture and print culture (Images 6,7,14). The author's dedicatees are three prominent book specialists: Robert J. Barry, Jr.; John T. Shawcross; and Peter A. Tasch.
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