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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Bibliomaniacs in Battersea

“Palpable history”, says Sir David Attenborough. We are at the annual Antiquarian Booksellers Association Rare Books Fair, and he is describing the pleasure of holding an incunable – a book printed in the fifteenth century, in the first few decades after the printing press was invented.
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Jen Campbell: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

"I love working in book shops", Jen Campbell says. "They attract especially strange comments and requests." Over the years she has written down all these strange questions customers ask when they drop in. The best of them have recently been published by Constable & Robinson with wonderful illustrations by The Brothers McLeod. An awesome and unbelievably witty book on the eccentricities which make bookselling one of the most fascinating professions on earth. A must for booklovers!
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Insider Collecting – Rare Books on Automobiles, Ships, Steam Coaches

One of my principles in gathering books is to read a book perhaps in a paperback edition and having 'assessed' it, either put it back into stock, keep it on my shelves, find a hardback edition to replace it, or, ultimate accolade, find a first or fine edition. [André Gide summed it up when he said "Book collectors do not buy books to read - they buy books because they have read them]. Some twenty-five years ago in the Carnegie Bookshop in New York Dave Kirschenbaum showed us the finest pair of "Jungle Books" any of us had ever seen. Having bought them I said to my father - "You know where those are going don't you? Home beside All The Mowgli Stories." - And here is an interesting thing that serves to counter those who ask "Why spend money on a first edition when it is available in paperback?" When I sat down to read, in the original 19th century edition, the stories I knew almost by heart, they were suddenly given a fresh flavour - the flavour of 19th century India and the British Raj, simply through reading them in the original edition.
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Collecting Herman Melville

Nineteen-ninety-one marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Herman Melville. Numerous observances were held to commemorate the work of that remarkable American writer, so widely forgotten a century ago and so widely celebrated today. The centenary was another step in the evolving attitude toward the man and his work. The re-evaluation of Melville's literary career began even before his death, and has grown in ever-widening circles ever since.
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Collecting - The Serio-Comic Mapmaker Fred W. Rose

Fred W. Rose (1849-1915) stands out as the most influential figure in the design and authorship of the so-called "Serio-comic" political cartoon map in late Victorian Britain. His remarkable maps include: A Serio-Comic War Map, 1877 (published in three slightly different versions); England on Guard, 1878; A Comic Map of the British Isles, 1880; Angling in Troubled Waters, 1899, and John Bull and his Friends, 1900. All were published in London by G W Bacon & Co.
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Mostra internazionale Libri Antichi e di Pregio a Milano - 2015

We are pleased to inform you that the 3rd edition of the Antiquarian Book Fair "Libri Antichi e di Pregio a Milano", promoted by ALAI with the usual support of the Chamber of Commerce of Milan, will be held in Milan from March 27th to 29th, 2015.
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