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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 

From the Vault

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Etwas vom Autographensammeln

In the 30s Karl Geigy-Hagenbach possessed the most important private autograph collection comprising handwritten letters and documents by Savonarola, Richard III., Galilei, Descartes, Daniel Defoe, Dostojevskij, Händel, Bach, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer. Today two thirds of the collection are archived in the University of Basle. The rest had been auctioned by J. A. Stargardt (Marburg, now Berlin) and Erasmushaus (Basel) on June 30th and 31st, 1961.
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James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific

Three expeditions into the uncharted waters of the Pacific Ocean – and a tragic end on Hawaii. James Cook (1728–1779) was the first to map New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific islands. He formed our modern image of the world and refuted once and for all the existence of a mythical Terra Australis Incognita.
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THE GUARDIAN - International relay of events set to mark Unesco World Book Day

"From a pop-up bookshop in Vienna's giant ferris wheel to book fairs in cities across South Korea, antiquarian booksellers around the world are preparing to host a 24-hour run of events later this month to raise money for children in South Sudan. To mark Unesco's World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April, 1,800 members of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) are preparing a series of pop-up fairs featuring rare books. A mix of presentations, exhibitions, lectures and performances, the events will take place from South Africa to Russia, and New York to Munich, and will raise money for Unesco and actor Forest Whitaker's literacy projects in South Sudan. ILAB president Norbert Donhofer, who came up with the idea for the pop-up fairs last year, said: "The purpose of ILAB's participation … is to spotlight rare books and bookselling while raising money for what is at the very foundation of all we do – literacy."
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The First Flight Across the Atlantic

This week book lovers take their planes to New York to visit the 54th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, which runs from 3rd to 6th April 2014. Michael Slicker commemorates the first flight across the Atlantic and the books written about it. - A U.S. Mail pilot named Charles Lindbergh gets the credit for flying nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean by himself in 1927, and deservedly so, but he wasn't the first to fly across the Atlantic. That distinction goes to the crew of the Curtiss NC-4 floatplane, a name considerably less imaginative than the Spirit of St. Louis, and the feat took place in 1919, some eight years before Lucky Lindy's historic excursion. A book about the accomplishment published the same year is in the collection of rare and unusual books at Lighthouse Books, ABAA. The Flight Across the Atlantic was issued by the federal Department of Education in 1919 under the auspicies of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation. The trip took 19 days, including time for repairs and rest for the crew. Lindy's hop took 33.5 hours. But, hey, these guys weren't in any hurry and they weren't carrying a load of mail.
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You Can Quote Me On That

My catalogs are shorter, each consisting a single item, and they are even more "special" since they only go to one person each – with photographs, but digitally. They are called "quotes" and they're what little guys like me – specialist dealers – do instead of accumulating 350,000 books and hiring a prodigy like Dan Gregory to sell them. I suspect the act of "quoting" books has been around since 1455. In the old days we used carrier pigeons. Later, we graduated to postcards. Kevin Johnson of Royal Books is a terrific bookseller. He makes the point that people actually like being contacted by dealers, especially if we're offering material that stimulates their interest. He prefers telephone, but I'm too shy. I use email instead. Still, it amounts to the same thing – we put the book in the person's hand and say, "Look at this! Isn't it cool? I'm really excited about it."
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Tracking down the story of a Gutenberg Bible and a remarkable female collector

The New York Times reviews the recent publication by Margaret Leslie Davis: "THE LOST GUTENBERG: The Astounding Story of One Book’s Five-Hundred-Year Odyssey", describing the story of the American book collector Estelle Doheny and her acquisition of a Gutenberg Bible.
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