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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Fairs

The ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair 2017 - Finding the perfect Christmas gift, join guided tours or a book signing

Held each autumn in the beautiful and historic Chelsea Old Town Hall, the Fair brings together more than 80 exhibitors specialising in antique books, first editions, maps, prints, and manuscripts from all over the world. Prices begin at just a few pounds and dealers are happy to guide you, making this an accessible and exciting venue for beginning collectors or those simply looking for an extra special Christmas gift.
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Booksellers

First editions and lasting treasures: how to be a book collector

Thinking of investing in rare books? Do it for the love of books, not money, say the expertsRare and antiquarian books can be surprisingly valuable. A first-edition copy of Ulysses by James Joyce, published in Paris in 1922, can sell for €100,000 and sometimes much more; Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, published in London in 1726, up to €50,000. But, like art, most books will never become really valuable, and collectors are generally motivated by love of literature and books rather than the prospect of making a fast buck.Repost from The Irish Times, first published 26 August 2017.
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Manuscripts

Germany buys back 1000-Year old Liesborn Gospels

Printing with movable types was only invented 500 years later, the Liesborn Gospel from the year 980, one of the oldest manuscripts still in private possession has now returned to its original place, the diocese of Münster in Germany after a 3Mill Euro investment by the German state and a number of regional trusts.
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Booksellers

Wenn's um die Wurst geht - Aus dem Leben eines Antiquars (German language only)

Über eine bekannte Angebotsplattform für antiquarische Bücher erreichte uns kürzlich eine Anfrage. Der Kunde interessierte sich für einen Brief von Ernst Barlach. Wie immer hatten wir den Text transkribiert, die historischen Hintergründe des Briefes ebenso wie die Vergleichspreise der letzten, sagen wir, 20 Jahre, gründlich recherchiert und den Brief samt Inhalt und Adressaten so ausführlich wie möglich (und nötig) beschrieben. Nun war ein Foto gewünscht. Natürlich kamen wir diesem Wunsch gern nach, denn auch wenn jedes Foto eines Unikates dieses Unikat dem Mainstream etwas näher bringt, ist es verständlich, dass niemand die Katze im Sack kaufen möchte. Auf unsere umgehende Beantwortung der Bildanfrage flatterte uns ein Angebot ins Haus:
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Prints as historical evidence: Lincoln’s deathbed

The assassination and death of Abraham Lincoln on April 14th and 15th, 1865 sent a shock throughout the nation, generating an intense desire by the American public to find out details about this tragedy. Printmakers, both for illustrated newspapers and for separately-issued prints, met this public interest with an outpouring of images. As there was no television nor internet at the time, and as there are few photographs of any of the events surrounding Lincoln's death, these prints provided the public at that time with their only visual assess to the assassination and its aftermath ...
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Article

Why Are Some Dustjackets Clipped but Not Price-Clipped?

While browsing through Ralph Sipper's booth at this past weekend's Los Angeles Antiquarian Book Fair, I came upon an interesting copy of book that at first seemed a little out of place at the fair: John Sanford's Every Island Fled Away. It's a 1964 novel that, these days, is typically a $30 – $40 book in collectible condition, and not that much more when signed or inscribed. Usually the booths at the three fairs sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (there's also a New York show in April and a Boston show in November) are full of the best antiquarian books for sale in the country and the world (read highest quality, and consequently highest priced). Dealers usually trot out their top material, and Ralph's booth was full of many stunning copies of notable literary first editions. Some of them, like his beautiful copy of William Faulkner's first novel, Soldiers' Pay, are genuinely rare in such condition. By comparison, the John Sanford book seemed to be a grade schooler lost at the senior prom.
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Article

Sheila Markham - A Book of Booksellers

It's hard to know where to start with a book like this. Perhaps this way. I saw it listed in a catalogue and bought a single copy to see if I liked it. I wasn't twenty pages in before I ordered another 20 copies most of which I gave to friends and clients. I'm now on my second lot of 20 copies. If anybody wants to know what Antiquarian booksellers are really like you can find out in this wonderful book, a book which exists almost by accident.
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Article

Japan's Book Trade & 2018 Tokyo Antiquarian Book Fair

The 2018 Tokyo Antiquarian Book Fair will open its doors on the 23rd March, organised by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan (ABAJ)
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Article

Submissions deadline for 2018 ILAB Breslauer Prize ends in April

The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded again in 2018 and is one of the most prestigious prizes in the field of bibliography.
A prize with longstanding tradition and a strong support for scholarship: The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, worth US$10,000, is one of the most important prizes in the field of bibliography. Every fourth year it is awarded to a particularly significant reference work within a selection of scholarly books about books.
So far, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has received 34 submissions of outstanding works.
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