One of London's oldest antiquarian bookshops Maggs Bros., bookseller by appointment to the Queen, closed their premises last year when their leasehold on Berkeley Square had expired after almost 80 years of trading. The opening of the new gallery in Bloombury's Bedford Square, received broad press coverage this week.
The new festival Rare Books London, which is due to be launched this year in May, will be hosting fairs, auctions, tours and talks. We will highlight a number of events at Rare Books London in the upcoming weeks. Some talks and tours have already sold out!Bernard Quaritch's "Collecting Pains - symptoms and remedies for book lovers" will provide a fascinating insight into the rare book trade, past and present. Visitors will discover the company's long history, meet staff and view highlights from the archive and current stock. Incidentally, one of Quaritch's more younger staff members Dr. Anke Timmermann was recently elected as a new Associate Member of the ABA, and her background shows the diversity of people working in our trade. We would like to share her article, originally published in the March edition of the ABA newsletter, below.
Known to many in the trade and beyond, Rick Gekoski has published a number of books throughout his life, some of them incredibly entertaining for anyone in the rare book trade."Lost, Stolen or Shredded", "Tolkien's Gown" or "Outside of a Dog: A Bibliomemoir" will be on the bookshelves of many of us. Or do you remember Rick's guide to an antiquarian book fair? Now changing direction slightly, Rick Gekoski's new book and first novel "Darke" has just been published by Canongate in the UK.
"Matthew Raptis doesn't judge a book by its cover alone. He also judges it by its publication date, its condition and its relative rarity in the antiquarian book marketplace. Think print is dead? For avid collectors of rare books, it's anything but." (Palm Beacher, 2017)The Palm Beacher recently run a profile on Matthew Raptis Rare Books, member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and therefore affiliated to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, with the fitting headline "Rare Books Are More Than Just A Business; They're A Key To The Past". Another insight into the world of rare book dealing and collecting and proof the book is not dead.
Would it help if you could get regular advice from an experienced ILAB antiquarian bookseller?Over the past few months, ILAB has developed the ILAB International Mentor Programme which was launched in January. The ILAB International Mentor Programme harnesses the enormous good will of our associates/members worldwide to offer a truly extraordinary range of expertise in, as this is written, no less than 9 languages, to support less experienced booksellers where ever they may be. We can now envisage such situations as a Dutch mentor supporting a young American bookseller, an American mentor helping a young Russian bookseller or an Australian mentor chatting regularly with their mentee in Malaysia. It is also just as likely that the mentor and mentee might be within the same country or city – there are far fewer limitations than there have ever been.
In December 2016, ILAB launched a new Mentoring Programme, which aims to help young or recently established booksellers throughout the world by offering support and counselling on a one on one basis.In our new series "Meet the ILAB Mentors", we would like to present those booksellers who are volunteering their time for newer entrants to the antiquarian and rare book trade!
London bookdealers Heywood Hill recently celebrated their 80th anniversary, now run by Nicky Dunne, son in law of Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine Cavendish, who inherited the business along with the dukedom and the Derbyshire estate on his father's death, in 2004."In an age of mega-stores and Kindle and Amazon, a bookshop in the chandeliered sitting room of a town house—with no sales or discounts—looks like a suicidal business model, and all the more so when the shop doesn't deign to stock many blockbusters. You're more likely to find a collection of African short stories than 'Fifty Shades of Grey', or a secondhand memoir by a forgotten English traveler from the 1930s than the best-selling adult coloring book 'The Enchanted Forest'."
The rare book trade has lost one of his most interesting and legendary personalities. Martin Stone (11 December 1946, Woking, Surrey – 9 November 2016, Versailles, France) was an English guitarist and rare book dealer.
Pynchon's first three books are by far his most collectible. His first, V. (1963) shows up with some frequency, but is usually either spine-faded, or price-clipped (the price is placed well into the front flap, so clipping it leaves an even more than usually unsightly loss), or both. There also exists an Advance Reading Copy in wrappers that seems to wear easily - we look for copies that are relatively square, as it seems to cock or slant very easily.
The Austrian National Library has bought 44 letters by the poet Heimito von Doderer which were written to Dietrich Weber, a famous scholar in German literature and a life-long specialist of Doderer's works. These letters were the beginning of a close friendship between the scholar and the novelist.
Un salon en pleine expansion...
Le SALON LIVRES RARES & OBJETS D’ART qui s’est tenu sous la nef du Grand Palais du 12 au 14 avril réunissait 181 libraires dont 55 étrangers venant de 14 pays différents, et 52 experts en objets d’art.
'"Edgar Poe - the underground stream in Russia." So the Russian Symbolist poet Aleksandr Blok noted in his journal for November 6, 1911, a topic for a future critical study. The article was never written, but the prospect has remained an enticing one. For Poe's fame, however clouded by conflicting interpretation, is of long standing in Russia' (Joan Delaney Grossman, Edgar Allan Poe in Russia: a study in legend and literary influence, p. 7).
Manuscripts are unique items, though many of them are similar and share general characteristics. A hard and fast set of regulations, which few will follow and others will not understand, has, therefore, less relevance for manuscripts than printed books and allows me to present my remarks more as an essay than a formulary. Much of what really matters is, in truth, predetermined by the honesty, integrity and sense of self-mortification in the cataloguer and the degree with which he seeks personally to attain perfection in terms of accuracy and straightforwardness. But such considerations have not always faced down earnest legislators in the past.