Rare Book Monthly Articles - July - 2014 Issue

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The Bookseller's Dilemma: the world is changing

The Bookseller’s dilemma: the world is changing
 
Problems in bookselling have long been understood.  Shops closing, books going online, loss of face-to-face contact, rising quantities, aging dealers, fewer new dealers and changing collecting perspectives are all factors in a once sedentary field that now evolves in real time.  In effect, the old world has become old hat and a disappearing hat at that.
 
Some fifteen years ago, a few dealers, sensing that the long-term impact of exponentially rising online book listings would eventually alter valuations negativ...

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Remnants of One of the Wealthiest Estates Ever Formed Has Been Sold

An auction at Christie's last month brought to a conclusion a story very long in the making. The collection was remarkable, though not as remarkable as the history behind it. This was a story of su...

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39th Annual Newtown Book Sale July 12-16

If it is July it is time for the annual Newtown, Connecticut book fair organized by the Friends of the C. H. Booth Library.  This event, which begins on Saturday July 12th, runs through the fo...

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How was your first time? (Online bidding)

Yesterday was my first time—and it was great!
 
It all started at 2 p.m., when my computer screen suddenly broadcast the images of some red-carpeted walls, and the confused sounds of a...

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Book Repair for Booksellers

Veteran Massachusetts bookseller Joyce Godsey has written a short and useful guide to basic book repairs. Her advice is: “If the book is worth more than $250, send it to a professional or sel...

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A Second Bookseller Goes “Public”

Turning to the public markets for funding of businesses in the selling of old books seems to be gaining some steam, at least in England. In May, Scholium Group, whose main business is Shapero Rare ...

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It's not easy being green

Alice Springer at the Friends of the Seattle Public Library spoke with me last week as 21 items the Friends had posted on eBay were grinding toward their conclusion.  The sale had come to my a...

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Books In The News

Old books regularly show up in the news. Something old, something new. A few such stories caught my eye this past month.
 
The first story involves the all too common subject of book theft. ...

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Profiles in History: Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector IV on July 11th

On July 11th Profiles in History continues the series “Property of a Distinguished Collector” with Part Four.  Parts 1 to 3 raised $11.5 million.  One hundred and twelve lots ...

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Apple Settles Its eBook Case Before Its Time

In a bizarre twist of events in the Apple eBooks case, Apple has negotiated a payment settlement with those harmed by its alleged price fixing, even as it continues to contest the claim they ever f...

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A Sale to be Seen, Not Read About

I'm going to keep this article brief because Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions' sale of Modern and Contemporary Prints is one that words can only do so much for. Featuring prints from well-k...

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Did the Police Chief Just Put Down Books?

Did San Francisco's Police Chief just “diss” books? We aren't sure what to make of a comment he recently made. Surely, there's another explanation. From everything we know, Chief Greg S...

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Ten Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we have 10 new catalogues up for review. Whitmore Rare Books presents a catalogue of exceptional literature. Antiquates Fine & Rare Books offers works from British authors and collec...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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