Rare Book Monthly Articles - May - 2017 Issue

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The World as it will Be

Books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera are real but their world has, for years, been losing locations on Main Streets, High Streets and Broadways around the world.  Why?  Parts of it are, [1] changing tastes, [2] rising prices, [3] thinning markets, [4] the Internationalization of these markets, and [5] the aging of core buyers and collectors.  These changes have remade the field into a more event based business with a succession of collector/collecting shows and auctions to capture the attention of the everyday market.
 
The decline of shops has long been understood to...

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The World from Afar

Occasionally my wife Jenny and I get a few days to a few weeks away.  Recently we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and spent two weeks in Japan.  The trip reprised part of my first...

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Booking It in South America

Hola! We finally did it. We went around Cape Horn after reading about it and talking about it for years and it was a grand adventure. We are two old traditional sailors/booksellers, who are getting...

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Three Years After a Print Went Missing, Boston Public Library Invests $15.7 Million to Preserve Its Rare Book and Manuscript Collection

Three years ago, in the summer of 2014, an assistant in the Print Department of the Boston Public Library noticed two old prints were missing. This was not a small matter. One was a Durer valued at...

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Insuring Valuable Books: Some Comments from a Specialist

Even though there are a great many companies that advertise themselves as insurance specialists for collectors, when you visit their sites you find there is precious little specific information pro...

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Sex, Androids and Quilts: It's Time for Bookfinder's Most Highly Sought After Out-of-Print Books

Bookfinder.com has published its list of the most sought after titles from 2016. It's an eclectic bunch. Bookfinder is a meta-search engine, that is, it searches multiple book listing sites, rather...

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Pick of the Litter

Once a year or so I receive an unpretty box that is wrapped in a nuclear-proof way to ensure the contents arrive in good order.  The shipper is one of the great holdouts to today’s upsca...

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A Long Ago Stolen Library Book and A Guilty Conscience Lead to a Remarkable Reunion

Few book thefts are resolved by a guilty conscience, particularly when the victim doesn't even know the book was stolen. Usually, the guilty conscience only comes into play after the thief is caugh...

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Frank Herrmann [1927-2017]

Frank Herrmann, writer, publisher and auctioneer died at his home In Essex on Sunday, a month short of his 90th birthday, following a long battle with illness.
 
After a distinguished career...

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Results at Publicly Traded Scholium (Shapero Rare Books) "Stabilised" and "Improving"

After a rough first half of their fiscal year (year ending March 31, 2017), Scholium Group, parent of English bookseller Shapero Rare Books, reported conditions have stabilized and are now looking ...

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May 22: Rare Books and Manuscripts, Very Old (and Some Newer) Material at Il Ponte Casa d'asti

This article is one of three previews of international sales I've covered this month. Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, the Milan-based auction house that was founded in 1974, will be holding a sale...

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Isert: A Voyage Through Slavery

Why do we read travel books instead of travelling ourselves? Well, only an old book like Paul Erdman Isert’s Voyages en Guinée & dans les îles Caraibes en Amérique (Ma...

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May 9: 1343 AD to the State of Israel and Everything in Between: Rare Jewish Material at Kedem Auctions

For the month of May, I’ve written three previews of international events. One of these is a sale by Kedem Auctions, an auction house headquartered in Jerusalem that was established in 2008. ...

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AbeBooks Top 10 Highest Prices for the First Three Months of 2017

Which books are bringing the highest prices on the listing sites right now? AbeBooks, the largest of them all, has released their list of the top 10 highest prices paid on their site during the fir...

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May 9: Maps and Atlases Take Center Stage at Sotheby's London

This month I’ve written three previews of international sales, one of which is Sotheby’s sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History on May 9, 2017 in London. One hundred twenty...

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The Decades-Old Amazon Sales Tax Battle Comes to an End, But a Second One Begins

A war was waged between Amazon and the states over the issue of sales tax collection for almost two decades. It was a pitched battle, with states passing legislation, going to court, and looking to...

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Portland's Annual Rose City Book Fair Set for June 16-17

Dates have been set for the annual Rose City Book and Paper Fair. This is a favorite in the City of Roses, aka Portland, Oregon. This year's fair with be the 11th, and will draw 50+ dealers, and an...

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Eight New Book Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review eight new booksellers' catalogues recently published. There isn't much in common between them other than they all offer books. Dr. Jorn Gunther Rare Books has a catalogue of "V...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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>

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