• <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits<br>7 – 15 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> [RELIURE BRODÉE]. <i>Horae beatissimae...</i> Anvers, 1570. Reliure brodée de la Renaissance aux armes du duc d'Anjou. €50,000 to €70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> ARTOIS, comte d', futur Charles X. 75 lettres autographes au comte de Vaudreuil entre 1792 et 1804. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> [Pascal, Blaise]. <i>Lettres de A. Dettonville ...</i> Paris, 1658-1659. Rarissime édition originale en reliure de l'époque. €30,000 to €50,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits<br>7 – 15 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Aragon, Louis. Ens. de 8 ouvrages avec envois à Jacques Lacan, dont "Blanche et l'oubli", 1967, sur grand papier. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Fermat, Pierre de. <i>Varia opera mathematica.</i> Toulouse,1679. Petit in-folio. Edition originale. De la bibliothèque de Jacques Lacan. €6,000 to €8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Leduc, Violette. <i>La Bâtarde.</i> 1958-1963. Important manuscrit autographe, premier jet. 20 cahiers, env 2048 p. ms. €40,000 to €60,000.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> SHERBURNE, BRANTZ, and WIRGMAN. The Original Drawings of the First Modern Scientific Survey of the Patapsco River and Chesapeake Bay. $350,000 to $500,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> LAFON, Barthelemy. The Earliest Comprehensive Survey of Louisiana and its Adjacent Regions. $350,000 to $450,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Giacomo GASTALDI. The Most Important Renaissance Wall Map of Asia Published in the 16th Century – with all four sheets having full margins. $300,000 to $400,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> CAO, Junyi. The Most Important Map of China to Come to Market in 50 Years. One of only three known copies of the last Ming Dynasty world map. $325,000 to $375,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> ORTELIUS, Abraham. Ortelius Atlas Spanish 1588 Magnificently Rich Original Hand Color in Full. $225,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> An Exceptionally Fine and Historically Important Manuscript Map Showing the Origins of Texas in the 19th Century. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> PRICE, William and BONNER, John. Map of Boston 1769. $225,000 to $325,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> John James AUDUBON. Audubon’s Brilliant Icon, That Has Never Been Equaled for Drama. $150,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Pierre-Joseph REDOUTE. Original Watercolor, Red Lily. $175,000 to $250,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> John James AUDUBON. The Most Famous Image of a Bird in All of History. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Martin WALDSEEMULLER. The Finest Example in Existence of Martin Waldseemuller’s Map of the New World, with Spectacular Full Original Color. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> GORDON, Peter. The First State of the First View of Savannah: The Template for American Urban Planning. $100,000 to $150,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Bernardus Sylvanus, one of the earliest printed maps of the New World, woodcut, Venice, 1511. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Johannes Blaeu, <i>Nova et Accuratissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula,</i> Amsterdam, 1662. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Emanuel Bowen & John Gibson, <i>Atlas Minimus,</i> miniature atlas, London, 1758. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Henry Andrews, <i>The Botanist's Repository for New & Rare Plants,</i> London, 1797-1815. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> John James Audubon, <i>Night Heron or Qua Bird, Plate CCXXXVI,</i> hand-colored aquatint, 1835. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Basilius Besler, group of 30 folio engravings, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> Eichstatt, 1613. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Henri Chatelain, <i>Carte Tres Curieuse de la Mer du Sud...,</i> Amsterdam, 1719. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Arnoldus Montanus, <i>Die Unbekante Neue Welt...,</i> German text edition, Amsterdam, 1673. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> John Woodhouse Audubon, <i>California Gray Squirrel,</i> oil on canvas, c. 1853. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> BULLER, Walter Lawry. <i>A HISTORY OF THE BIRDS OF NEW ZEALAND.</i> London, Van Voorst, 1873. Special De-Luxe edition of this already rare work.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> GIBBS, May. <i>Gum-Nut Babies.</i> Sydney: Angus and Robertson, Ca. 1918.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> SWIFT, Jonathan. <i>TRAVELS INTO SEVERAL REMOTE NATIONS OF THE WORLD.</i> London: Printed for Benj.Motte. 1727.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> JUKES, Joseph Beete. <i>NARRATIVE OF THE SURVEYING VOYAGE OF H.M.S. FLY…</i> London: T. & W. Boone, 1847. First Edition.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> <i>SOMERVILLE, E OE. IN THE VINE COUNTRY.</i> London: W H Allen & Co Limited, 1893.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> MAWE, John. <i>The voyager’s companion, or shell collector’s pilot.</i> London : 1825. Rare.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> PARKINSON, John. <i>Theatrum Botanicum, The Theater of Plants…</i> London, Thomas Cotes, 1640.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> c. 1150 decorated MONASTIC MISSAL LEAF, Southern Germany/Austria.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> LEGGE, Captain W. Vincent. <i>A HISTORY OF THE BIRDS OF CEYLON.</i> London, The Author, 1880.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> AUNT HANNAH. <i>SOME ADVENTURES IN THE LIFE OF A COCKATOO.</i> Published in New York by R. Shugg and Co., 1872.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2014 Issue

Friends of the Library - good friends indeed

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A series of three articles on the status of the books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera field.

 

This, the first article, is about the exceptional job SFPL and their (associated) Friends (organization) are doing to recycle old and used books.  The second updates the dealer model and the third touches on the increasing importance of auctions.

 

Books are born in many places but tend to die in just a few.  People respect and instinctively want them.  In the past, if disposing, they sold and if that was difficult, gifted them.  Today they who part with their printed material have fewer options.  The shops that used to handle such things are mostly gone, their inventories now online fighting for the attention of book buyers who see dozens and sometimes hundreds of copies of the same book offered for next to nothing.  Exacerbating this predicament the number of persons preparing to dispose is increasing.  Retirement, down sizing and departures from the mortal coil all add to these increasing numbers.  When the books are rare and collectible there are specialist dealers and auction houses interested to buy.  But when the material is more pedestrian [and most is] the decline, amounting to the disappearance, of the local used bookshop leaves only hard options; throwing them away, putting them into storage or giving them to libraries.  Most people rebel at the thought of throwing their books away.  Some store them and others send them on to libraries.

 

In these changing circumstances libraries find themselves the natural beneficiary for those who refuse to throw away what they have used and often loved.  These people are making and will make serious efforts to see their books put to good use.  For many, gifting their books to the local library has become their best outcome. 

 

Libraries and their associated friends associations aren’t going to buy the material but they will make a good-faith effort to efficiently redistribute it, adding rare material to the local library collection and parsing and categorizing general donations to be offered at their thrift shops and book fairs.  Some libraries do this better than others but many try hard to do this effectively.  A few will post the higher value material on listing sites and on eBay and when all else fails, sell to re-marketers who list widely and share proceeds with participating libraries.

 

Libraries, it turns out, can turn paper into gold.

 

A few years back a chance contact with Vince Koloski of the San Francisco Friends of the Library led them to become AE research members.  Recently a question about their log-in ID led to a conversation and I heard for the first time about their robust donation-redistribution program that is providing an efficient way for San Franciscans to donate unwanted printed material.  It’s an important program and its story a useful illustration for other communities and cities, all of which face the same issues and opportunities with unwanted old and used books.

 

Their story begins with the certain belief that books are always of some value if not outright valuable.  This is an attitude born from the first hand experience of generations who used bookshops and saw that books have second lives.  And no doubt, had the Internet not come to dominate the used book business used bookshops would still be buying and selling such material today.

 

In fact, until 1985, the second lives of common printed material were usually midwifed by used bookshops that, in city and telephone directories appeared under the heading ‘used’ booksellers as differentiated from ‘booksellers.’  The lists in the then ubiquitous telephone yellow pages made it possible for anyone to make a few calls to find out who was buying.  Today the used book trade has moved away, gone away so to speak.  It has gone online and is not free and neither is the path from boxes of books in the basement to online listings in the right places obvious.  The path is complex, the outcome uncertain and the costs rising.  It has become a process where expertise is crucial and each a book must bring close to $25 to justify posting.  Most used books simply don’t.

 

Into this predicament libraries, which have been receiving gifts of books forever now find themselves increasingly as the court of last resort for the books no one wants to casually discard. 

 

In San Francisco the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library have developed sensitive and efficient ways to handle such material and have been rewarded with an outpouring of donations.  Their solution is worth a careful examination.

 

If the Internet has wrought havoc to information distribution it has also created new opportunities.  For the SFPL Friends it has brought both.  Libraries, as we have known them, are becoming quaint as much of what we went to libraries for has gone on line and no longer requires a personal visit and often not even a library card.  Library access, it is fair to say, has gone global while traditional library traffic has declined.  Today many non-traditional patrons now come to the library simply to sit in a warm quiet environment, this the upshot of reduced public assistance programs that have left the poor and indigent with fewer alternatives on cold wet days.  SFPL manages to balance the needs of these communities with iron bound regulations for quiet and decorum.  It’s a disciplined balance that no doubt is a constant work in progress that costs real money.  Efficiently redistributing gifted material, some 650,000 used books a year, the Friends have found a way, on behalf of the library, to do well by doing good.  They are raising serious money.

 

Books that thousands of households in the Bay Area disgorge each year make their way to 438 Treat Street, (in the Mission) south of Market, in San Francisco where every week more than 13,000 books arrive to be sorted.  A team of four paid staff oversees volunteers who lay out, spine up, six pallets of material.  Each pallet contains about 2,000 to 3,000 books.

 

Day 1 and Day 2:  What starts as a jumble is quickly converted into 56 categories of material that is then moved onto shelves.

 

Day 2 to Day 4:  Material that is potentially valuable is checked by its ISBN number against online listings and items worth at least $25 are moved into the proverbial orchestra seats on the mezzanine.

 

By day 7 material for the library’s two stores, one in the Main Library and the other at Fort Mason are selected from the categorized shelves.  The Main Library shop does well with large cocktail table books, Fort Mason more with literature.  These two stores raise $600,000 a year and need new stock every week.

 

After the stores have had their selections and what looks sellable on line have been sent from the sorting area to the second floor, the bulk of the material that has already been categorized goes into boxes and then back onto pallets where every week five double-stacked pallets are moved to book fair storage.  The twice-a-year book fairs will each need 130 double stacked pallets to satisfy the crowds that will graze the selections during these Tuesday evening to Sunday extravaganzas.  Opening night is for Friends of the Library members and they, some 600 to a 1,000 strong, will like birds scour the 300,000 books offered for material of interest.  These events will continue through Sunday and raise between them another $350,000 a year.

 

The more valuable material that each week makes it to the second floor looks very much like traditional used book and rare book stock.  Such material is written up, just as dealers do.  More than 6,000 items are currently posted to Amazon.  Another 500 items are posted to Abe.  A software program, sellerengine, automatically re-prices material at 5% less than other copies.  Weekly online sales amount to about $5,300.  As well, occasionally important books are received and bring serious money.  Three volumes of the octavo edition of Audubon’s Birds a few years back brought $10,000 each.  Online sales total $275,000 a year.

 

At every stage, the SFPL takes appropriate books for it’s collections and librarians regularly visit the stores to pull books for the circulating collections.  During the semi-annual book fairs, special collections librarians select books from the collectibles booth.  And, throughout the year, librarians request books from the online listings. 

 

Now the week is over and another is starting.  New crates are arriving and the sorting process begins again.  Over the course of the weeks and months some material will be listed on eBay and other important auction-able material occasionally sent to Pacific Book Auctions.  Items that are judged appealing but fail to sell online may be offered at two or three California book fairs where dealers are often the big buyers.  Every venue has its strengths and the Friends have developed a keen sense of where the strengths are.

 

And then there is one more step.

 

What does not sell at the book fairs will be sent to Thrift Books in Reno to be posted online.  The magnitude of unsold items alone requires a contractor handle this and it may be years before there is a final accounting.  On average the Friends will receive about thirty-five cents of each dollar of sales over the next two to three years.      

 

Overall the Friends are raising about $1,350,000 annually.  It works for three reasons; [1] the material is donated, [2] much of the labor is free and [3], the strategies are ingenious and efficiencies exceptional.

 

So let me leave you with several thoughts.

 

Unwanted books are never unwanted.  Libraries can use them to raise money, on average about $2.25 for each book donated.

 

If you thought librarians lived in ivory towers, some may, but others have remarkable real world skillsets as do some of the friends’ bookseller staff.

 

So the next time you drive by your local library think about what you can contribute, be it money, time or material.  Traditional used book dealers have mostly disappeared but in their place a new generation of used book seller rises and many in the new generation are in an unexpected place: your local library.

 

Hats off to them.  They are a part of the new reality of bookselling.

 

The San Francisco Public Library and representatives of the Friends are willing to discuss their experiences with other libraries that can reach them at:

Vince Koloski
Online and Specialty Sales Manager
Friends of the San Francisco Public Library
438 Treat Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94110
415-522-8601

 

 

Two further articles update the dealer model and the increasing importance of the auctions.  Click here to continue.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>English Literature, History, Science,<br>Children’s Books and Illustrations<br>1 – 8 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> JAMES OF MILAN | <i>Pricking of love,</i> illuminated manuscript in Middle English [England, fifteenth century]. £60,000 to £80,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> BEARDSLEY | <i>The Toilet of Helen,</i> original ink drawing for Savoy, 1895. £30,000 to £50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DICKENS | <i>A Christmas Carol,</i> 1844, seventh edition, presentation copy inscribed by the author. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>English Literature, History, Science,<br>Children’s Books and Illustrations<br>1 – 8 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DARWIN | <i>For Private Distribution... Extracts from Letters addressed to Professor Henslow...,</i> 1835, original wrappers. £70,000 to £90,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DEFOE | Autograph manuscript poem, 'Resignation', 1708. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> GRAHAME | <i>The Wind in the Willows,</i> 1908, first edition, dust-jacket. £12,000 to £16,000.
  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Joyce (James), <i>Ulysses,</i> 4to, Paris: (Shakespeare & Co.) 1922, First Edn. €7,000 to €9,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Of the Utmost Rarity with Swift Association. Harward (Michael). <i>Philomath. A New Almanack for the Year of Our Lord,</i> 1666. €6,000 to €9,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Full Complement of Hand Coloured & Other Plates. Rosellini (Ippolito). <i>Monumenti dell Egitto e della Nubia,</i> Vols. I, II, & III Plate Volumes only. €5,000 to €7,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Magnificent Hand Coloured Plates. [Bivort, Debabay, & others] <i>Annales de Pomologie,</i> 8 vols., folio, Brussels, 1853-1861. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Very Fine Coloured Plates & Illustrations. Barbier (George) Vogel (Lucien) & others, <i>Gazette du Bon Ton - Arts-modes et frivolities, </i> 1914 to 1922. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> “I have seen War... I hate War," Signed Presentation Copy to William C. Bullitt, Roosevelt (Franklin D.) August 14, 1936. €3,000 to €4,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Victorian Hostess & Horticulturist. An Important Collection Relating to Lady Dorothy Nevill (1826-1913). €2,500 to €3,200.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Fine Original Portrait Photos of The O'Brien Ladies by Margaret Cameron. Two black and white Photos, each 8" x 10". €1,200 to €1,800.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> James Hume Nesbitt Illustrations: A collection of twelve pen and ink Drawings and Etchings intended for publication as book of illustrations for his thriller novels. €800 to €1,200.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Attributed to Kitagawa Utamavo (1753-1806). A pair of attractive colourful woodblock prints, of Court Ladies in decorative robes with numerous stamps and script. €800 to €1,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Contemporaneous Notes from Captain Cook's Voyage Travel: [Anon] <i>Voyage to the South Sea by Mr. Banks, Mr. Parkinson and Dr. Solender, with Capt. Cooke,</i> a 7 page m/ss document. €700 to €1,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Very Rare First U.K. Edition with Yellow Paper Band. Herbert (Frank). <i>Dune,</i> 8vo London (Victor Gollancz Ltd.) 1966. €500 to €700.
  • <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Thomas Jefferson (wants to bring his private French chef to Monticello.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Amazing Marilyn Monroe Signed 1953 Glamour Photo.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Albert Einstein "refugee intellectuals of the Hitler persecution."
    <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Man Ray Photographs (1935) signed to Sister.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> John Hancock Signed Document.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> <i>Liber Scriptorum;</i> Signed Stories by Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt and Carnegie as well as 106 other authors! Limited to 251 Copies.
    <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Historically Important Winfield Scott letter.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Buddy Holly signed "AMERICA'S GREATEST TEEN-AGE RECORDING STARS" PROGRAM.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Benedict Arnold autograph receipt signed in the text.
    <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> (Michael Curtiz) Amazing archives of 22 letters Written by John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Ingrid Bergman. Olivia De Havilland, Bing Crosby.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> GIUSEPPE VERDI SIGNED PHOTO.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Very Rare Jonathan Swift Autograph (Gulliver's Travels).

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