It’s an uncommon occurrence that rare books and manuscripts dominate the news in an issue of the New York Sunday Times. Nevertheless it occurred on February 23rd, 2020. Even more surprisingly it’s an old, unsettling story.
This is not a new story. We’ve written 4 articles about the French firm Aristophil and what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme about rare and collectible paper. This subject has been thoroughly discussed at Rare Book Hub between April 2015 and December 2019 but the Times released a fresh 3 full-page story that gives this saga added significance given the timing may dampen the animal spirits of the rare book and manuscript trade that often luxuriate over the dealers, crowds and material that will soon be standing cheek by jowl at the Armory at 66th and Park over the March 5-8 at the most important book and manuscript fair in the western world.
It’s a reminder how important trust is, and how damaging it is if buyers are betrayed.
The Times story is accessible on their online edition dated February 23rd, 2020.
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