Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2020 Issue

Alfredo Breitfeld: friend, scholar and advocate

Alfredo Breitfeld, gentleman and bookseller, has completed his last catalogue and list and now leaves this responsibility to his son Gustavo to carry the Breitfeld name forward to future generations of collectors and institutions whose passions will be enflamed by the interesting copies and significant documents that Alfredo brought to the market.  He will be missed.

 

He came to New York for the Antiquarian book fair in early March when Covid was known among the scientific community but was being denied by Trump who said the handful of cases at that moment would quickly disappear.  At this telling the number of deaths in the United States from Covid have run by 181,000 as 5.88 million cases have been reported.

 

Mr. Breitfeld’s passing reminds, if any reminding is needed, that this disease is particularly cruel on the aging and aged, the quadrant of population that is most associated with rare books.

 

That Mr. Breitfeld held on so long is evidence of his determination to be among us.

 

To his son we look forward to the day when the air is clear and disaster recedes.  The Breitfelds have long been avid show exhibitors and when the danger passes we hope to meet when it’s safe to travel again.

 

Vaya con Dios


Posted On: 2020-09-03 07:52
User Name: battledore

Very sorry and sad to read about Alfredo, according to the New York Times he died on 11th July at the age of 82 although it was not reported until 25th August. He was a wonderful dealer as well as a gentle soul. I can remember buying books from him at the annual ABA London Book Fair during the middle 1970s and we continued doing business, on and off, even at the most recent book fair in New York six months ago. He was always modest about his knowledge and forever helpful. To his family we extend our sincere condolences and prayers that he will rest in peace in a heaven of other booksellers. Thank you Alfredo for so many years of friendship.


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