Rare Book Monthly Articles - September - 2014 Issue

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I am wrong right now but I will be right some day

Several months ago I ran across an item briefly described as a Sanborn fire atlas.  I may have heard of them but didn’t understand what they are.  They are interesting highly detailed maps of towns and cities prepared for use by local officials and the fire insurance industry for rating risk and by extension establishing insurance premiums.  More recently they have become primary source research material.  In the United States they date from the 1860s but came into wide use in the 1880s.  According to many dealers with whom I spoke about them they are immediat...

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Wessel & Lieberman Closing Forever

The old book business is not the old book business.  Opportunities are opportunities because the underlying situation is fundamentally improving or because no predatory alternatives are underm...

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Are Books Really “Dead?”

It is conventional wisdom these days that books are dead. By books, I refer to the printed version, not the electronic impulses that constitute the books you read on your Kindle or iPad. It is thos...

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Buying New York Ephemera

Recently I purchased 130 items from Peter Luke, the New Baltimore, New York antique and Americana dealer.  I have bought from him before with good results and found the decision easier this ti...

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Booklamp – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Booklamp, we hardly knew ye. One year ago we wrote about Booklamp (click here). The website was two years old at the time, but for the most part was running under the radar. Its purpose was to help...

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Trinity College in Dublin Offers Free Online History Class - 10,000 Students Sign Up

 By the last week in August more than 10,000 people had signed up for Trinity College Dublin’s first free online course: IRISH LIVES: War and Revolution - Exploring Ireland's History 191...

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Huge Sale of Paper and Ephemera Related to Famous People, Major Events, Concludes Sept. 9-10 at Alexander Historical Auctions

A massive auction of collectible works on paper and ephemeral items will be held at Alexander Historical Auctions on September 9 and 10. Online bidding has already opened, so there is no need to wa...

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Louis Mandrin vs. The Fermiers Généraux - A Political Testament

As I was reading the Life of Mandrin the other day, I started to wonder why this villain (1725-1755) had become so popular a myth in France. Tracking down the hypothetical truth, I was led from one...

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Koller Auctions Hosts Major Book and Autograph Sale on September 20th

The Swiss auction house Koller Auctions will be holding a major sale on September 20 in the category of Books and Autographs. Switzerland is an appropriate place for this sale. It is an internation...

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America's National Treasure – a Reprint of the Declaration of Independence and a New Mission

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal...” If that wasn't sufficiently outlandish, America's founders added, “...that they are endowed by their C...

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Old World Auctions - Maps of Rivers, Islands, and Cities

As fall approaches this month, Old World Auctions is doing its part to usher in the new season for map collectors with the third of its four annual online-only sales. With the house’s focus o...

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New Books on Audubon's Birds, Rampant Lions

John James Audubon is undoubtedly the best known illustrator of American natural history, its birds in particular. As such, some may be surprised to learn that his success was dependent upon the re...

For the Month Ahead 92 Sales are Scheduled [so far]

A year ago, during the month of September 82 auctions in the books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera fields were conducted.  As of August 29th this year 92 are scheduled and more are still to be...

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Four Catalogues Reviewed This Month

Summer is the slow season in the book trade, with just four new catalogues arriving in the past month. Gene W. Baade Books on the West has a selection of western titles both informative and enterta...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.

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