Rare Book Monthly Articles - February - 2016 Issue

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Book Prices at Auction Slipped 7% Last Year

This is not likely to be a major surprise to those in the book trade, but results compiled from book and paper auctions showed a 7% decline in prices in 2015 from the previous year. After several years of increases, nervousness about the economy, perhaps even more in Europe than America, has taken its toll. Threats to the viability of the European union, financial meltdown in Greece, Russian meddling in eastern Europe, threats of terrorism emanating from a complex web of brutal rivalries in the Middle East, and a shattering of the economic miracle of China, have combined to create an uncert...

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Markets and Information

The Rare Book Hub is an information project about books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera, and the goal is a complete record of auction lots offered and prices realized over the past 150 years. ...

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Are Books a Good Investment? This Investment Advisor Thinks They Are

A few weeks back, an investment firm in London caused some stir when they published a list of book prices and their increase in values over the past two decades. The gains were quite impressive. Pe...

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IOBA - Promotes Professionalism and Customer Satisfaction in Online Bookselling

Ah yes, “professional standards,” in the world of online book selling, particularly of antiquarian books and paper, that term has many meanings. The bar can be set high - as with member...

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Where’s Waldo or perhaps Who is Waldo?

In December I received a quote from an RBH/AE member, George Krzyminski whose business, Certain Books, lives online at www.certainbooks.com.  I write about this both because the material offer...

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What Now for the Vast Valmadonna Trust Library?

In what could be described as saving the best for last, the most expensive book sold at auction in 2015 was hammered down on December 22 at Sotheby's in New York, the last major sale of the year. T...

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49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair February 12-14

Over the weekend of February 12-14 more than 200 ABAA and ILAB dealers will converge on Pasadena for the 49th ABAA California Book Fair.  In even numbered years the fair takes place in Souther...

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San Francisco Book and Ephemera Fair in the Bay Area over Super Bowl Weekend

While the ABAA hosts its California Book Fair in Pasadena in southern California a week later, in northern California in San Mateo at the County Event Center - Fiesta Hall for the first time, Nancy...

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The Pirie Sale at Sotheby's Garners Almost $15 Million in Sales

One of the most important book auctions of 2015 took place at Sotheby's in New York in the final month of the year. As can happen when the very best of collections are offered for sale, the figures...

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The Bergé Bible – The Creation of a Monumental Catalogue

Exceptional sales require exceptional catalogues. On your coffee table, weighing 6 pounds, being several hundred full colour pages thick and more than 10 inches tall, here is the catalogue of the f...

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Feb. 4: Swann Galleries brings the Federalist Papers and more to sale

February 4th is a date Americana collectors want to have circled on their calendars. Featuring a particularly strong array of revolutionary era and religious material, Swann Auction Galleries&rsquo...

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Valentine's Day: Collectors to take their wives and husbands to Pasadena?

Serious book collectors may be in a bit of a conundrum this February. From what I’ve heard from my Dad Bruce, it’s pretty rare for there to be a book collecting couple. Usually, one per...

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The New York Public Library Wins Round One in Battle to Recover Stolen Books

The New York Public Library recently survived a round in its attempt to recover several books almost certainly stolen from it decades ago. The current possessor's attempt to have the library's clai...

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Boxborough Paper Fair Postponed to March

For those of you who thought you missed the annual Boxborough Paper Fair, the good news is, you didn't. The massive snowstorm that shut down the Atlantic coast last month forced the cancellation of...

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Six New Book Catalogues Featured in Review Section

Six new catalogues are reviewed in Section Two of Rare Book Monthly for February. From the Lawbook Exchange we have American law from 1735-1987. David Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has American pam...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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