Rare Book Monthly Articles - May - 2017 Issue

The World as it will Be

Books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera are real but their world has, for years, been losing locations on Main Streets, High Streets and Broadways around the world.  Why?  Parts of it are, [1] changing tastes, [2] rising prices, [3] thinning markets, [4] the Internationalization of these markets, and [5] the aging of core buyers and collectors.  These changes have remade the field into a more event based business with a succession of collector/collecting shows and auctions to capture the attention of the everyday market.   The decline of shops has long been understood to be a disaster becau...

The World from Afar

Occasionally my wife Jenny and I get a few days to a few weeks away.  Recently we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and spent two weeks in Japan.  The trip reprised part of my first trip to A...

Booking It in South America

Hola! We finally did it. We went around Cape Horn after reading about it and talking about it for years and it was a grand adventure. We are two old traditional sailors/booksellers, who are getting...

Three Years After a Print Went Missing, Boston Public Library Invests $15.7 Million to Preserve Its Rare Book and Manuscript Collection

Three years ago, in the summer of 2014, an assistant in the Print Department of the Boston Public Library noticed two old prints were missing. This was not a small matter. One was a Durer valued at...

Insuring Valuable Books: Some Comments from a Specialist

Even though there are a great many companies that advertise themselves as insurance specialists for collectors, when you visit their sites you find there is precious little specific information pro...

Sex, Androids and Quilts: It's Time for Bookfinder's Most Highly Sought After Out-of-Print Books

Bookfinder.com has published its list of the most sought after titles from 2016. It's an eclectic bunch. Bookfinder is a meta-search engine, that is, it searches multiple book listing sites, rather...

Pick of the Litter

Once a year or so I receive an unpretty box that is wrapped in a nuclear-proof way to ensure the contents arrive in good order.  The shipper is one of the great holdouts to today’s upscale packing ...

A Long Ago Stolen Library Book and A Guilty Conscience Lead to a Remarkable Reunion

Few book thefts are resolved by a guilty conscience, particularly when the victim doesn't even know the book was stolen. Usually, the guilty conscience only comes into play after the thief is caugh...

Frank Herrmann [1927-2017]

Frank Herrmann, writer, publisher and auctioneer died at his home In Essex on Sunday, a month short of his 90th birthday, following a long battle with illness.   After a distinguished career in p...

Results at Publicly Traded Scholium (Shapero Rare Books) "Stabilised" and "Improving"

After a rough first half of their fiscal year (year ending March 31, 2017), Scholium Group, parent of English bookseller Shapero Rare Books, reported conditions have stabilized and are now looking ...

May 22: Rare Books and Manuscripts, Very Old (and Some Newer) Material at Il Ponte Casa d'asti

This article is one of three previews of international sales I've covered this month. Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, the Milan-based auction house that was founded in 1974, will be holding a sale of Books a...

Isert: A Voyage Through Slavery

Why do we read travel books instead of travelling ourselves? Well, only an old book like Paul Erdman Isert’s Voyages en Guinée dans les îles Caraibes en Amérique (Maradan, 1793) will take you to t...

May 9: 1343 AD to the State of Israel and Everything in Between: Rare Jewish Material at Kedem Auctions

For the month of May, I’ve written three previews of international events. One of these is a sale by Kedem Auctions, an auction house headquartered in Jerusalem that was established in 2008. The na...

AbeBooks Top 10 Highest Prices for the First Three Months of 2017

Which books are bringing the highest prices on the listing sites right now? AbeBooks, the largest of them all, has released their list of the top 10 highest prices paid on their site during the fir...

May 9: Maps and Atlases Take Center Stage at Sotheby's London

This month I’ve written three previews of international sales, one of which is Sotheby’s sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps Natural History on May 9, 2017 in London. One hundred twenty-eight lots are o...

The Decades-Old Amazon Sales Tax Battle Comes to an End, But a Second One Begins

A war was waged between Amazon and the states over the issue of sales tax collection for almost two decades. It was a pitched battle, with states passing legislation, going to court, and looking to...

Portland's Annual Rose City Book Fair Set for June 16-17

Dates have been set for the annual Rose City Book and Paper Fair. This is a favorite in the City of Roses, aka Portland, Oregon. This year's fair with be the 11th, and will draw 50+ dealers, and an...

Eight New Book Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review eight new booksellers' catalogues recently published. There isn't much in common between them other than they all offer books. Dr. Jorn Gunther Rare Books has a catalogue of "V...

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.

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