Rare Book Monthly Articles - May - 2020 Issue

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Bookselling In A Time Of Coronavirus

The whole world, including your Hawaii correspondent, is working from home. At Rare Book Hub we reached out to some booksellers for comment. Those who responded included some friends in the San Francisco Bay area and other locations including Mexico and UK. Here are their responses, somewhat edited.
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Alexander Akin- Bolerium Books - Social Movements, San Francisco
Before the shelter-in-place order, I was already taking precautions in the shop, using disinfectant wipes on shared surfaces, etc. Because I have family and friends in East Asia I saw a lot of this stuff coming...

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Oxford Professor Arrested for Theft of Ancient Bible Fragments and Their Sale to Washington's Museum of the Bible

An Oxford University professor has been arrested in connection with the theft of some ancient Egyptian biblical fragments. The mostly papyrus fragments belonged to the Egyptian Exploration Society ...

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Book Fairs: Can they become Virtual?

With the disruption of Covid-19 Marvin Getman, show promoter, is developing a fresh approach to fairs that work around the current prohibitions for gathering of groups.  For many dealers shows...

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eBay is not another Abe or Biblio

The book listing sites have been around for more than two decades and once upon a time there were many.  But not so.  eBay saw the number of listing sites shrinking and shifted, in books ...

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A Half Million Dollar Gift to Support “Indie” Bookstores

The usually small, independent bookstore has been under great pressure for decades. It goes all the way back to the 1960s when chain stores, notably B. Dalton and Waldenbooks, began spreading aroun...

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Unexpected Donor Gives £250,000 to Help Booksellers Struggling Through Coronavirus Crisis

A fundraiser to help British booksellers struggling through the coronavirus epidemic received a surprising £250,000 (US $310,000) contribution from a mystery donor. Who was that mystery donor...

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Peter Luke: a resourceful dealer

There are many ways for dealers and customers to connect.  For dealers, shows have been for years important, even vital.  This category of sales however is being battered by limitations b...

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Is it a Good Deed During Troubled Times, or Book Piracy? The Internet Archive vs. the Authors Guild

Was this a good deed to help students in particular when they are locked out of their schools in the time of the coronavirus, or a blatant stealing of authors' copyrighted works with no payment in ...

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Some Things Matter More

Recently I received a message from Scott DeWolfe of DeWolfe and Wood and mentioned they had a Poughkeepsie imprint that is shabby but intact and wondered if I would accept it if sent to me.  A...

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AbeBooks Presents Their Top 10 Most Expensive Items for the First Quarter of 2020

AbeBooks has released their list of the Top 10 highest prices paid for books and related material on their website during the first three months of 2020. The items are as different as can be, cover...

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Books, Manuscripts and Ephemera Sales at Doyle Forever Transformed

Doyle has landed on their feet as the field has been adjusting to the changing market and the Coronavirus catashrophe.  Net net the company is stronger and I believe Doyle will be PLAYERS.&nbs...

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Cynric R. Williams: Massa Buckra in Jamaica

As travelling has now become almost impossible due to the Covid-19 pandemic, let’s take a trip across the island of Jamaica in 1823. Meet our guide, Cynric R. Williams! A British subject, he ...

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June 9: Highly important Isaac Newton presentation copy to be offered at Forum Auctions

A truly superlative copy of the first edition of Newton’s Opticks, 1704, given by the author to Nicolas Fatio de Duillier will appear at auction for the first time in its history as part...

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An Exceptional Sale at Morphy’s: A collection of the American Revolutionary Era and the War of 1812 material

The personal collection of Al Benting, comprising 210 lots of Revolutionary and War of 1812 material, is to be sold at Morphy’s in Denver, Pennsylvania on May 27th.  Winning bidders will...

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Patience Rewarded

Circuses are an obscure footnote and been part of the human landscape for a millennium.  Even in remote backwaters such as the Hudson Valley in New York State in the 19th century, such en...

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Shapero Rare Books' Parent Reports Small Monthly Loss

The past few years have not been the easiest for antiquarian booksellers. The last thing anyone needed was a crisis that forced shops to close, people to retreat behind the walls of their homes and...

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Just Two Catalogues Reviewed This Month

When last month began, with much of the world under lock down, we didn't know what to expect. With storefronts closed, and people shut in their homes all day, would booksellers issue more catalogue...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Adam Smith, <i>Wealth of Nations,</i> first edition, descended from William Alexander, London, 1776. $70,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> George Gershwin, photograph signed & inscribed with autograph musical quotation, <i>An American in Paris,</i> 1928. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Friedrich Engels, <i>The Condition of the Working Class in England,</i> first edition, NY, 1887. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> <i>Bury St. Edmunds Witch Trials,</i> first edition, London, 1682. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Robert Rey, <i>Estampes,</i> complete portfolio of 12 wood engravings, Paris, 1950. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Archive of 47 letters by Enrico Caruso to a lady friend, 1906-20. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Books of Hours in Flemish, Netherlands, 15th century. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Jack Kerouac, <i>Doctor Sax,</i> deluxe limited edition, signed, NY, 1959. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Walt Disney, signature on title-page of Ward Greene’s <i>Lady and the Tramp,</i> first edition, first printing. $3,000 to $4,000.

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