Rare Book Monthly Articles - September - 2020 Issue

David Lesser: The perspective of an experienced dealer who has earned his grey hair

I recently interviewed veteran bookseller David Lesser for his perspective on the trade during these difficult times.  He’s been through the wars.   [Q] By way of background, how did you find yourself in this predicament?   [A] I became a bookseller in 1989— part time, in order to finish up my duties as a lawyer and also to continue making a living. I had been a lawyer since 1967, and spent my early years in the legal services program. It was the late 1960’s and early 1970’s— important constitutional issues affecting low-income people dangled like low-hanging fruit, and I was lucky to h...

What Me Worry? Bookish Wisdom from the Dealer’s Daughter

Nu? Can you still make money in this business? Funny you should ask, I was wondering the same thing myself. My parents were in the book business for over 60 years (1946-2008). I followed them into ...

The Philadelphia Print Shop Lives On

The Philadelphia Print Shop, a long time player in the maps and prints field, cashed their chips in late 2019 and sold the firm to David Mackey, a collector who is moving the reconstituted firm ope...

A Loss of Airline Service Becomes a Major Loss for a City's Libraries

When an airline stops serving a city it is a loss for its citizens, both travelers and businesses that serve them. It can also be tough on civic pride. However, one institution that generally is ex...

The Virtual Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair: September 11th -14th

It seems only a year ago that book fairs were in-person experiences. Ah, for the old days.  Covid-19 changed the stakes and the rare book field has had to actually answer the question; you want you...

Collecting is a Journey: The Lifecycles Program

It is in the nature of old books and collectibles that to successfully collect there is more needed than simply to be attracted, even consumed with the material.  This other aspect is that underlyi...

Paradise Lost and Found - The Discovery of America

Was the discovery of America a blessing or a curse? In 1788, Louis Gentil wrote a book to answer this (rhetorical) question.    During the recent confinement, half of the world came to a halt for...

The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is Going Virtual This Year

It will come as no surprise that the annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair will not be held at the Hynes Convention Center, nor anyplace else in Boston this year. Like all book fairs, i...

Growing Up in New Paltz, NY in the 1950’s

  I have written here many times about my collection, the challenges in finding the missing pieces, the joys when one place is filled and it’s on to searching for the next. All collectors will und...

Scale Matters: Rare Book Hub Pricing

We have long felt our primary database, these days called Transactions+, will become the cornerstone that future dealers, institutions, and collectors will rely on to get past the many roadblocks t...

Taking Bids: One of a Kind Collectibles offers autographs and books until September 10

Accepting bids now, One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions is hosting an online sale of Rare Autographs, Books and Sports until September 10th. Two hundred and eighty-two lots are included, covering a...

The Million Book Project – Reaching the Least Likely Readers

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has set aside $5.25 million to bring books to people who are sorely lacking in access. These are real books, the physical type you can touch and handle, not some ele...

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 generation...

Quincy Seeks to Bring John Adams' Library Home

“I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough neither. The more one reads the more one sees we have to read.” So wrote John Adams, second President of the United States, to his wife, Abigail Adams...

Bookwallets – a New Bookish Way to Hide Your Money

Hollowed out books in which you could hide your valuables have been made for centuries. I guess the idea was that no one would want to open a book, let alone steal it, so what could offer a safer h...

11 New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

After several months of receiving almost no new catalogues, an obvious effect of the coronavirus, someone just turned the spigot back on. We received 11 of them for the new month. Now all we need i...

Rare Book Monthly

  • Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: KUPKA, Frantisek (1871-1957) - Quatre histoires de blanc et noir. Paris: Marcel Baque, 1926. €5.000-€8.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: VASI, Giuseppe Agostino (1710-1782) - Raccolta delle più belle vedute antiche, e moderne di Roma disegnate ed incise secondo lo stato presente. Rome: A. Vasi, 1786. €4.000-€6.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: SALAMANCA, Antonio (1478-1562) - [First map depicting the bay of Naples]. [Rome: 1538]. €3.000-€5.000
  • Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JAMES MADISON THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JAMES MONROE PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE SOUP BOWL. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A FRANKLIN PIERCE BRUSHED SILK TOP HAT. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: LINCOLN ENDORSEMENT: "I AM ALWAYS FOR THE MAN WHO WISHES TO WORK." $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A RUTHERFORD B. HAYES CIVIL WAR-ERA TRAVEL DESK. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT'S FINAL PRESIDENTIAL AUTOMOBILE FLAG. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: GARFIELD LS AS PRESIDENT ALLUDING TO THE "STAR-ROUTE" SCANDAL: "REGRETTING THE EMBARRASSMENTS WHICH THE EVENT HAS CAUSED US BOTH." $25,000 - $35,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: AN 18K GOLD AND ENAMEL WILLIAM MCKINLEY INAGURATION POCKETWATCH. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL MOTORCADE FLAG. $80,000 - $120,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S LAST DAY: OFFICIAL SCHEDULE ANNOTATED BY SPECIAL ASSISTANT DAVE POWERS WITH A MINUTE-BY-MINUTE DETAIL OF THE DAY'S ACTIONS. $40,000 - $60,000
  • 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

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