Rare Book Monthly Articles - July - 2024 Issue

The Curious Case of the Davis Collection (Detroit, 1890)

By chance I encountered an unfamiliar book two years ago on the website of De Wolf Wood Rare Books (Alfred, Maine);  it was a privately printed Catalogue of the Private Library of Mr. George S. Davis, issued and dated, Detroit, August 1st, 1890.    For years I’ve been acquiring material for Rare Book Hub’s Transactions+, and I thought this volume an interesting speculation.  Sometimes these purchases work out and others not.  On that occasion it has. Whether Mr. Davis’s catalogue was prepared as a prequel to auction or simply intended as a tribute to a collector’s achievement, RBH provid...

Edward Gorey Charitable Trust Summer Auction: ending 7/31!!!

The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust is pleased to announce its second annual silent auction, open now and running until 8:30 p.m. (ET) July 31, in conjunction with our 2024 Cocktail Party Fundraiser ...

Deaccessioning of Library Books Goes to Court

A case is taking place in Cincinnati right now that could have significant ramifications for the collecting and preservation of old books and related ephemeral material. We have entered a period th...

Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers: Rare Books & Collector's Sale

Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers: Summer Opportunities   Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, Kilkenny, Ireland is again offering an appealing sale of mid-summer opportunities.  I mention this because, by tradition...

Auctions in a time of uncertainty

Collectible paper at auction has been on a tear post-Covid and now we’re entering a period of political uncertainty.  To understand how the auctions and their consignors are responding, our auction...

Tattered Cover Indie Bookstore Rescued from Bankruptcy by B&N

Tattered Cover, the legendary Denver group of independent bookstores will be rescued from bankruptcy by Barnes Noble.  BN, headed by James Daunt, confirmed reports that the giant book retailer wi...


KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— Case’s Summer Auction, happening July 6-7 at the company’s gallery in Knoxville, Tennessee, features 1,086 lots of books, documents and historical items, along with American and E...

Book Detective: A Few Tips on Valuing and Dating Antiquarian Books

What’s it worth? How old is it? Is it a first or a reprint? How often does it show up? Here’s a short guide on how to start to answer those questions. Unless I have a written provenance from a re...

Harry Potter is still feeling the Magic

The Library of Dr. Rodney P. Swantko was sold at Sotheby’s on June 26th in New York as 47 lots were offered and 36 sold.   Among them was the original cover art for “Harry Potter and the Philosophe...

Legislation Proposed that Can Make Librarians Felons

The obscenity police are on the prowl again. This time, it's school librarians and teachers they have in their sights. A bill has been introduced to the Ohio legislature to turn pornography promoti...

A Few States Are Now Banning the Book Bans

The news recently has been filled with stories about book bans. Some local residents don't want others to read what they don't like, and opportunist politicians jump on the bandwagon. Censorship is...

A Court Splits the Difference on Banning Books

This story completes our trilogy of stories this month about book banning (see the others elsewhere in this issue). From Ohio we have seen a bill that has been offered that would turn librarians an...

Louis Richeome, Visual Fore-taste of Paradise

During the 16th century, Protestants questioned the use of images in religion, as they associated it with paganism. One Jesuit priest named Louis Richeome made it clear that representing was, on th...

Should Books Be Placed on a Gluten-Free Diet?

As with people, there are a number of afflictions that wear down our books as they age. Torn and yellowing pages, loose bindings, worn covers, are among them. Then, there are bookworms. Not the peo...

One New Catalogue Reviewed

This month we have just one new catalogue to review. It's vacation time. But, it's a good catalogue, Zephyr Used Rare Books celebrating their 30th Anniversary with a collection of various sorts of...

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.

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