Rare Book Monthly Articles - February - 2018 Issue

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Auction Prices for Books and Paper Dipped by 1% in 2017

Prices at auction for lots in the books and paper field took a modest dip in 2017. The median price slipped from $270 to $267, or 1.1%. It nearly wiped out last year's almost as modest 1.5% increase. On the other hand, the average price dropped more sharply, from $2,011 to $1,859, but this is not a very meaningful figure. It takes only one or two books at several millions to greatly skew the average price, and 2017 was a year without any blockbuster sales.
 
The number of lots sold at auction increased by 5.8% last year. There were 312,154 lots we tracked sold in 2017, vs. 295,143 in...

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Mount Eden Books to Call it a Day

Jerry Pressler, of several places in Ohio and even more in California, has spent his 91 years being busy.  He’s had many careers, some spanning decades, and recently decided it’s t...

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51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair

Over the weekend of Friday February 9th to Sunday February 11th the ABAA’s California Book Fair returns to Pasadena.  This fair, that alternates with its northern California twin, is sta...

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Marquis de Sade "National Treasure" Removed from French Sale by the State

This would almost certainly have been the most expensive item sold at auction in the books and paper field last year had it been sold. It was not. This was not for want of a willing seller or buyer...

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Fire & Fury - Biggest Nonfiction Bestseller in Modern History

Looking for a sleaze tell-all about a sleaze president? Seek no further. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House is the scandal du jour. The juicy political gossip book by Michael Wolff is not ...

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The Miami International Map Fair

In February, the Miami International Map Fair turns 25! It is the longest running map fair in the world. We invite you to celebrate this anniversary with us.  Immerse yourself in a world of ex...

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Marcus Rainsford, or The Black Empire of a "Sh*thole"

Going through a pile of books the other day, I was suddenly attracted to a smelly one. I reluctantly picked it up, considering its yet gorgeous binding. Then, I opened it up, and was instantly over...

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U.S. Supreme Court Will Again Consider Allowing States to Require Out-of-State Retailers to Collect Their Sales Taxes

The ability of states to require out-of-state retailers, which would include most rare and antiquarian booksellers, to collect their sales taxes will again come before the United States Supreme Cou...

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Auctions in Pasadena while the ABAA is in Town

Over the second weekend of February, while the ABAA, is in the midst of its always popular annual winter weekend in California, both PBA and Bonhams will conduct auctions on Sunday the 11th at the ...

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Swann: Busy in 2018

Swann Auction Galleries, twice a year, sends to its mailing list The Trumpet, it’s announcement of upcoming sales.  The recent issue, Volume 32, Number 2, provides a clear picture of a f...

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Bookshop Featuring Enormous Stephen King Collection Suffers Devastating Loss

In one of the saddest tales related to books and manuscripts we have seen in a long time, a Maine bookseller suffered a devastating loss on January 16. The loss was not only tragic for the great am...

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Feb. 1-7: First of five 2018 sales from map-centric Old World Auctions

This month we have the first of five sales in 2018 being hosted by online-only auction house Old World Auctions. With cartography as the house’s focus, 784 lots of maps, atlases, and other ra...

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San Francisco Antiquarian Book, Print & Paper Fair February 2-3

San Francisco’s every other year book, print and paper fair is about to happen.  The location is the South San Francisco Conference Center just north of the San Francisco International A...

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Feb. 11: Assorted Americana at Carlsen Gallery

Based in Freehold, NY, Carlsen Gallery specializes in 18th and 19th century American furniture and other antiques such as oil paintings, porcelain and rugs. This month, their Mid-Winter Antique Auc...

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National Endowment for the Humanities Holds Institute on The Book: Material Histories and Digital Futures in Salt Lake City This Summer

The National Endowment for the Humanities will be holding a four-week institute for college and university faculty at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City this summer. It will run from Jun...

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Books Valued at Almost $100,000 Stolen from English Bookshop

A theft of books valued at around £70,000 (almost US $100,000) occurred at a family bookshop in England the night of January 8-9. The size is quite impactful for the family-owned business. Th...

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A Dozen New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review 12 new booksellers' catalogues. Mark Funke Bookseller has published his first catalogue. It focuses on Continental Europe, with a particular concentration on German material. E...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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