Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2011 Issue

Two Generations in the Book Trade - Looking back with the dealer’s daughter

Netz3gen

Three generations Netzorg and Halas, David & Jock, Pete, Rebecca, and Susan, circa 1980.

Part I – Eighty Years and Counting

 

On April 1, 2011, perhaps just as you are clicking on this file, I will celebrate my 32nd year as antiquarian dealer based on Maui. It was not my original goal to pursue this vocation, but I ended up doing what I knew best and following my parents into the trade.

 

My enterprise never reached the scale or stature of theirs. But looking back on their fifty years of running the Cellar Book Shop (ABAA) late of Detroit, Michigan together and my more than thirty years running Prints Pacific, Ltd. in Wailuku, Hawaii I find that some things haven’t changed at all, while other things have changed a great deal and the rate of change is accelerating all the time.

 

A lot of what I know I learned I learned from my parents.

 

Before there was Google there was my father Morton J. (Jock) Netzorg, the one-man-one-brain-all-purpose-reference-source. You want Expert – We got Expert.

 

Systems? Meet my mother Petra F. (Pete) Netzorg. At its height my parents’ shop had four workers but my mother ran it with the zeal and focus of a huge conglomerate. She was German, she had her standards. God help the slacker who didn’t perform exactly to her specs.

 

As for my brother David and I, born 1943 and 1946 respectively, we were along for the ride. The book business was not optional and we learned it literally from the bottom up.

 

They called it the Cellar because it started in the basement, but in later years it was on the second story over a Black beauty salon in a rapidly declining Detroit neighborhood. Most of her business was by phone and catalog or via ads and lists in the AB (Antiquarian Bookman) a weekly trade publication read with semi-religious fervor by booksellers. My mom's many and faithful clients started with her as lowly graduate students and ended as Professors Emeritus or Director of Library Services. She discouraged visitors, especially visitors without an appointment. She didn’t like “interruptions” which was what she considered most live arrivals to be.

Rare Book Monthly

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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
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  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.

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