• Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts, 8 June 2016, New York
    Bonhams June 8: ARISTOTLE.<br>384-322 B.C.E. De animalibus <br>US$ 300,000-500,000.
  • Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 18. Blaeu, <i>Nova et Accuratissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula</i>, 1660.<br>Est. $14000-$17000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 20. Pitt, <i>Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula</i>, 1680. Est. $9500-$11000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 65. Ortelius, <i>Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio</i>, 1571. <br>Est. $6000-$7000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 84. Bailleul, <i>L'Amerique Divisee en Ses Principales Parties</i>, 1752.<br>Est. $19000-$22000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 99. Sayer & Bennett, <i>The American Military Pocket Atlas</i>, 1776. <br>Est. $10000-$12000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 269. Reid, <i>Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia</i>, 1796. <br>Est. $2750-$3500
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 291. Carleton, <i>Map of Massachusetts Proper</i>, 1801. Est. $12000-$14000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 378. Keulen, <i>Pas Kaart vande Noord Oost Kust van Cuba en d'Oost Kust van Florida</i>, 1695. Est. $3250-$4000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 651. Ptolemy/Fries, <i>Tabula Superioris Indiae & Tartariae Maioris</i>, 1541.<br>Est. $3000-$4000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 688. Wit, <i>Nova Africa Descriptio</i>, 1660.<br>Est. $2750-$3500
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 706. Ortelius, <i>Maris Pacifici</i>, 1589.<br>Est. $8000-$9000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 727. Audubon, <i>Least Stormy-Petrel</i>, 1836. Est. $1400-$1700
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 741. Bordone, <i>Isolario</i>, 1547.<br>Est. $16000-$19000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 747. Teesdale, <i>A New General Atlas of the World</i>, 1835. Est. $2000-$2750
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 752. Colton, <i>Colton's Atlas of the World Volume I and II</i>, 1856.<br>Est. $2500-$3250
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 760. Prevost, <i>Histoire Generale des Voyages ... Tome Quatorzieme</i>, 1757. <br>Est. $2400-$3000
  • <b>Ketterer Kunst Hamburg, Rare Books Auction on May 23/24.</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> Mary Stuart. Ms. Parliament document (contemp. copy). 1567. <br>Est: € 2.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> Latin and French Book of Hours. About 1480. Est: € 65.000.
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> Book of Hours by Germain Hardouyn. 1533. Est: € 18.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> G. P. Gallucci, Theatrum mundi. 1588. Est: € 5.000
    <b>Ketterer Kunst Hamburg, Rare Books Auction on May 23/24.</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> J. Hill, The vegetable system. 1761-75. Est: € 60.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>J. Honter, Rudimentorum cosmographicorum libri III. 1549.<br>Est: € 3.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> Two terrestrial and celestial globes by J. G. Doppelmayr. 1789 or later. Est: € 40.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>G. de Maupassant, Contes choisies. 1891-92. Est: € 6.000
    <b>Ketterer Kunst Hamburg, Rare Books Auction on May 23/24.</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>K. Schwitters, HahnePeter. 1924.<br>Est: € 6.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>I. G. Chernikhov, Iakov Georgievich, Arkhitekturnye fantazii. 1933.<br>Est: € 3.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>E. Baj, La cravate. 1972. Est: € 3.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>H. Bellmer & G. Bataille, Histoire de l'oeil. 1944. Est: € 3.000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Anne & Margot Frank's copy of <i>Grimm's Fairy Tales</i>, in which Anne wrote her own and Margot's name, circa 1940. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Albert Einstein, group of 4 letters Signed to Helmut L. Bradt regarding Bradt's emigration to the U.S., one bearing Nazi censor ink stamps, 1939-40. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Archive of items from Ludwig Bemelmans to producer Mary K. Frank, concerning <i>The Street <br>Where the Heart Lies</i>, 1959-62. <br>$10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Archive of correspondence to<br>Edwin A. Van Valkenburg from President Theodore Roosevelt and members of his family, 1913-21. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Oscar Wilde, manuscript notes panning a book on book collecting, circa 1886. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b><br>John Hancock, partly-printed document Signed as Governor of Massachusetts, Boston, 1781.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Franz Liszt, Autograph Letter<br>Signed to Carl Gille, Rome, 1869. $4,00 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Joseph Conrad, photograph Signed and dated, 1918. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b><br>Two Guns White Calf, photograph postcard Signed with his pictogram, 1929. $800 to $1,200.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2012 Issue

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing 2

The Customer as a God

For many, probably most of the world’s serious booksellers, selling books

is more than having the right material at the right price.  It’s essential to have the right customer.
  

For acquirers, who increasingly are aware of online inventory, it often turns out there are several copies of the same book in varying states and if left to their own devices simply choose the apparent best copy for the money.  That judgment will be logical if narrow and possibly ignore other often-invisible factors such as collection appropriateness, other possible copies and editions and collecting trends.  This information and perspective is worth a great deal, knowing who has it difficult to access.  Anyone can buy books.  Building a collection is a more complex challenge, building a successful collection:  rare.

For that insight many serious collectors will willingly rely on skilled dealers if they understand who and what they are.  The problem of course is that there are thousands of dealers and most, qualified or not, are prepared to be a collector’s Svengali.  In the past many such relationships were struck up at bookshops.  The world of books was opaque and the doors to the shop sometimes more than just the entry to thousands of books.  Occasionally they were also portals to knowledge about collecting that otherwise was difficult to obtain.  Today most shops are gone and the geezers who manned them now reading in the mews.
   

In their place the collector today finds first the listings online and later the reference/research sites where there is more information than was ever earlier available.  With this a collector can establish a focus and pursue it with confidence to a point.  The point?, the point beyond which prices exceed the collector’s confidence to act independently.  From there on, or at least for material beyond a certain price and/or complexity the collector seeks help, declines to purchase or takes a flyer.  For those seeking help the problem is that these next generation collectors, the ones most sought after by dealers and for whom a half dozen relationships can make a career, may find it difficult to identify the one or two dealers among the many who are a good fit.  It’s a problem for both sides.

The answer or at least part of the answer may lie in two trends taking hold.  Collecting, that has been structured by object type, ie. book fairs, book dealer organizations and listing sites selling books and not much else, is becoming subject-centric, that is becoming communities of the like-interested.  Listing sites have copies of Shakespeare, a subject centric approach on Shakespeare has nothing but Shakespeare.  Such organizations have long existed primarily for the sharing of academic perspective.  But as the discovery of more material within subjects is confirmed the subjects themselves are increasingly large enough to support symposia, newsletters and fairs where material can change hands.

And there is another change.  The web is reversing the traditional seller/merchant based model that is organized to give the seller efficient access to buyers.  In its place, as discussed in the Saturday July 21st edition of the Wall Street Journal in an article on The Customer as a God the author looks ahead to a future that is customer-centric, electronically aggregating vendors and suppliers [and dealers] around the client and the client very efficiently controlling access through filters that include/exclude based on criteria analyzed by the apparently next big thing.  In that world the collector theoretically creates their own fair, setting criteria, creating instant cloud databases, selecting online presentations to read, watch or listen to, reading descriptions, placing orders or making bids.  In this world the next generation of collector says I’ll have a book fair on Saturday. 

Before that happens however vertical organizations, an association of heart surgeons with a yen for the history of their field for example, will create 3 or 4-hour auxiliary electronic events and dealer material fill the stadia with possibilities.  How so?  Dealers whose online material is managed by a participating aggregator need only opt in and decide whether to be present with stock or available by videophone to discuss items accessible electronically.  In this world a dealer may, without exaggeration “I’m exhibiting at three shows today.”

When or whether this comes to pass is another thing.  It brings to mind the Saturday Evening Post article in the mid 1950s that showed cars moving down the highway with the driver swiveled to the back to chat.  That hasn’t happened yet although Google is now demonstrating self-driving cars.
  

In the meantime one aspect of the recasting of the relationship between seller and consumer is underway.  Vertical organizations will overtake the industry standard horizontal ones because collectors will continue to intensify their focus and be naturally attracted to events that more efficiently than book fairs encompass their interests.  Along the way more academics, collectors and dealers will attend and more relationships be established.  These events will become multi-day specialist fairs with a combination of academic presentations and commercial opportunities.

Do they already exist?  Yes and for many if not most subjects in most states and countries.  And how do I find out? 
  

If there are such meetings and symposia information about them is as near as your computer.  A Google search for symposium, subject, state and year yields Google-normal multi-million match results that can be pared down with further terms.  You are going to find events regularly occurring that are already attracting academics, dealers, collectors and collecting institutions.  There are in fact many such meetings.  In the field of history on Google a search for history symposium finds 45,200,000, adding quotes narrows the search to a mere 131,000.

Botanists it turns out do a lot of symposing:  1,320,000 matches on Google.

Rare book symposium finds 2,220,000 matches, “rare book” symposium 2,950,000 but don’t ask me why using quotes get more.  Rare book symposium 2012 finds 1,540,000.  Adding Ulster County brings up an article I wrote a few months back about a dinner I hosted for those interested to discuss the future of collectible books. 

So when someone says to you that traffic at book fairs is down, or that sales are soft, on AE we are seeing no decline in interest but we are seeing changing approaches.  The next step may be for you to look for a symposium or two to see for your self.   If you do I expect you’ll see the roots taking hold in this vertical shift.  You won’t see much evidence though of the consumer–centric approach that the Wall Street Journal sees coming.  We’re all still learning how to use our iPhones.  But our kids?  Yes, they’ll probably experience it but possibly never know how exciting it was to go into an old and used bookshop to find some treasures.

Because many areas and subjects will be unspoken for, it's logical that dealers may want to organize symposia to create focused communities around what they believe are worthwhile collecting subjects.   It’s logical but also needs to be neutral.  Other dealers should not be excluded and no trade affiliations a requirement.  The terms for one should be the terms for all.

Links to the WSJ article

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 1. Silver coin (1455), celebrating expulsion of English people in 1451.<br>Est: € 12,000-20,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 7. Heures à l’usage de Coutances. Paris, last quarter of 15th century. Est: € 30,000-40,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 9.<br>TERENCE. Lyon, Jean Trechsel, 1493. Est: € 20,000-30,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 8. Biblia latina. Nuremberg, Anton Koberger, 1478. Est: € 20,000-30,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 11. [Francesco Colonna]. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Venise, Alde Manuce, December 1499. Est: € 150,000-200,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 14. Marco<br>Vigerio della Rovere. Decachordum christianum. Fano, Girolamo Socino, 1507. Est: € 15,000-20,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 18. CONSTANTIN VII. De notevoli et utilissimi ammæstramenti dell’agricoltura. Venise, Gabriele Giolito de Ferrari, 1542. Est: € 40,000-50,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 19. TITE-LIVE. Latinæ historiæ principis. Lyon, Sébastien Gryphe, 1548.<br>Est: € 15,000-20,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 38. OTTOMAN CORAN. 17th century by Muhammad Hafiz (Imam Mehmed Effendi).<br>Est: € 20,000-30,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 45. Blaise PASCAL. Pensées. Paris, Guillaume Desprez, 1670. Est: € 100,000-120,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 52. George EDWARDS. A Natural History of uncommon birds. London, the author, 1743-1751. Est: € 20,000-30,000
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 59. Jean de LA FONTAINE. Fables choisies. Paris, Desaint & Saillant, Durand, 1755-1759. Est: € 40,000-50,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> DARWIN, CHARLES. Iconic signed Darwin photograph "I like this photograph much better than any other which ..."
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> DARWIN, CHARLES. <i>Autograph Letter Signed</i>. Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> WRIGHT, WILBUR. Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight. Journal of the Western Society of Engineers 8, no. 4 (August, 1903).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. Signed and dated Oxford 1931.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> GARDNER, ALEXANDER. Antietam Bridge, Maryland. "One of the memorable spots in the history of the war."
  • Christie's: The first four Folios of William Shakespeare’s collected works will be auctioned on 25 May.
    Christie's: The first four Folios of William Shakespeare’s collected works will be auctioned on 25 May.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions