Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2016 Issue

Barry Ruderman: ABAA, lost without his maps

2443a591-31c0-4104-8c87-91b497039732

Barry was born in Rialto, California, April 23, 1962.  He attended Eisenhower High School (1980), the University of California, Riverside (BS in Economics, 1984) and the University of San Diego School of Law (Juris Doctorate, 1987).

From age 8-13, he ran track and cross-country.  Thereafter, he played soccer for his high school and at UC Riverside, leaving him with a continuing passion for national and international play.  Even today when others are asleep he can sometimes still be found cheering European competitions in the middle of the night.

He practiced Commercial Insolvency Law from 1987 to 2003 including a year as law clerk for a Judge in the Southern District of California (1987-88).  Then, beginning as an associate he rose to become a partner at Weeks Rathbone Robertson & Johnson, (1990-1997), then becoming managing partner [1997-2003].  Thereafter he became in-house counsel for a financial services company from 2003-2007.

Today he lives in La Jolla, California, with his wife Kathy.  They have 3 daughters (Montana, Sophomore at USC; Liberty, Freshman at Seattle University and Simona, 8th Grade) and 3 stepsons (David, Sophomore at Belmont University, Jordan, 11th grade and Isaac, 9th grade).  “The 6 children are definitely a great source of pride and watching them leave has been challenging.”

His interest in maps were re-kindled in his last year of law school, when in researching a law review article on the law of the sea, he reviewed Supreme Court briefs utilizing 17th and 18th Century Sea charts as source information for boundary disputes for the waters between states.

 

He would buy his first antique map in 1990 and track his interest in maps back to cross country-driving trips with family in the late 1960s to mid 1970s.  His fascination with the book, The Phantom Toll Booth, where Milo's map became symbolic of the prospects for using a map in the quest for knowledge and adventure, was an early talisman of what would become his collecting passion.


His first antique map, or, as W. C. Field’s might have described it, “the fatal glass of beer,” was purchased on a ski trip to Taos, New Mexico in February 1990 when he made a buy from George Robinson.  By mid-1991, he had accumulated probably 30-40 maps and decided it would be fun to try to sell at local antique shows and book fairs.

In 1995, he exhibited at his first real map fair, in connection with the International Map Collector's Society's annual meeting in San Francisco.  In mid-1996, at the suggestion of a friend he launched RareMaps.com, one of the first on-line websites exclusively dedicated to antique maps.

“I was very fortunate, in that in an era of static websites and nascent e-commerce concepts, my website designer insisted upon using a database and a dynamic script which allowed pages to be built on the fly, then still a relatively new concept.  I was also fortunate that my mother had insisted that I learn to type -- so my 70 word per minute high school typing skills, plus being home at night with young children during the rest of the 1990s, gave me lots of time to add maps to the website.”

By 1999, the business had outgrown the family garage-office and he established an open shop on Prospect Street in La Jolla.  “My first real employee was my mother-in-law -- a good sport!  At that point, I was still practicing law 40 (60?) hours a week. Since that time, the business has grown to 6 full time staff, including Alex Clausen, former head of Swann Galleries Map & Atlas Department, and Katie Parker, PhD., who is now actively launching our next venture, where we hope to promote the publication of well illustrated on-line articles about antique maps and the history of cartography."

 

And, as to the future, his and the map field’s, he provided this essay:

 

My business was started as a hobby.  In the early 1990s, I had a vision that I would retire and become a (gentleman?) map seller after I finished practicing law.  As the business grew in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was always a hobby first for me, even after we started adding employees and it became clear that RareMaps.com was on a path to becoming a real business.

When I finally started working for myself in 2008 (I was employee number 4), I never really changed my outlook.  I try to surround myself with people I like and who enjoy what they do--20 years as a lawyer and corporate counsel taught me the importance of surrounding myself with happy, loyal people.  To this day, I like to think that I'm still a hobbyist.  While my hobby has, for many years, been an all consuming passion, I still feel that its not real work--just a pure labor of love.

From the start, I've built RareMaps.com in the model of my style of collecting.  I loved reading and researching my collection, so I made it a point to try to provide meaningful descriptions and context to the material I sold.  To this day, the vast majority of all the research and written descriptions are my work, typically done after dinner, in earlier years surrounded by children doing their homework.  Its always been a great source of pride that I typically satiate my interest in researching and writing without regard to value or intended pricing--as long as I was enjoying myself, the process was its own reward, regardless of whether we priced an object at $250 or $250,000.  Over 20 years, we've created over 50,000 descriptions.  This commitment to research and writing is certainly a significant factor in the success of RareMaps.com, as we would soon learn that both collectors and web search engines love real content and large images.

From my years as a lawyer, I tried to bring a client oriented approach to selling maps.  A sale was nice, but creating long-term relationships was far more interesting.  Having started as a collector who valued (craved?) time talking to and corresponding with dealers, I understood how much I valued talking with and learning from dealers, many of whom were generous with their time and prioritized good advice over instant sales.  This is true of both private clients and institutional clients.  I take great pride in directing collectors to material offered by other dealers when appropriate.  Professional service and integrity pay far greater dividends over time than any single sale.

Just as important, I enjoy sharing information and learning from my clientele.  While not every collector will become an expert, many collectors develop, over time, a greater appreciation and knowledge of their collecting areas than the dealers who serve them.  The opportunity to grow with and learn from my clientele is just one of the many intangible benefits of being a part of the map trade.  Having spent 25 years as a passionate map enthusiast, many of my best friends are the dealers, collectors and scholars who I've come to know over the years, both professionally and socially.

In one case, my relationship with David Rumsey has led to a partnership with the Rumsey Library at Stanford University, to which we donate all of our digital images (over 50,000 and counting) and where starting in 2017, we will sponsor a multi-day Symposium and Speaker Series devoted to utilizing antique maps in multi-disciplinary studies in the digital age.

My vision for the business is to maintain our role as one of the primary antique maps sources for collectors and institutions, and increase our role as dealers in atlases and important travel books. Over the past 5 years, we have become very active selling atlases and books with maps, although we've done so quietly, primarily working with our existing client base.  Over the next year, we anticipate more actively offering atlases and books through our website and open shop in La Jolla.

Over the long term, I hope to continue to enjoy what I do and marshal a business which will outlive me. Whether its through promoting my younger employees to management roles or otherwise, the business has grown to a point where it shows the prospects of continuity and survival beyond my lifetime.

At the same time, it’s important that the charitable aspects of the business continue to expand. I'm hopeful that the Stanford Symposium and Speaker Series and on-line publishing will expand into other projects.  I am an advocate for digital philanthropy--helping collectors identify institutions who would benefit from acquiring high resolution digital images of the collector's collection, and thereby allowing the collector to insure the long term existence and continuity of their collections in a means accessible to the entire world and even allowing the for the collector to contribute their thoughts and scholarship as part of the corpus of the collection.  As an admirer of the great collectors of the past, this last part offers a chance for modern collectors to perpetuate their unique visions and stories as an integral part of their collections, preserving not just the collections but the personal aspects of their collecting interests, insights and observations for future generations.

We are also working on a collaboration to create a scholar exchange program and I'm hopeful that we can create a scholarship program around the on-line publishing business.  I would also like to increasingly partner with institutions to help with major restoration projects, trying to utilize our broad client base to raise awareness of the need not only to fund acquisitions, but also to conserve and preserve existing treasures.  Our first such project, helping the National Library of Australia fund the restoration of one of its prize sea atlases, was completed in 2016.

 

Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps

7463 Girard Avenue

La Jolla, California 92037

(858) 551-8500

orders@raremaps.com

Website:  www.raremaps.com

 

Here are links to his site:

 

http://www.raremaps.com/gallery/detail/47771

 

http://www.raremaps.com/gallery/detail/46579o

 

http://www.raremaps.com/gallery/detail/47771

 

http://www.raremaps.com/gallery/detail/40648

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Cartwright (George). <i>A Journal of Transactions and Events, during a Residence of nearly Sixteen Years on the Coast of Labrador...,</i> first edition, with A.L.s. from the author, 1792. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Swift (Jonathan). <i>Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World,</i> 2 vol., first edition, Teerink's "A" edition, Printed for Benj. Motte, 1726. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Fourier (Jean Baptiste Joseph). <i>Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur,</i> first edition, Paris, chez Firmin Didot, 1822. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Boccaccio (Giovanni). <i>Genealogiae Deorum,</i> additions by Dominicus Silvester and Raphael Zovenzonius, Venice, Vindelinus de Spira, 1472. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Mary I. Letter signed at the head "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, 1 page, 7th June 1556. The recall from exile of nine persons opposed to the Marian regime. £10,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Nelson (Horatio). Autograph Letter signed "Horatio Nelson" and written to Francis Drake, British Minister at Genoa, discussing the disposition of his "Cruizers" near Genoa. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Darwin (Charles). Unpublished Autograph Letter signed to Walter Raleigh Browne, playing down his scientific knowledge of comparative anatomy, 1881. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Murphew (J.). <i>The fair in an uproar, or, the dancing-doggs.</i> As they perform in Mr. Pinkeman's New Opera in Bartholomew Fair, 1707. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Chaucer (Geoffrey). <i>The Workes,</i> by [Nicholas Hill for] Thomas Petit, dwellyng in Paules churche yarde at the sygne of the Maydens heed, 1550. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Austen (Jane). <i>Emma: A Novel,</i> 3 vol., first edition, 1816. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>Stamboul Train,</i> first edition, first issue, 1932. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Churchill.- Fearon (Percy Hutton) "Poy". “Eat More Beef,” pen and ink cartoon with shading in blue pencil, [July 1928]. £400 to £600
  • <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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <center><b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII :<br>XIXe siècle (1840–1898)<br>First editions – Reviews – Autograph letters and manuscripts<br>Auction in association with Binoche & Giquello on October 9th.</b></center>
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> LAUTRÉAMONT. <i>Les Chants de Maldoror.</i> 1869. First edition, unbound, one of the rare copies dated 1869. €100 000 to €150 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> PAUL VERLAINE. Poème saturnien. March 31st -June 1st, 1885. Autograph poem signed and illustrated. €12 000 to €15 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ. <i>L’Après-midi d’un faune.</i> 1876. Inscribed to Paul Gauguin. €30 000 to €40 000
    <center><b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII :<br>XIXe siècle (1840–1898)<br>First editions – Reviews – Autograph letters and manuscripts<br>Auction in association with Binoche & Giquello on October 9th.</b></center>
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> CHARLES BAUDELAIRE. <i>[La Cloche fêlée,</i> 1851–1855.] Signed autograph manuscript of one of the poems of Les Fleurs du mal. €25 000 to<br>€35 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ. <i>Le Tombeau d’Edgar Poe.</i> Circa 1889. Signed autograph manuscript inscribed to Edmund Gosse. €40 000 to €60 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> GÉRARD DE NERVAL. Manuscrit autographe. 1855. Rare manuscript fragment of Aurelia with corrections. €20 000 to €30 000
    <center><b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII :<br>XIXe siècle (1840–1898)<br>First editions – Reviews – Autograph letters and manuscripts<br>Auction in association with Binoche & Giquello on October 9th.</b></center>
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> PAUL VERLAINE. <i>La Bonne chanson.</i> 1870. First edition. One of 20 copies on Hollande paper in a mosaic binding by Noulhac. €15 000 to<br>€18 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> ARTHUR RIMBAUD. Autograph letter to his sister, July 10, 1891. One of the most beautiful letters by Rimbaud, about his last moments, illustrated with drawings of his leg. €80 000 to €100 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> GUSTAVE FLAUBERT. <i>Salammbô.</i> 1863. First edition. One of 25 copies on Hollande paper, this one inscribed to Théophile Gautier. €30 000 to<br>€40 000
    <center><b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII :<br>XIXe siècle (1840–1898)<br>First editions – Reviews – Autograph letters and manuscripts<br>Auction in association with Binoche & Giquello on October 9th.</b></center>
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> CHARLES BAUDELAIRE. <i>Les Fleurs du mal</i>. 1857. First edition, unbound.<br>€15 000 to €20 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> CHARLES BAUDELAIRE. Barbey d’Aurevilly caricature. Original drawing (208 x 130 mm). 1865.<br>€20 000 to €30 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> OSCAR WILDE. <i>The Ballad of Reading Goal by C.3.3.</i> 1898 First edition, publisher’s binding, one of 30 on Japan paper. €10 000 to €12 000

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions