Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2006 Issue

Top Sights for Collectors To See Around London

Valbert

“Tipoo's Tiger” displays Indian animosity toward the British in earlier times.


By Carl Burnham

London, land of the ages of time, where Romans conquered, built fortress walls, and eventually departed, and legendary kings and queens held court over all but the weather. The sights and sounds, the smells, the city is alive with activity as a thoroughly modern city. It can be overwhelming when visiting London for the first time, as there is so much history here. For the book collector and historian, when visiting, unless staying for an extended period, careful trip planning is needed if wanting to see some of the truest rarities in the world. From visiting earlier this year, I have compiled a list here of the best places to see rare artifacts and also to find items to add to your collection.

London is where the origins of bookselling began, and one could spend a week just meandering through the area of the city where many rare book shops reside. Many bookshops are centered especially around the Charing Cross Road and Piccadilly Circus areas. Besides these, there are also Oxfam and other charity shops around the city where older books can sometimes be discovered. The major auction houses, Sotheby's and Christie's, originated here. On a visit to Christie's, it should be no surprise that the highest rated auctions in a lot while my wife and I visited were all Beatles memorabilia. Be sure to read my previous Americana Exchange articles which highlighted my visit to Christie's and also Sotheran's, reportedly the oldest bookstore in the world.

The museums are a fascinating treasure unto themselves, with countless original paintings by famous artists such as da Vinci, Renoir, van Gough, Degas, as well as ancient sculptures, and rare artifacts. A good deal of preparation is needed to organize what you want to see and where while you are in London, as it is very easy to get distracted as you walk through the many miles of exhibits. Some prohibit photographs while others encourage them. The amazing thing about the museums here is that all are free!

Rare Book Monthly

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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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