Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2007 Issue

AE: It's on to Year Six

Year.six

Embrace the future. You'll get fewer splinters!


By Bruce McKinney

At the stroke of midnight over the evening of September 2nd as the second hand plows on into the 3rd in San Francisco, in Australia it's already late afternoon, rush hour in Europe and 3 am of New York. The sweep of the second hand carries the Americana Exchange into the first moments of its sixth year. We came up on the morning of September 3rd, 2002, green as grass and naïve as a Nebraska farmer in Hollywood. Well Toto, five years later our eyes are wide open. The Yellow Brick Road is still shrouded in darkness but we now tread the path toward what the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi might call enlightenment. It's been an interesting trip. This day approaches on the wings of angels and the fingers of the inquisitive and enlightened who increasingly prefer to fly rather than walk to their research destinations. It has been interesting to be early and a privilege to work with so many advocates of the emerging electronic world. These days we approach our 10,000th member with gratitude and expectation. We frankly thought the flight would be more like a rocket than a kite but we are nevertheless grateful to be airborne.

We began with 151,000 records in the online Americana Exchange Database [AED] and auction notices based on categories. In 2003 we added the sequential keyword search in the AED, the auction calendar and the first version of MatchMaker. In 2004 we added the unified search of upcoming documented auction lots as well as Footnotes, a documentation tool for the serious description writer. In 2005 we added the International Bookseller's Directory and "Get Current Estimate" to convert older priced records in the AED into present value. In 2006 we added the Books for Sale database for our premium members to list their material for sale on a commission-free basis. We also added the interactive Book Fair List and the Book Fair Calendar. This year, in a separate article in this issue, we discuss cell phone access to the AED using a separate set of reduced size internet pages. It was officially released on September 1st. The AED today is 1,634,528 records and of course always growing.

The internet is a writhing mass of possibilities, an intellectual Bronco Billy that requires constant commitment to change by evolution and revolution. For the past five years we have delivered a surprising series of innovations in the field. In the next five we will be striving to provide more of the same.

Finally, for the unconvinced we offer you this: our favorite reasons for not subscribing. They're fun.

Over the years we have heard some crazy reasons. No one ever quoted them all. Such a person [for their sake] hopefully does not exist. I have heard four of them quoted by one dealer and I wish him well. He needs our sympathy. Here then are ten of the more interesting reasons we have heard for not signing up for AE and the AED.

  1. It's too cheap. At that price it can't be any good.
  2. I'd rather not know.
  3. I need the exercise so I'll look it up in my references.
  4. I'd rather subscribe to more than one hundred auction houses' sales catalogues. Okay, get your credit card ready because they are expensive. And I bet you won't always receive or read them early enough to bid!
  5. I prefer to travel with my reference library in tow. That's a nice tandem trailer you have.
  6. I have total recall. Just remember to take your meds..
  7. I'm waiting for someone to tell me I need to do this.
  8. I like to overpay because it makes the books more valuable. And every book seller and auction house has your picture on a poster. You of course know what it says: Wanted!
  9. I am not really serious about the antiquarian book business.
  10. The newest reason. I don't need cell phone access. I don't even own a phone.
Truthfully, we no longer hear so many silly reasons for not subscribing. And it is a good thing. There are bargains to be bought and great clients to be found. To find the material and each other you simply need to be part of this online community. If you are already a member, please accept my thanks for your membership and support. If you are not, give yourself the chance to experience books, manuscripts and ephemera with us. It's very worthwhile.

Thank you.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Extremely Fine Copy of Fantasy Classic. Tolkien (J.R.R.) <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again,</i> L. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Museum Street) 1937. €20,000 to €30,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Incunabula. [Sirectus, Antonius] O’Fihely (Maurice)Abp. <i>Formalitates de Mente Doctoris Subtilis Scoti Nec Non Stephai Burlifer cum novis additionibus…</i> Venice 14th December 1051 (ie. 1501). €3,000 to €4,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Original Book Illustrations by Pamela Leonard. Illustrations: Regan (Peter) Touchstone, 8vo D. (Mount Salas Press) 1989. €3,500 to €4,500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> [Petit (Jean), Prevel (Jean) & Gregory (Pope)] [Gregorius]. <i>Compendium Textuale Compillationis decretalium Gregorri noni sine qua…</i>, Paris [Dec. 1524]. €350 to €500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Excessively Rare – V. Fine Copy. [Mac Mahon]. <i>Jus Primatiale Armacanum, In Omnes Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, et Universum Clerum</i>… [n.p.] 1728. €750 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Madden (R.R.). <i>Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia and Palestine in 1824, 1825, 1826 and 1827,</i> 2 vols. 1822. €500 to €700
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Early English Herbal. Gerarde (John). The Herball or General History of Plants, thick folio L. (John Norton) 1597. €700 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The Tehran World War 2 Conference Photograph: [Tehran Conference 1943] An important and iconic Group Photograph showing Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. €80 to €120
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Natural History Specimens from Jersey Jersey Islands: Westacton [Mrs Acton] Collection of 53 original dried examples of Seaweed collected in Jersey, c. 1860. €300 to €400
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Plyglot Bible: Hutteri (Eliae). <i>Biblia Sacra, Ebraice, Chaldaice, Graece, Latinae, Germanice, Sclavonice.</i> Lg. folio Nurimberg 1599. €250 to €350
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The American Invasion 1888: “First Ever G.A.A. Hurling Match in America” Medal: G.A.A., The Invaders, 1888. €2,000 to €3,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> “Babe” Ruth and the G.A.A. G.A.A. & Baseball: A unique and early Sporting Association. An original Spalding B12 Baseball Bat. €4,000 to €6,000
  • <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 Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

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