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>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

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