Rare Book Monthly Articles - May - 2009 Issue

R.a.r

Recent Auction Reports: The Market's Pulse


Every day I get a calls from dealers for whom transactions have virtually stopped. Here is a picture of one category, the auctions, that slowed in the fall and have resumed, albeit at lower price levels, but at sell-though rates near to historic norms - 70% to 75%. To see this we are now providing, as a permanent feature, auction box scores because this is where book valuation is reestablishing its equilibrium today. For people who believe that the world of books is changing this is a front row seat. Individual sales are interesting. Many sales taken together provide a perspective yo...

Ebaylogo

Ebay Offers Buyers A New Dispute Resolution Process

By Michael Stillman

Ebay, the largest online auction seller (and now significant fixed-price seller) announced some changes which may prove to be important in time. It certainly represents a 180...

L.hasbrouck

Chasing Wisps Across the Internet

By Bruce McKinney

In a thousand places the drama of life has played itself out and the details disappeared. The famous and infamous have lived on in collective memory, the simply good, bad and ...

Amazontwitter

Amazon All Atwitter - Not So Gay Times for the Bookseller

By Michael Stillman

Amazon.com found itself in the midst of a terrible imbroglio recently, one that must have covered just about every nightmarish subject for the traditional book lover. Subject...

Matchingw&lbooks

Library Book Returned... 145 Years Later

By Michael Stillman

We don't know whether Mike Dau read the story about the Iowa woman who spent several hours in jail over a six-month overdue library book, but we will guess not. If so, he mus...

Holiday.1.1

Collecting Travels and Voyages in the Modern Era

By Bruce McKinney

In the aftermath of World War II a glow descended upon America. The nation was victorious and all things seemed possible. The post-depression lethargy that gripped America in...

Moro books

To Costa Rica and Back, Again

By Karen Wright

We are back again after two months in the lovely country of Costa Rica. Three years ago, after our first trip, I did a couple of stories about book shopping in Costa Rica and ca...

Sotheby'snewyorkphoto

One of the First Photographs of New York Sold at Auction

By Michael Stillman

A remarkable early photograph (daguerreotype) of New York was sold at Sotheby's auction house in that very city on March 30, 2009, over 160 years after it was taken. The phot...

Objects.1

Objects of Desire

By Bruce McKinney

The human mind is a fabulous and sometimes disordered mechanism. It recognizes the red and green of traffic lights, registers differences of temperature sufficiently to keep u...

Worlddigitallibraryopens

<i>In The News:</i> World Digital Library Opens, ABAA Upgrades Site, Lincoln and Law Exhibitions

By Michael Stillman

The World Digital Library opened for business on April 21. As the name suggests, there are no desks, stacks, or librarians whispering "shhhh..." This is an online collection ...

Nabpp

Come Fly With Me: Volunteers Needed to Convert Aged Bird Migration Records to Database

By Michael Stillman

A massive paper record of historic bird migrations is migrating to a computer database, and this is one case where even the greatest fan of paper cannot help but be pleased t...

Cats05-09

Thirteen Catalogues Reviewed This Month

Thirteen new bookseller catalogues are reviewed in the latest issue of AE Monthly. James Cummins Bookseller celebrates his 100th catalogue and 30 years in the business with 30 outstanding items. Ra...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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 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, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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