Rare Book Monthly Articles - December - 2013 Issue

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On the Rim of a Volcano

The following is a text version of a talk I gave at the California Rare Book School and the Book Club of California on Monday 4.
 
Printing in the western world is an old thing.  It traces to Gutenberg’s development of movable type, his first examples printed around 1440 and the most famous book ever printed, the Gutenberg Bible in 1454.  It was a remarkable moment as moveable type opened a path to the printing of multiple copies.  Early printing had a strong artistic component but the potential to communicate widely soon repurposed the invention leading toward e...

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Google Books Finally Wins a Round in 8-Year-Old Lawsuit

There have been few victories for Google in the now 8-year-old lawsuit involving its massive Google Books digitization project. Google has now scanned and digitized over 20 million books. Google on...

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Good Packing & Fast Shipping the Key to High Positive Feedback

After a mere 14 years as an eBay bookseller I just reached the 1,000 feedback level, and thankfully it’s all positive. I estimate that for every buyer that leaves feedback there are another t...

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Yves S. - A Reasonable Pessimist

Yves S. is a well-educated man who could be described as a reasonable passionate: “Many people in the old books business are poets,” he smiles, “or old guys.” And Yves S. is...

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A Weekend in Boston

Over the weekend of November 15-17 I was in Boston for the 36th annual ABAA Book Fair and the Boston Book, Print and Ephemera Show.  The ABAA fair, held again over three days at the Hynes Audi...

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How Do You Sign an Electronic Book? Apple's Patent Shows the Way!

Electronic books offer many conveniences for readers, but are not of much use to collectors. Collecting digital copies imbedded within the tiny microchips of an electronic reader seems to be missin...

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Ransom Note and Other Letters from First Kidnapping Sold at Freeman's Auction

A piece of criminal history was sold at the annual Pennsylvania sale at Freeman's Auction in Philadelphia last month. It included the most important documents in one of the most sensational cases o...

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Auctions in December

The book, manuscript, map and ephemera auctions in December complete what has been a strong run through the fall season.  Weeks now see what used to be annual volumes.  Many dealers repor...

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The Penn Libraries Receives $5.5 Million Donation from Jay I. Kislak and the Kislak Family Foundation

Jay I. Kislak of Miami Lakes, Florida, now in his eighties and making what he always collected, history, has given $5.5 million to the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscri...

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Crime and Punishment in Paris in 1412 – A Catalogue from UCLA

We were fortunate enough to receive a fascinating catalogue published earlier this year by the UCLA Library in Los Angeles, six hundred years in the making, so to speak. Its title is Crime and Puni...

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The Curator's Eye – a Program Designed to Reach High-End Buyers

The Curator's Eye, a company with a service designed to bring dealers and high-end buyers together, recently released an interview they conducted with noted autograph and manuscript seller Claudia ...

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Nine New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review nine new booksellers' catalogues. Whitmore Rare Books and Peter Harrington look forward to the joy of the season with holiday catalogues. Librairie Thomas-Scheler presents anti...

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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