Rare Book Monthly Articles - July - 2014 Issue

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The Bookseller's Dilemma: the world is changing

The Bookseller’s dilemma: the world is changing
 
Problems in bookselling have long been understood.  Shops closing, books going online, loss of face-to-face contact, rising quantities, aging dealers, fewer new dealers and changing collecting perspectives are all factors in a once sedentary field that now evolves in real time.  In effect, the old world has become old hat and a disappearing hat at that.
 
Some fifteen years ago, a few dealers, sensing that the long-term impact of exponentially rising online book listings would eventually alter valuations negativ...

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Remnants of One of the Wealthiest Estates Ever Formed Has Been Sold

An auction at Christie's last month brought to a conclusion a story very long in the making. The collection was remarkable, though not as remarkable as the history behind it. This was a story of su...

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39th Annual Newtown Book Sale July 12-16

If it is July it is time for the annual Newtown, Connecticut book fair organized by the Friends of the C. H. Booth Library.  This event, which begins on Saturday July 12th, runs through the fo...

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How was your first time? (Online bidding)

Yesterday was my first time—and it was great!
 
It all started at 2 p.m., when my computer screen suddenly broadcast the images of some red-carpeted walls, and the confused sounds of a...

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Book Repair for Booksellers

Veteran Massachusetts bookseller Joyce Godsey has written a short and useful guide to basic book repairs. Her advice is: “If the book is worth more than $250, send it to a professional or sel...

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A Second Bookseller Goes “Public”

Turning to the public markets for funding of businesses in the selling of old books seems to be gaining some steam, at least in England. In May, Scholium Group, whose main business is Shapero Rare ...

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It's not easy being green

Alice Springer at the Friends of the Seattle Public Library spoke with me last week as 21 items the Friends had posted on eBay were grinding toward their conclusion.  The sale had come to my a...

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Books In The News

Old books regularly show up in the news. Something old, something new. A few such stories caught my eye this past month.
 
The first story involves the all too common subject of book theft. ...

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Profiles in History: Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector IV on July 11th

On July 11th Profiles in History continues the series “Property of a Distinguished Collector” with Part Four.  Parts 1 to 3 raised $11.5 million.  One hundred and twelve lots ...

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Apple Settles Its eBook Case Before Its Time

In a bizarre twist of events in the Apple eBooks case, Apple has negotiated a payment settlement with those harmed by its alleged price fixing, even as it continues to contest the claim they ever f...

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A Sale to be Seen, Not Read About

I'm going to keep this article brief because Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions' sale of Modern and Contemporary Prints is one that words can only do so much for. Featuring prints from well-k...

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Did the Police Chief Just Put Down Books?

Did San Francisco's Police Chief just “diss” books? We aren't sure what to make of a comment he recently made. Surely, there's another explanation. From everything we know, Chief Greg S...

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Ten Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we have 10 new catalogues up for review. Whitmore Rare Books presents a catalogue of exceptional literature. Antiquates Fine & Rare Books offers works from British authors and collec...

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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