Rare Book Monthly Articles - February - 2018 Issue

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Auction Prices for Books and Paper Dipped by 1% in 2017

Prices at auction for lots in the books and paper field took a modest dip in 2017. The median price slipped from $270 to $267, or 1.1%. It nearly wiped out last year's almost as modest 1.5% increase. On the other hand, the average price dropped more sharply, from $2,011 to $1,859, but this is not a very meaningful figure. It takes only one or two books at several millions to greatly skew the average price, and 2017 was a year without any blockbuster sales.
 
The number of lots sold at auction increased by 5.8% last year. There were 312,154 lots we tracked sold in 2017, vs. 295,143 in...

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Mount Eden Books to Call it a Day

Jerry Pressler, of several places in Ohio and even more in California, has spent his 91 years being busy.  He’s had many careers, some spanning decades, and recently decided it’s t...

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51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair

Over the weekend of Friday February 9th to Sunday February 11th the ABAA’s California Book Fair returns to Pasadena.  This fair, that alternates with its northern California twin, is sta...

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Marquis de Sade "National Treasure" Removed from French Sale by the State

This would almost certainly have been the most expensive item sold at auction in the books and paper field last year had it been sold. It was not. This was not for want of a willing seller or buyer...

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Fire & Fury - Biggest Nonfiction Bestseller in Modern History

Looking for a sleaze tell-all about a sleaze president? Seek no further. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House is the scandal du jour. The juicy political gossip book by Michael Wolff is not ...

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The Miami International Map Fair

In February, the Miami International Map Fair turns 25! It is the longest running map fair in the world. We invite you to celebrate this anniversary with us.  Immerse yourself in a world of ex...

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Marcus Rainsford, or The Black Empire of a "Sh*thole"

Going through a pile of books the other day, I was suddenly attracted to a smelly one. I reluctantly picked it up, considering its yet gorgeous binding. Then, I opened it up, and was instantly over...

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U.S. Supreme Court Will Again Consider Allowing States to Require Out-of-State Retailers to Collect Their Sales Taxes

The ability of states to require out-of-state retailers, which would include most rare and antiquarian booksellers, to collect their sales taxes will again come before the United States Supreme Cou...

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Auctions in Pasadena while the ABAA is in Town

Over the second weekend of February, while the ABAA, is in the midst of its always popular annual winter weekend in California, both PBA and Bonhams will conduct auctions on Sunday the 11th at the ...

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Swann: Busy in 2018

Swann Auction Galleries, twice a year, sends to its mailing list The Trumpet, it’s announcement of upcoming sales.  The recent issue, Volume 32, Number 2, provides a clear picture of a f...

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Bookshop Featuring Enormous Stephen King Collection Suffers Devastating Loss

In one of the saddest tales related to books and manuscripts we have seen in a long time, a Maine bookseller suffered a devastating loss on January 16. The loss was not only tragic for the great am...

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Feb. 1-7: First of five 2018 sales from map-centric Old World Auctions

This month we have the first of five sales in 2018 being hosted by online-only auction house Old World Auctions. With cartography as the house’s focus, 784 lots of maps, atlases, and other ra...

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San Francisco Antiquarian Book, Print & Paper Fair February 2-3

San Francisco’s every other year book, print and paper fair is about to happen.  The location is the South San Francisco Conference Center just north of the San Francisco International A...

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Feb. 11: Assorted Americana at Carlsen Gallery

Based in Freehold, NY, Carlsen Gallery specializes in 18th and 19th century American furniture and other antiques such as oil paintings, porcelain and rugs. This month, their Mid-Winter Antique Auc...

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National Endowment for the Humanities Holds Institute on The Book: Material Histories and Digital Futures in Salt Lake City This Summer

The National Endowment for the Humanities will be holding a four-week institute for college and university faculty at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City this summer. It will run from Jun...

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Books Valued at Almost $100,000 Stolen from English Bookshop

A theft of books valued at around £70,000 (almost US $100,000) occurred at a family bookshop in England the night of January 8-9. The size is quite impactful for the family-owned business. Th...

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A Dozen New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review 12 new booksellers' catalogues. Mark Funke Bookseller has published his first catalogue. It focuses on Continental Europe, with a particular concentration on German material. E...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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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