Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2015 Issue

A Baker's Eight Dozen Plus Four

Will Baker: Catalog One

Will [W. C.] Baker is, among other things, a graduate of the William Reese Rare Book School.  He worked there for several years and gained a perspective on scholarship, presentation, and rarity that sets Bill Reese and his disciples apart. After working for the Reese Company, he paused his career in rare books to earn a library science degree and head the Institute Library in New Haven, where he began robust new programs of collection development, community events, and greater cultural diversity in the membership of that nearly 200-year-old organization.

 

He recently issued his first catalogue: Catalog One.  It’s a hundred items of interesting material in histories of science, religion, and the performing arts, much of it Americana, many of the items examples dealers are increasingly reluctant to carry because they are inexpensive but which collectors and library curators highly desire.  Today the rare book field is increasingly a money game.  In Will’s world, it’s still about collecting.

 

Said another way it is, in my view, Will’s reflection of what collecting used to be, and what he hopes it will be again: a sustained attempt at real discoveries, opportunities for original research, disruptions of conventional knowledge, and moments of wonder.

 

So this is his first effort.  It will be distributed fully in September.  This month it’s being sent to those who make a request.  In this way he hopes to build links and relationships.

 

So ask for his catalogue and spend a few minutes to speak with him.  The halls and isles were once flush with new dealers, these days not so much.  But they are important, even essential to the future of the field.  So here are my best wishes.  We all gain if you succeed.

 

Link to the catalog electronically  

 

Will Baker Rare Books and Ephemera

P. O. Box 9197

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15224

[203] 752-7410

will@wcbaker.com

www.wcbaker.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.

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