Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2005 Issue

A Few of My Favorite Things

A256

Brodart's fold-on book covers


By Renee Magriel Roberts

Despite the frustrations of engaging in bookselling, I do love the business. I'm able to find pleasure not only in the successful searching, prepping and selling of the fascinating and the not-so-interesting, but oddly in the small things -- the things that work well, improve the quality of the service we provide, and just make things go easier. In the spirit of sharing, I'd like to tell you about my favorite things (things being technologies high and low, people, services and such). This is not a scientific survey; I'm sure you will have your own favorites, and if you'd like to email me, I will put together another article soon with more suggestions.

One highly useful low-tech item is the German Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser for paper and film, made in Nürnberg. This little white marvel, readily available in most large office supply stores or in specialty architectural supply stores, erases the ubiquitous pencil markings in books without destroying the integrity of the paper. A nice, circular rub and the pencil is gone, except for those marks which are gouged, and which only a conservationist could eliminate. The erasers do not tug at the paper, and they don't shed into little gummy balls. I destroyed more than one free front endpaper before discovering them. At $2.65 for a 4-pack, these erasers make a wonderful (and economical) gift for the book collector and bookseller in your life.

In a similar vein, working with dust jackets would not be the same without several items from Brodart (www.brodart.com), besides the well-known archival-quality mylar covers (I use both the Just-A-Fold III Archival Quality rolls in sizes from 9" to 18", and the Fold-On Archival Quality book covers, also in varying size rolls). Brodart not only has top quality material (not necessarily the least expensive), but the brains to offer a slew of free how-to guides on their site which can be readily downloaded whether you are a customer or not. I particularly recommend "Archival Preservation," "Applying Book Jacket Covers," and "Book Repair".

Unless you deal exclusively with new books -- and few of us do -- who can compete with Amazon? -- you are going to have to engage in at least simple repairs. The dust jacket, when there is one, is usually the neediest of the book parts; at the minimum it might have unwanted stickers, like the kind the friends of the libraries use when they're selling books at a sale, or just plain dirt from being handed around. Brodart sells two of my favorite chemicals: E-Z Sticker Removal which comes in what seems an endless 8 oz. plastic bottle for $4.25 and Magic Book Cleaner, 16 oz. for $13.60, which removes dirt from book covers. Both of these last a long, long time.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.

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