Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2019 Issue

Rare Book Hub: Sweet 17

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It seems like only yesterday we started the Americana Exchange but in fact it’s been 17 years.  We joined the information age for the rare book field in September 2002 when we began to digitize standard references for the rare book field.  As a collector I wanted quick, broad access to what was known.  In time this led to our providing broad auction coverage as the number of auction houses, events, and lots exploded.  Soon after, we developed a single search of all upcoming auction lots in the books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera fields.

 

Fast forward, the world now expects up-to-date information so the building of our transaction database, which began with 151,000 records and now includes more than nine million, simply fits with the market’s increasing requirement for confirmation.  In real life if we want to buy a house we find comparable properties to understand value.  For rare books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera it’s as necessary to understand value because every collection is, in time, sold, gifted, or donated.

 

Perhaps the biggest change in the field is related to the number of possibilities, be they multiple copies of an item or the random appearance of an otherwise undocumented example.  These days it’s possible to immediately access, with a couple clicks, rarity and significance that are essential to intelligent decision making. 

 

An unexpected effect of larger numbers is the inevitable instinct to narrow collecting focus, once it’s clear how much material is available – a realization that tends to create iconoclastic collectors who, in understanding their fields close up, develop radically different views than those lurking in the conventional wisdom.

 

Taken altogether, there has never been a better time to be a collector.  The possibilities are endless and the challenges right out of the Mensa handbook. 


Posted On: 2019-09-16 02:58
User Name: mairin

Happy 17th Birthday, Rare Book Hub, many happy returns ~ meaning, many more years of obvious success. Bruce, on some future occasion, tell us more about your use of the term "iconoclastic collectors" ~ that caught my attention. And the Mensa handbook reference, in your closing line, was a good analogy. All to say, appreciated the piece, many smart points, especially the role of hard data in "understanding value". I hope that you & the Rare Book Hub family marked the occasion joyfully.
- Maureen E. Mulvihill, Collector.
___


Posted On: 2019-09-17 06:42
User Name: test2

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Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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>

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