Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2021 Issue

Part III - The Year that Was, the year that Will Be - The Dealer Perspective + Marvin Getman

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I have asked leaders of the dealer community, ILAB, ABAA and ABA for their perspectives on the year just past and the year just beginning, and as well have asked Marvin Getman for his views on the Electronic Book Fair phenomena that helping dealers worldwide through Covid-19.  Participants are in alphabetical order:  Roger Treglown & Pom Harrington on behalf of the ABA, Susan Benne of the ABAA, and Sally Burdon of ILAB.  After which Marvin Getman adds his perspective.  They are committed and will be careful. 

 

Roger Treglown & Pom Harrington, ABA President and Vice President

 

The second hand and antiquarian books trade is renowned for its enduring resilience and optimism ever since Herr Gutenberg printed a Bible in Mainz, 1455 ! In my memory the financial crash of some twelve years ago created enormous problems for our trade - with perseverance most of us survived. The current epidemic demands a ' Churchillian ' resourceful and positive approach from us all, hence the increase of the virtual book fair platforms in order to satisfy the insatiable demands of our existing and new clients. Notwithstanding the foregoing we in the ABA are planning our international flag ship fair -  Firsts London taking place in May 2021, at the Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea. Similarly our fairs at Edinburgh, in March and Chelsea in November next year are at the planning stages. However, if propitious conditions are not in our favour we will  continue to offer  bibliophiles and collectors a number of our, very well received, virtual book fairs throughout the year. As ever the ABA has adopted a pro-active forward thinking  approach to 2021.

 

Susan Benne, Executive Director ABAA

 

The ABAA was founded more than 70 years ago. Since then, as citizens, spectators, and advocates, we have long sought to be at the forefront of the trade.

 

What was once an association of book and manuscript sellers has evolved to encompass maps, prints, ephemera, zines, and other facets of material culture. In the last decade, we launched initiatives that broaden the inclusion and participation of women, BIPOC, and non-binary persons in the trade. Further, it is of utmost importance that diverse voices are represented in the formation and holdings of private and institutional collections.

 

As we move beyond a year that has caused physical, emotional, and financial hardship for many, we continue to listen, support, and bring forth programs to connect collectors and sellers. We look forward to a better new year and continue to offer virtual book fairs until we can safely gather for in-person events.

 

 

Sally Burdon, ILAB President

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused heartbreak for many and enormous disruption for even more, the fears that many held for the antiquarian book trade in March and April fortunately did not eventuate. Most antiquarian booksellers whether or not they have open shops have a solid mail order service integrated into their business. This has allowed the majority to manage to ride the storm, or in many cases do very good business, as collectors and readers return to their shelves and seek to fill in gaps or extend their collections. The re-emergence of virtual book fairs, last seen in the early 2000s, has been another bright spot for the book trade. These book fairs are much better supported than they were 20 odd years ago and have helped open the book fair world to those who have not attended a fair, or at least not one of the major fairs, before. The Virtual Book fairs are for book collectors and libraries a great equaliser offering equality of access to everyone with an Internet connection where ever you are on the globe. Many booksellers also used this year to try and catalogue some of the famous backlog that most booksellers have. Every bookseller buys more than they can process and frequently never quite get around to cataloguing some, often, very good stock. This year more of that stock came out and speaking from personal experience sold very well.  Overall the trade has faired, surprisingly given the year, very well in 2020. 

What are we to expect?  What’s going to be the new normal?  

Of course none of us know the answers to these questions - would that we did! The desire to return to physical shops and book fairs is great among both booksellers and their customers. Studies show that the interaction gained from talking in person is more deeper, pleasurable and interesting than the same interaction via video conferencing, very good though this is. Physical fairs will return I have no doubt and may do better than before as book collectors and readers seize opportunities to talk and look at books in person again. It seems likely as well  that the virtual book fairs will continue either as an adjunct or at different times over the year. Into the future booksellers will continue to do what they do so well,  putting out interesting catalogues and helping collectors build their collections.  

 

Marvin Getman, Electronic Book Fair Visionary

 

Virtual Outlook 2021

 

My last live book fair was on March 6-7. It was the satellite fair to the ABAA Armory show. That seems like an eternity ago. The last eight months has been a whirlwind of activity. How I came about developing a virtual platform has been widely reported so no need to repeat it here. Now to look forward to 2021. Here’s what I see:

Thankfully, vaccines are on the way and by this time next year, maybe sooner, I predict that some live fairs will return. I see that the Boston ABAA is being advertised for November and the New York ABAA Fair is being advertised for September. I do not plan, at this time, to bring back my live fairs. I know that might be a disappointment to some who enjoy attending my satellite fairs during the ABAA fairs but the fact is that those fairs take a lot out of this old guy for their financial return.  I will devote my time and attention to continuing to improve my virtual platform and to develop themes that will bring booksellers and their customers together. I get emails from institutions, librarians, collectors and dealers thanking me for developing a platform that is so easy to use and easy to navigate. I take pride that, during this unprecedented year, $2 million of commerce passed through my virtual fairs. There is no question in my mind that virtual fairs are here to stay. It gives me pleasure that other fair producers, Rare Books LA, and recently The SLAM French Book Fair were able to keep their fairs alive by using my platform. We hosted a special fundraiser for CABS which was highly successful. In January, the Rocky Mountain Booksellers Association will hold their annual fair on my platform. Expect to see more social interaction on the virtual fairs. I don’t expect to be able to duplicate the happy hour that so many people seem to miss from the live fairs.  I welcome ideas from booksellers as to what would make the platform more useful. I am investigating a way for money to pass between the buyer and seller quickly. I realize that is something people would like to see.


Posted On: 2021-01-03 08:39
User Name: 19531953

Bravo to Susan and Marvin. Well put and Well done!

Eric C. Caren


Posted On: 2021-01-13 19:23
User Name: mbook

That was more about bookfairs, they are in their own little world. Just the odd book dealer fact. They are not real down to earth actual book dealers.


Posted On: 2021-01-13 19:23
User Name: mbook

That was more about bookfairs, they are in their own little world. Just the odd book dealer fact. They are not real down to earth actual book dealers.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Athanasius. <i>Illustrium Virorum Opuscula,</i> Paris, 1500. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, Translated Faithfully into English,</i> Rheims, John Fogny, 1582. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Stith, William. <i>The First History of Virginia printed in America,</i> [Williamsburg, 1747]. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b><br>S. Bonaventure. <i>Commentarius in Secundum Librum Sententiarum Petri Lombardi,</i> Venice, 1477. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Juvenalis, Junii. <i>Satyrae,</i> with the commentary of Domitius Calderinus, Venice, 1475. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Horatius Flaccus, Quintus. <i>Opera.</i> Ed. with commentary of Christophorus Landinus, Florence, 1482. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Scotus, Duns. <i>Quaestiones in Quattuor Libros Sententiarum,</i> 1476-1477. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Polidori, John. <i>The Vampyre, A Tale,</i> Paris, 1819. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom's Cabin,</i> Vol. I and II, 1852, and a Later Edition, 1885. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Book of Hours, Illuminated Vellum, Calendar of Months, 15th century. $600 to $900.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> <i>Picturesque,</i> America, Europe, Palestine, and Russia, 1872-1885. $400 to $600.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> C.F. Payne, <i>Micawber—Imitating Norman Rockwell's "Triple self-portrait,"</i> acrylic, watercolor & colored pencil, 2002. Sold June 2021 for $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Jane Russell, archive of letters written during a whaling voyage, 1840s. Sold July 2021 for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Guild of Women Binders, exhibition binding of A.F. Pollard’s <i>Henry VIII,</i> London, 1902. Sold July 2021 for $12,350.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Robert Frost, <i>Collected Poems,</i> author’s presentation copy, signed, with entirety of <i>Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening</i> inscribed, NY, 1930. Sold June 2021 for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> James Joyce, <i>Ulysses,</i> deluxe limited issue, signed, London, 1936. Sold June 2021 for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Mercator [family], <i>[World and Continents],</i> 5 double-page maps, Amsterdam, c. 1633. Sold June 2021 for $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Schlegel, <i>New York, Taken from Central Park,</i> hand-finished color-tinted lithograph, 1874. Sold June 2021 for $11,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolaus Copernicus, <i>De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium,</i> second edition, Basel, 1566. Sold April 2021 for $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Book of Hours, Use of Utrecht, illuminated manuscript, c. 1435-45. Sold April 2021 for $60,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Bible, English. The Holy Bible, Second Folio edition, the "Great She Bible", engraved More-Speed 1611 map of Canaan, Robert Barker, 1613-11. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Galilei (Galileo). <i>Opere,</i> 2 vol., first collected edition, Bologna, Heirs of Dozza for Carlo Manolessi, 1656-1655. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Venetian choirbook.- Single leaf from a 13th century Venetian antiphonal, with large decorated initial, manuscript on vellum, Venice, [c.1260]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Petrarca (Francesco). <i>Rerum vulrgarium fragmenta,</i> decorated manuscript on paper, Italy, [second half of the 15th century]. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> New York School of abstract expressionists.- Abbott (Mary Lee). [Sketch book of original artwork], [New York], 1945. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Contemporary colouring.- Nitzschewitz (Hermannus). <i>Novum beatae Mariaevirginis psalterium,</i> Zinna, Press of the Cistercian Monastery, 1493. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Shakespeare source book.- Montemayor (Jorge de). Diana of George of Montemayor: translated out of Spanish into English by Bartholomew Yong, first edition in English, B[ishop]., 1598. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Milton (John). Poems of Mr. John Milton, Both English and Latin, Compos'd at several times, first edition, state with "S" in "S. Pauls" in imprint, 1645. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Power and the Glory,</i> first edition, 1940. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Crowley (Aleister). View of the Tyrrhenian Sea, probably from the hill behind the abbey of Thelema, Cefalù, Sicily, charcoal, [1921]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, 1953. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> China.- Thomson (John). <i>Illustrations of China and Its People,</i> 4 vol., first edition, 96 photographic plates, 1873-74. £15,000 to £20,000.
  • <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>September 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 20. ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY. Letter to the editors of the Boston Atlas on slavery and its political ramifications, 1842. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 208. HEMINGWAY, ERNEST. <i>A Farewell To Arms.</i> New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929. First edition. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 237. ADDAMS, CHARLES. Original drawing "Now Remember-act casual." $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>September 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 4. SMITH, ADAM. <i>An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations.</i> Philadelphia, 1789. The first American edition. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 131. BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VON. <i>Cinquieme Sinfonie en ut mineur: C Moll de Louis Van Beethoven. Oeuvre 67.</i> First edition of the complete score. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 73. Chinese Export Painting. Album of twenty-three original Chinese natural history studies of flowers and insects. Likely Canton: circa 1850. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>September 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 241. GOREY, EDWARD. Original drawing "Cat Drawing Wallpaper." Signed in Pencil in lower right margin. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 36. LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. Autograph note signed instructing Edwin Stanton to meet with the important African American abolitionist and officer Martin Delany. [Washington:] 21 February 1865. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 112. JONSON, BEN. <i>Workes</i>. London: William Stansby, 1616; Together with <i>Workes.</i> London: Richard Meighen,1640-41. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 161. STURGIS, LEE. <i>Salmon Fishing on Cain River, New Brunswick.</i> (Chicago:) Privately printed (for the author by Ralph Fletcher Seymour), 1919. First edition. $3,000 to $5,000.

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