Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2022 Issue

Contrary to Popular Belief, There Are Young Women Collectors, and the Honey & Wax Collecting Prize for Young Women is Now Open for Entries


Applications now being accepted for the 2022 Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize.

The sixth annual Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize is open for applications from U.S. women collectors age 30 and under. Say what? Who is going to apply? Everyone knows book collectors are old men. Go to any one of the major book fairs or old-line book collecting clubs and you will see for yourself.


We asked Heather O'Donnell, who with Rebecca Romney founded the Honey & Wax collecting prize in 2017, where they find these elusive new collectors. It turns out they are out there but go unnoticed as they are not traditional collectors, may not even see themselves as book collectors. They are more likely to be found on social media and the internet than traditional collector venues. Their interests are different. They collect, just not the same things as earlier generations.


Heather O'Donnell explained, “Rebecca Romney and I started the Honey & Wax Prize in 2017 in part to counter the common wisdom that 'women don't collect' and 'young people don't collect,' comments we heard all the time as dealers at the book fairs you mention. We wanted to shine a light on the kinds of collecting happening outside the fairly insular antiquarian book world, which does, as you observe, traditionally skew older and male. Most of our prize contestants had never visited a rare book fair or auction or gallery -- in part, because they were young, without a lot of money to spend, and in part because those venues didn't do much to draw them inside.”


Looking at the topics of the past five winners reveals different interests from most traditional collectors. They were not of famous authors like Hemingway and Dickens, nor common subjects such as Americana or travels and voyages. They were: Romance Novels of the Jazz Age and Depression Eras, Collecting Leo and Diane Dillon: Six Decades of Unparalleled Illustration, Crimes of Passion: Collecting Fan-made Comics and Doujinshi, Building a Nation of Little Readers: Twentieth-Century Yiddish Primers and Workbooks for Children, and Maria Mitchell Through Time. That's Maria Mitchell (the 19th century astronomer) rather than Margaret Mitchell. That's a change. Runners-up revealed similar new interests such as small circulation self-published zines, how soldiers die, “Collecting Black Equestrian History to Prove We Exist,” Icelandic sagas, history of disasters, and twentieth century travel guides to Russia and the Soviet Union (you don't want to go there now).


Ms. O'Donnell noted, “We do find that there is an increasing interest in collecting of all kinds, not just books, among younger women, and younger people generally, driven by communities formed on social media. A striking number of the book collections submitted to the Honey & Wax Prize have a social aspect: they're the subjects of blogs or Tumblrs or Instagram feeds, they're formed through fan communities or online networks, they're created as community resources or public archives.


"The internet has made it possible for everyone to share their collecting projects much more widely, at an earlier stage, and to collaborate with others on bibliographies of material that falls outside the standard reference sources. The result is that more material, of all kinds, enters the conversation, and our collective sense of possible objects and angles of inquiry is expanded. As booksellers, that's really what we like to see, and what this prize celebrates.”


In reaching out to all new, non-traditional collectors, the contest rules state that they use an expansive definition of 'women' to include trans and other gender non-conforming individuals. We can also note that past contestants include numerous racial and ethnic minorities, and it is doubtful that most are the beneficiaries of great family wealth. It moves us even further beyond the typical stereotype of a book collector as being not only old and male, but overwhelmingly white and of healthy financial means. These collectors, to use a phrase previously coined, look more like America than the old image. If you limit “collectors” to the traditional model, of course it looks like there are few new collectors, but if you look past old stereotypes, you can see the future.


Submissions for the 2022 Honey & Wax Collecting Prize are being accepted through June 15. Books, manuscripts and ephemera are all appropriate collectibles and the theme can be whatever you find fascinating, be it a writer, illustrator, subject, printer, bindings, or whatever else is the collection's focus. Size and value aren't important, so long as you created the collection and show how the pieces illustrate the theme. Creativity and originality are welcome. Details on the rules and how to submit an entry are found on the following page: www.honeyandwaxbooks.com/prize.php


The prize winner will receive $1,000. Everyone is encouraged to submit as describing it for others will help you understand your own collection better. Maybe only one person can get the prize, but everyone will be a winner.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br> The Library of Henry Rogers<br>Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven<br>Part I<br>18 May 2022</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> John James Audubon and James Bachman. <i>The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.</i> New York: J.J. Audubon, 1845-1848. £150,000 to £250,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Thomas and William Daniell. <i>Oriental Scenery,</i> London, 1795-1807 [but 1841], 6 parts in 3 volumes, folio. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Mark Catesby. <i>The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands...</i> London, 1731-1743, 2 volumes. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Gould and Lear. <i>A monograph of the Ramphastidae,</i> 1854; <i>Illustrations of the family of Psittacidae,</i> 1832. £60,000 to £90,000.
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Graphic Design<br>May 19, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, <i>Triplex,</i> pencil maquette, 1930. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Claude Fayette Brandon, <i>The Chap Book,</i> circa 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Various Artists, a complete set of <i>Das Plakat,</i> set of 10 hardcover volumes, 1912-21. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Javier Gómez Acebo & Máximo Viejo Santamarta, <i>San Sebastian / XI Circuitto Automovilista,</i> 1935. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Ephraim Moses Lilien, <i>Berliner Tageblatt,</i> circa 1899. $12,000 to $18,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Birds.- Gould (John). <i>The Birds of Great Britain,</i> 5 vol., first edition, [1862-]1873. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Canadiana.- Cockburn (Maj. Gen. James Pattison, 1779-1847), After. [Six Landscape of Quebec City and Six Views of Niagara Falls], 2 suites in 1 vol., comprising 12 aquatints, 1833. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses,</i> number 218 of 150 copies on verge d'arches, Paris, Shakespeare & Company, 1922. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first paperback edition, signed by the author, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Du Maurier (Daphne). <i>Rebecca,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to her governess, 1938. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Magna Carta.- An exact copy of King John's Great Charter of 1215, transcribed from the fire damaged but legible manuscript in the Cottonian Library, British Library, J. Pine, 1733. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Woolf (Virginia). <i>Mrs Dalloway,</i> first edition, Hogarth Press, 1925. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Tudor exiles opposed to the Marian regime.- Mary I (Queen of England) Letter signed "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, signed at head, titled at head "By the King and Quene", 1556. £8,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> America.- Newfoundland.- Whitbourne (Sir Richard). <i>A discourse and discouery of Nevv-found-land…,</i> second edition, By Felix Kingston, 1622. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cervantès Saavedra (Miguel de). <i>El Ingenioso Hidalgo Do Quixote de la Mancha,</i> 4 vol., Madrid, Por Don Joaquin Ibarra, 1780. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Stubbs (George). <i>The Anatomy of the Horse,</i> first edition, first issue, Printed by J. Purser, for the Author, 1766. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cardiology.- Lower (Richard). <i>Tractatus de Corde item De Motu & Colore Sanguinus et Chyli in cum Transitu,</i> first edition, 1669. £5,000 to £7,000.
  • <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>Initial A on vellum, Cologne around 1300. Est: €25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Androuet du Cerceau, <i> Bastiments de France,</i> 1607. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Cerillo, <i>Dipinti murali di Pompei,</i> 1886. Est: €2,500
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>L. de Austria, <i>Compilatio de astrorum scientia,</i> 1489. Est: €9,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>B. Besler, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> around 1750. Est: €50,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br><i>PAN,</i> 1895-1900. Est: €15,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Colonna, <i>Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,</i> 1545. Est: €40,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Schiller, <i>Die Räuber,</i> 1781. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Albers, <i>Formulation : Articulation,</i> 1972. Est: €18,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>G. B. Ramusio, <i>Delle navigationi e viaggi,</i> 1556-1613. Est: €14,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>M. Wied Neuwied, <i>Reise in das Innere Nord-America,</i> 1839-41. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Paolozzi, <i>Bunk,</i> 1972. Est: €25,000

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