Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2023 Issue

Spencer W. Stuart, his recent book endorsed

Spencer W. Stuart

Mr. Stuart, author of Contemporary Issues in Rare Book & Manuscript Collecting:  A Handbook for Collectors and the Trade has been widely endorsed.


Book collectors are known to read books and a few write them.  Spencer Stuart is one of the writers and enjoys a wide following among both experienced collectors as well as the nascent generation that is skateboarding into their collecting futures.


What they say:


Educators, Appraisers, Librarians and Collectors agree


Once in a long while a book comes along that causes all parts of the bibliophilic worlds to agree on its value and impact. In fact, they see it to be so useful and informative that they wished they could have had it at their disposal years before.  Contemporary Issues in Rare Book and Manuscript Collecting (Contemporary Issues) may be one of these books: https://spencerwstuart.myshopify.com/products/contemporary-issues-in-rare-book-manuscript-collection-a-handbook-for-collectors-and-the-trade


Below, four early readers of Contemporary Issues share their views on this first book by Collections Advisor, Author and Public Speaker Spencer W Stuart. www.spencerwstuart.ca


A Bookseller


Johan Kugelberg, Owner & Curator of Boo-Hooray, and a Rare Book School Faculty said,  “This is an excellent and most useful book: in my capacity as faculty at Rare Book School, I find the work of Spencer Stuart a dream: a student that takes the content of our course and expands on it in a manner perpetually useful: student outdoes teacher and all that.”


An Appraiser


From the Appraisal Business Courtney Ahlstrom Christy, Ahlstrom Appraisals LLC had this to say:  "Contemporary Issues is thought-provoking and should be read by those in the book trade who wish to adapt to ongoing changes in the industry deftly." Courtney is a Valuer of Fine Art, Rare Books & Material Culture Certified Member, International Society of Appraisers and Accredited Member, Appraisers Association of America.


A Librarian


Gary E. Strong, UCLA University Librarian Emeritus and collector commented as follows, "Contemporary Issues in Rare Book & Manuscript Collecting is a welcome read.  While I have been collecting for many years, I wish this handbook had been available when I started to build my collections. I particularly like the down-to-earth writing style and clear and reasoned approach to the issues. I continue to learn about aspects of the book trade that are relevant to my own situation."


A Collector


Larry Rafferty, 1st edition book collector and founder of hit & run press summed up wide spread feelings about the just released book extremely well:  "As I read Contemporary Issues, every few pages I came across some information or an insight that I had spent years sorting out.  How I wish I had this book fifty years ago when I was starting out as a collector!"


To order Contemporary Issues for you or a collecting friend go to https://spencerwstuart.myshopify.com/products/contemporary-issues-in-rare-book-manuscript-collection-a-handbook-for-collectors-and-the-trade or contact Spencer: spencerwstuart@gmail.com


Spencer will be delivering an in-person talk Thursday, February 16th at 6pm hosted by Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum




If unable to attend, another talk for the Manuscript Society is available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0O1adhsjCI

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Closing Time, Advance Readers Copy of Uncorrected Proof with a letter from Heller on his personal stationary
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Gates, Bill, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, N Y: Knopf, 2021; first edition, with a handwritten note from Bill Gates
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, first edition, first printing, first issue dust jacket, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Something Happened, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, first edition, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, London: John Murray, 1818, in four volumes
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000

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