Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2008 Issue

Rare Book Review Awards for 2007 Announced

The Rare Book Review announces its awards for 2007.


By Michael Stillman

Rare Book Review, the magazine of the rare and antiquarian book trade, recently announced the winners of their inaugural Rare Book Review Awards. Winners were selected by a panel of experts, industry leaders, visitors at the ABA Chelsea Book Fair, and readers of the magazine. If you see a slight tilt toward British entrants, that's because the Review is headquartered in London, and the Chelsea book fair was, after all, held in Chelsea (but not Chelsea, Massachusetts). Indeed, when categories are described as "favourites," you can be confident that there is something of a British bent here, so Americans who did not win should not feel slighted. Nevertheless, you will see many names from the former colonies here too, and they surely are "favorites" as well. So let's take a look at who won the first Rare Book Review Awards.

Favourite Online Booktrading Service of the Year.

You know this one is going to stir controversy. There probably isn't anyone who could win peaceably in this field, so contentious has the subject become among booksellers. As the award givers noted, the winner had to survive a strike by the ABA against increased fees. Nevertheless, when the votes were tallied, the award went to AbeBooks. As the Rare Book Review editors noted, "...for sheer accessibility, accuracy and breadth of content our readers cannot fault it." AbeBooks CEO Hannes Blum commented, "This is a tremendous honor. Thanks to all the readers who voted for us." Special mention was also given to Biblion, Antiqbook, and the Americana Exchange.

The Book World's Highlight of the Year.

This honor went to the Macclesfield Sale at Sotheby's. Actually, this sale from the library of the Earls of Macclesfield has been going on for several years. An item from this sale, a previously unknown illuminated 14th century manuscript psalter, topped The AE 500 as the most expensive book/document at auction in 2004 when it sold for over $4 million. Part 9 of the sale at Sotheby's London in March 2007 took in almost $8 million more, running the total to some $40 million. Runner up was the strange sale of the Bishop of Truro's library, grabbed up in a private sale by a dealer for less money than he sold some of the individual pieces in it. Also highly noted was the Frank Streeter sale at Christie's New York, which took in over $16 million, the Hattesley sale at Bonham's Oxford, the private sale of Dennistoun's Collection of Financial Work by Bernard Shapero, and the ADAA sale. Also noted was the opening of Bloomsbury Auctions' office in New York, and the closing of the venerable Heritage Book Shop in Los Angeles.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JAMES MADISON THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JAMES MONROE PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE SOUP BOWL. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A FRANKLIN PIERCE BRUSHED SILK TOP HAT. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: LINCOLN ENDORSEMENT: "I AM ALWAYS FOR THE MAN WHO WISHES TO WORK." $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A RUTHERFORD B. HAYES CIVIL WAR-ERA TRAVEL DESK. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT'S FINAL PRESIDENTIAL AUTOMOBILE FLAG. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: GARFIELD LS AS PRESIDENT ALLUDING TO THE "STAR-ROUTE" SCANDAL: "REGRETTING THE EMBARRASSMENTS WHICH THE EVENT HAS CAUSED US BOTH." $25,000 - $35,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: AN 18K GOLD AND ENAMEL WILLIAM MCKINLEY INAGURATION POCKETWATCH. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL MOTORCADE FLAG. $80,000 - $120,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S LAST DAY: OFFICIAL SCHEDULE ANNOTATED BY SPECIAL ASSISTANT DAVE POWERS WITH A MINUTE-BY-MINUTE DETAIL OF THE DAY'S ACTIONS. $40,000 - $60,000
  • 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
    Sotheby’s
    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
  • Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: KUPKA, Frantisek (1871-1957) - Quatre histoires de blanc et noir. Paris: Marcel Baque, 1926. €5.000-€8.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: VASI, Giuseppe Agostino (1710-1782) - Raccolta delle più belle vedute antiche, e moderne di Roma disegnate ed incise secondo lo stato presente. Rome: A. Vasi, 1786. €4.000-€6.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: SALAMANCA, Antonio (1478-1562) - [First map depicting the bay of Naples]. [Rome: 1538]. €3.000-€5.000

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