Dealers of South Americana: An Interview with Alfredo & Gustavo Breitfeld
Which are most effective for them at this point, I ask, paper catalogues and/or internet catalogues/postings? Gustavo digs in. “The internet catalogues are much more efficient and economical. We only prepare one printed catalogue per year, for this book fair. We sell mostly on the internet. But as we mentioned before, personal contact with our clients is important and cannot be underrated. For ‘important’ books, the internet is not enough. The client needs to see the book in their hand. So we go to them, or sell books on approval. After this fair, we’ll be going to many of our institutional clients to show them books. Bookselling is hard work.”
Which type of material that you deal in is most popular, I ask. Alfredo answers. “Probably early South American, 17th century and before. This is very attractive to our clients.” And where do you get your material, I ask. “From auction houses, private collectors, often other dealers. The internet not so much so,” says Gustavo.
At long last I ask my final question: What were your expectations for this fair, and were your expectations met? For the first time the Breitfelds demur from answering a question. But being the good salesmen that they are, I didn’t realistically expect them to touch that one with a ten foot pole.
Somewhat dejectedly, as if I’ve just attended a fabulous party that I finally have to leave, I tear myself away from the interview, which seemed much more like play than work. Talking with them was truly a pleasure, as was reading their written word. I urge everyone to indulge in their catalogues, which are truly an indulgence. And a rewarding one at that.
You can reach Alfredo and/or Gustavo Breitfeld at the Librería De Antaño at Sanchez de Bustamante 1876, (1425) Buenos Aires, Argentina. Their Phone number is (5411) 48227178; their fax number is (5411) 48212532. You can email them at email@example.com. A large portion of their stock may be browsed or searched at: www.abebooks.com/home/BREITBOOKS