Rare Book Monthly Articles - January - 2016 Issue

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And Now... The Top 500 Prices Paid at Auction in 2015 for Books and Works on Paper

The close of another year gives us a chance to look back at the Rare Book Hub Top 500 prices paid at auction in the books, manuscripts and ephemera field for 2015. These annual lists help us understand what is popular today, particularly among the highest end of collectors, and to take the pulse of the market. Here are a few things we found.
 
For the first time since 2012, the top item fell just short of reaching eight figures. However, the most expensive piece is not indicative of much other than how badly someone wanted the most desired item offered. More indicative of the market ...

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A Year Like No Other

A year ago, in December, I had elective open-heart surgery.  Congenital issues were in play and my doctors felt they could intervene to alter the pattern of early death by heart disease that i...

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Valuable Map Stolen from Boston Library Returned. One Down, 34 To Go

This has been a difficult year for the Boston Public Library. There was the lost, feared stolen $600,000 print that turned out to be misplaced, the resignation of the library's president as a resul...

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2015: A Strong Year for RBH / AE

Two thousand and fifteen is now in the record books and most of the results in the fields of books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera have been recorded.  It was a busy year.
 
The RBH dat...

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The Golden Calf – the First Pierre Bergé Sale

The first sale of Pierre Bergé’s collection was a success as it generated 11.7 millions euros. But are the exorbitant prices of these books a good omen for the future of old books?
&n...

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Selling books online - CARPE DIEM: Some tips for a better bottom line in 2016

Carpe Diem - "Seize the Day" was my mother's favorite piece of bookselling advice. A bookseller for 50 years she hung this motto over her desk and she found opportunity in many places. Here are som...

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AbeBooks Most Expensive Books of 2015 Includes Their Most Expensive Book Ever

We've all entered our credit card number into an online order form and then, with some trepidation, clicked "submit." How many of us have done so when the amount was $191,000? Someone placed such a...

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Book Fairs: an essential ingredient

The calendar of book, manuscript, map and ephemera fairs for 2016 is fast filling.  Bookstores may be closing and the bulk of sales shifting online but face-to-face contact remains an essentia...

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Feb. 5-7: Miami International Map Fair gives map collectors a great reason to escape the cold

Are you a serious collector of maps? Do you perhaps live somewhere cold and want to escape the weather? Look no further than Miami, because this February 5th through 7th, the HistoryMiami Museum is...

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Coming to Auction at Auctionata: A Near Complete Run of La Gazette du Bon Ton

This February, Auctionata, the Berlin-based auction house, is giving collectors of fashion something to be excited about. They’re hosting a sale of Rare Books & Ephemera, and its headline...

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A Very Special Edition of a Very Special Book Offered

A very special edition of the best selling novel of 2015 is now available. An edition limited to 500 copies of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman has been published by HarperCollins, with a price tag o...

Fellowships at the New-York Historical Society, Deadline Extended

Fellowships at the New-York Historical Society, Deadline Extended
 
The New York Historical Society has extended the deadline to apply for fellowships for 2016-2017 that are designed “...

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Last Defendant in Killing of Comic Book Collector Pleads Guilty

Book theft is a crime most foul, but it is generally a genteel crime. Knowing how to quietly dispose of valuable books takes a degree of sophistication not possessed by the typical violent street t...

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Apple is Going to the Supreme Court to Argue They Did Not Fix E-Book Prices

In a strange continuation of the long-running Department of Justice antitrust claim against Apple and five book publishers for e-book price fixing, Apple has filed an appeal all the way to the Supr...

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Ten New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review 10 new catalogues, and this time, most of them cover a variety of subjects, rather than being targeted to a specific area of collecting. The Brick Row Book Shop offers a miscel...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Adam Smith, <i>Wealth of Nations,</i> first edition, descended from William Alexander, London, 1776. $70,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> George Gershwin, photograph signed & inscribed with autograph musical quotation, <i>An American in Paris,</i> 1928. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Friedrich Engels, <i>The Condition of the Working Class in England,</i> first edition, NY, 1887. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> <i>Bury St. Edmunds Witch Trials,</i> first edition, London, 1682. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Robert Rey, <i>Estampes,</i> complete portfolio of 12 wood engravings, Paris, 1950. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Archive of 47 letters by Enrico Caruso to a lady friend, 1906-20. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Books of Hours in Flemish, Netherlands, 15th century. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Jack Kerouac, <i>Doctor Sax,</i> deluxe limited edition, signed, NY, 1959. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Walt Disney, signature on title-page of Ward Greene’s <i>Lady and the Tramp,</i> first edition, first printing. $3,000 to $4,000.

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