Rare Book Monthly Articles - February - 2016 Issue

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Book Prices at Auction Slipped 7% Last Year

This is not likely to be a major surprise to those in the book trade, but results compiled from book and paper auctions showed a 7% decline in prices in 2015 from the previous year. After several years of increases, nervousness about the economy, perhaps even more in Europe than America, has taken its toll. Threats to the viability of the European union, financial meltdown in Greece, Russian meddling in eastern Europe, threats of terrorism emanating from a complex web of brutal rivalries in the Middle East, and a shattering of the economic miracle of China, have combined to create an uncert...

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Markets and Information

The Rare Book Hub is an information project about books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera, and the goal is a complete record of auction lots offered and prices realized over the past 150 years. ...

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Are Books a Good Investment? This Investment Advisor Thinks They Are

A few weeks back, an investment firm in London caused some stir when they published a list of book prices and their increase in values over the past two decades. The gains were quite impressive. Pe...

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IOBA - Promotes Professionalism and Customer Satisfaction in Online Bookselling

Ah yes, “professional standards,” in the world of online book selling, particularly of antiquarian books and paper, that term has many meanings. The bar can be set high - as with member...

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Where’s Waldo or perhaps Who is Waldo?

In December I received a quote from an RBH/AE member, George Krzyminski whose business, Certain Books, lives online at www.certainbooks.com.  I write about this both because the material offer...

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What Now for the Vast Valmadonna Trust Library?

In what could be described as saving the best for last, the most expensive book sold at auction in 2015 was hammered down on December 22 at Sotheby's in New York, the last major sale of the year. T...

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49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair February 12-14

Over the weekend of February 12-14 more than 200 ABAA and ILAB dealers will converge on Pasadena for the 49th ABAA California Book Fair.  In even numbered years the fair takes place in Souther...

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San Francisco Book and Ephemera Fair in the Bay Area over Super Bowl Weekend

While the ABAA hosts its California Book Fair in Pasadena in southern California a week later, in northern California in San Mateo at the County Event Center - Fiesta Hall for the first time, Nancy...

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The Pirie Sale at Sotheby's Garners Almost $15 Million in Sales

One of the most important book auctions of 2015 took place at Sotheby's in New York in the final month of the year. As can happen when the very best of collections are offered for sale, the figures...

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The Bergé Bible – The Creation of a Monumental Catalogue

Exceptional sales require exceptional catalogues. On your coffee table, weighing 6 pounds, being several hundred full colour pages thick and more than 10 inches tall, here is the catalogue of the f...

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Feb. 4: Swann Galleries brings the Federalist Papers and more to sale

February 4th is a date Americana collectors want to have circled on their calendars. Featuring a particularly strong array of revolutionary era and religious material, Swann Auction Galleries&rsquo...

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Valentine's Day: Collectors to take their wives and husbands to Pasadena?

Serious book collectors may be in a bit of a conundrum this February. From what I’ve heard from my Dad Bruce, it’s pretty rare for there to be a book collecting couple. Usually, one per...

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The New York Public Library Wins Round One in Battle to Recover Stolen Books

The New York Public Library recently survived a round in its attempt to recover several books almost certainly stolen from it decades ago. The current possessor's attempt to have the library's clai...

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Boxborough Paper Fair Postponed to March

For those of you who thought you missed the annual Boxborough Paper Fair, the good news is, you didn't. The massive snowstorm that shut down the Atlantic coast last month forced the cancellation of...

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Six New Book Catalogues Featured in Review Section

Six new catalogues are reviewed in Section Two of Rare Book Monthly for February. From the Lawbook Exchange we have American law from 1735-1987. David Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has American pam...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.
  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.

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