Rare Book Monthly Articles - February - 2018 Issue

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Auction Prices for Books and Paper Dipped by 1% in 2017

Prices at auction for lots in the books and paper field took a modest dip in 2017. The median price slipped from $270 to $267, or 1.1%. It nearly wiped out last year's almost as modest 1.5% increase. On the other hand, the average price dropped more sharply, from $2,011 to $1,859, but this is not a very meaningful figure. It takes only one or two books at several millions to greatly skew the average price, and 2017 was a year without any blockbuster sales.
 
The number of lots sold at auction increased by 5.8% last year. There were 312,154 lots we tracked sold in 2017, vs. 295,143 in...

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Mount Eden Books to Call it a Day

Jerry Pressler, of several places in Ohio and even more in California, has spent his 91 years being busy.  He’s had many careers, some spanning decades, and recently decided it’s t...

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51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair

Over the weekend of Friday February 9th to Sunday February 11th the ABAA’s California Book Fair returns to Pasadena.  This fair, that alternates with its northern California twin, is sta...

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Marquis de Sade "National Treasure" Removed from French Sale by the State

This would almost certainly have been the most expensive item sold at auction in the books and paper field last year had it been sold. It was not. This was not for want of a willing seller or buyer...

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Fire & Fury - Biggest Nonfiction Bestseller in Modern History

Looking for a sleaze tell-all about a sleaze president? Seek no further. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House is the scandal du jour. The juicy political gossip book by Michael Wolff is not ...

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The Miami International Map Fair

In February, the Miami International Map Fair turns 25! It is the longest running map fair in the world. We invite you to celebrate this anniversary with us.  Immerse yourself in a world of ex...

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Marcus Rainsford, or The Black Empire of a "Sh*thole"

Going through a pile of books the other day, I was suddenly attracted to a smelly one. I reluctantly picked it up, considering its yet gorgeous binding. Then, I opened it up, and was instantly over...

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U.S. Supreme Court Will Again Consider Allowing States to Require Out-of-State Retailers to Collect Their Sales Taxes

The ability of states to require out-of-state retailers, which would include most rare and antiquarian booksellers, to collect their sales taxes will again come before the United States Supreme Cou...

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Auctions in Pasadena while the ABAA is in Town

Over the second weekend of February, while the ABAA, is in the midst of its always popular annual winter weekend in California, both PBA and Bonhams will conduct auctions on Sunday the 11th at the ...

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Swann: Busy in 2018

Swann Auction Galleries, twice a year, sends to its mailing list The Trumpet, it’s announcement of upcoming sales.  The recent issue, Volume 32, Number 2, provides a clear picture of a f...

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Bookshop Featuring Enormous Stephen King Collection Suffers Devastating Loss

In one of the saddest tales related to books and manuscripts we have seen in a long time, a Maine bookseller suffered a devastating loss on January 16. The loss was not only tragic for the great am...

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Feb. 1-7: First of five 2018 sales from map-centric Old World Auctions

This month we have the first of five sales in 2018 being hosted by online-only auction house Old World Auctions. With cartography as the house’s focus, 784 lots of maps, atlases, and other ra...

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San Francisco Antiquarian Book, Print & Paper Fair February 2-3

San Francisco’s every other year book, print and paper fair is about to happen.  The location is the South San Francisco Conference Center just north of the San Francisco International A...

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Feb. 11: Assorted Americana at Carlsen Gallery

Based in Freehold, NY, Carlsen Gallery specializes in 18th and 19th century American furniture and other antiques such as oil paintings, porcelain and rugs. This month, their Mid-Winter Antique Auc...

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National Endowment for the Humanities Holds Institute on The Book: Material Histories and Digital Futures in Salt Lake City This Summer

The National Endowment for the Humanities will be holding a four-week institute for college and university faculty at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City this summer. It will run from Jun...

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Books Valued at Almost $100,000 Stolen from English Bookshop

A theft of books valued at around £70,000 (almost US $100,000) occurred at a family bookshop in England the night of January 8-9. The size is quite impactful for the family-owned business. Th...

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A Dozen New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review 12 new booksellers' catalogues. Mark Funke Bookseller has published his first catalogue. It focuses on Continental Europe, with a particular concentration on German material. E...

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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