Rare Book Monthly Articles - May - 2023 Issue

An Old Man with his Old Books

My interest in old books is now well into my seventh decade. To a kid in the 1950’s old books were accessible mysteries.  I already had Howes’ USiana and was bumping into its limitations, just 10,500 titles and its narrow focus:  Americana in book form.  Pamphlets, broadsides and ephemera were around but very little of it made its way into Howes. Between them there were 96 references.  In book barns and on random shelves you could see fiction was the bigger category.  Americana was more like a cottage industry.  I learned early I knew more than most sellers and soon began to conceal the How...

Thief Who Stole Over a Thousand Pre-publication Manuscripts Receives No Jail Time

The case of one of the most bizarre book thefts ever imagined has come to a conclusion. The culprit, one Filippo Bernardini, Italian citizen, British resident, arrested in New York, will face no ja...

AbeBooks Top 15 Highest Prices from January-March

AbeBooks has released their list of the top 15 prices paid on the largest old and rare books selling site in the world during the first quarter of 2023. The publishing dates range from 1529-2020, w...

The Crabs Of Sagami Bay and Other Stories of Life in the World of Books

Would you believe I’ll be eighty this month? Born May 1943 I’ll be the big 80 by the time you read this. Since I was part of the generation that subscribed to live fast, die young, I never dreamed ...

Libbie Auctions, long missing, are reappearing!

The Libbie Auction Sales, long missing, are earning their rightful place among the important American auction houses.  They lived and worked in the shadows of Bangs, Anderson and American auctions ...

ALA Reports on Library Censorship, and It Looks Like the Censors May Be Winning

Attempts to censor books in libraries rose dramatically in 2022, the American Library Association reported recently. The ALA documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, ...

Texas Library Ordered to Return Censored Books to Shelves

Opponents of library censorship won a victory in court in Texas, albeit a small one that might prove illusory. These are challenging times for those seriously concerned with the right of free speec...

A Philosophical Tour Through the Jardin des Plantes

I went to the Jardin des Plantes, in Paris, France, with a small book written by Louis-François Jauffret and entitled Voyage au Jardin des Plantes/Travel To The Jardin des Plantes (Paris, An VI). L...

Court Rules for Copyright Protection Over Open Access in Library Dispute

In a major legal ruling pitting copyright protections against open access to books, the copyright interests have prevailed. The interests of copyright protection was represented by a group of four ...

Major Book Binding Collection to be Sold by Bruce Marshall Rare Books

A bibliographical catalogue of what must be one of the finest and most thorough private collections of material on bookbinding has been published by Clare A. Marshall of Bruce Marshall Rare Books o...

Collectors collect and collecting polymaths collect widely and deeply

Graham Arader lives history and experiences deep pleasure in unearthing connections.  In the rare book and image field he has achieved rare eminence.  His personal tastes go far beyond paper, ink a...

The Codex Sassoon: Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow

On May 17th the Codex Sassoon will be sold at Sotheby’s New York. Early and important manuscripts often achieve record outcomes.  This one provides the basis of Biblical translations used by Jews a...

A Library With No Books?

Vermont State University made a stunning announcement in February, they would remove all books from their library for the coming year. Vermont State University will be a combination of three colleg...

ON AUCTIONS - Contemporary Issues and Opportunities in Rare Book & Manuscript Collecting

ON AUCTIONS - Contemporary Issues and Opportunities in Rare Book Manuscript Collecting Monday, May 1, 2023 – 8:00 PM Eastern Live free, Webinar   https://manuscript.org/event/manuscript-monday...

Winnie the Pooh and Xi Jinping Too

Winnie the Pooh banned in China? That's what the headline said. Maybe we shouldn't be surprised. We have had lots of stories of children's books being “banned” here in America recently. Dr. Seuss w...

Five New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review five new bookseller catalogues. Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books has teamed up with Antiquariat Elvira Tasbach to create a catalogue of silhouettes and paper cuts. Zephyr Used...

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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
  • Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 80: Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha), Madrid: Por Juan de la Cuesta, 1608. $80,000 to $120,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 239: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, First London Paperback Edition, London, 1997. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 221: Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, New York, 1985. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 281: Napoleon Bonaparte, Sloane, William Milligan, Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, New York, 1896. $25,000 to $35,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 147: Christoph Jacob Trew, Plantae Selectae quarum Imagines ad Exemplaria Naturalia, Nuremberg, 1750-73. $30,000 to $50,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 125: Guido de Monte Rochen, Manipulus Curatorum, London, 1509. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 197: William Faulkner, Turn About, Ottawa, 1939. $8,000 to $10,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 159: Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, London, 1844. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 119: Niccolo Machiavelli, The Works, London, 1675. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 45: Book of Hours in Latin, Use of Rome, illuminated with miniatures, Lyon, circa 1475-1500. $40,000 to $60,000.

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