Published 03 May 2013
Discovering a fore-edge painting is always a pleasant surprise. When I first started my bookselling apprenticeship, it was one of the first things I was told to look out for (along with interesting bookplates, and ephemera tucked into the books). If you have not come across fore-edge paintings, let me first explain what they are.
Published 29 Apr 2013
When Charles Dickens’ sixth son was born on January 16, 1849, the boy was named for one of Dickens’ favorite authors. Supposedly Dickens had first thought to name the boy after Oliver Goldsmith, but he feared the child would be ridiculed as “Oliver always asking for more.” Instead he named his son Henry Fielding Dickens, after legendary 18th-century author Henry Fielding. Though Dickens was born too late to meet Fielding, his predecessor had a profound impact on Dickens’ work.
Rare Booksellers in the Press - A Tribute to Madhava Rao, One of those Antiquarian Booksellers Who Preferred no Publicity
Published 12 Apr 2013
Bangalore’s most famous antiquarian bookseller, Madhava Rao, died on March 3, 2013, at the age of 78. Throughout his life, he preferred to have NO publicity, although he ran one of the most beautiful – and typical – rare book stores worldwide. Now Pradeep Sebastian has portrayed this amazing bookseller, his shop, and his legacy in The Hindu.
Published 05 Apr 2013
The New York Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Park Avenue Armory for its 53rd Anniversary. Presented by the prestigious Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the 53rd Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair is without a doubt, the foremost book fair of its kind.
Published 02 Apr 2013
2nd April 1805 was the birthday of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, whose fairy tales have delighted children and adults for generations. He wrote more than 150 stories, many of which have become part of the collective consciousness of western culture. Among his best-known stories are The Princess and the Pea (1835), Thumbelina (1835), The Little Mermaid (1836), The Emperor's New Clothes (1837), The Ugly Duckling (1844), The Little Match Girl (1848), and The Ice-Maiden (1861).
Published 20 Mar 2013
Today, the German Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association or “Verband Deutscher Antiquare” (VDA) is one of the largest national organizations which belong to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. The VDA was founded in 1949. Its first president was Helmuth Domizlaff, an antiquarian bookseller in Munich and a close friend of Percy H. Muir (UK), August Laube (Switzerland) and Christian Nebehay (Austria). One of the reasons of the founding of the German Association was that the antiquarian booksellers in Germany wanted to be a part of ILAB – at that time, shortly after World War II, a delicate matter.
Published 19 Mar 2013
Nowhere in Europe you will find so many bibliophiles than in Belgium, and you will find no other place in Europe where all those stunning collections of rare books and manuscripts have more or less been kept in secret. Until now! Piet J. Buijnster’s recently published book “Geschiedenis van antiquariaat en bibliofilie in België“ provides an overall view of the rare book trade in Belgium from the year 1830 up to 2012. After Buijnster’s studies on the history of bibliophily and antiquarian bookselling in the Netherlands, published in the years 2007 and 2010, this important work fills a gap in the research of the history of the book and the book trade in Europe.
Published 27 Mar 2013
This (or a variant of it) is probably the most often asked question I hear. What I'm talking about is, of course, whether it is better to buy a book (or get it autographed by the author) with just a signature alone or whether it is better to have it with a personalized inscription.
Published 25 Mar 2013
Sometimes, as a bookseller, you come across something which you really can’t quite believe exists, and something that you will probably never see again. This collecting tip by Simon Beattie is better than any steak and kidney pie.
Published 14 Mar 2013
In 1977, the 24th ILAB Congress and 7th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair took place in Düsseldorf, Germany. On this occasion, Karl H. Pressler, former editor of the German booksellers’ magazine “Aus dem Antiquariat”, published a special issue with articles about the League and its history written by representatives of the international rare book trade such as Menno Hertzberger, Helmuth Domizlaff, Percy H. Muir, Georges A. Deny, Dr. Lotte Roth-Wölfle, Stanley Crowe, and Barbara Kaye Muir.
The wife of Percy H. Muir, a celebrated author, accompanied her husband to many congresses and meetings from the beginnings in 1947 up to the 1960s. Some of her memoirs were published in her books “Second Impression” and “The Company We Kept”, published by Oak Knoll Press and Werner Shaw Ltd. In 1947 Barbara Kaye Muir joined her husband Percy on his trip to the Preliminary Conference in Amsterdam where the Presidents of the ten founding associations of the League came together on invitation of Menno Hertzberger. She witnessed the official discussions and talks behind the scenes along with the life and economic situation in Post War Amsterdam - and she received a lesson in drinking Dutch Genever.