SLAM articles

  • Past Presidents of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association - Alan Gradon Thomas (1911-1992) 


    Past Presidents of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association - Alan Gradon Thomas (1911-1992)
    Published 11 Oct 2013

    This week – revisiting the past again with another in the occasional series on past presidents of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. Alan Gradon Thomas was born in Hampstead, North London, on the 19th October 1911 – the son of Albert Edward Thomas, a local newsagent and stationer, and his wife Evelyn Gradon, originally from Durham, who had married the previous year.

  • Rare Booksellers in the Press - A Tribute to Madhava Rao, One of those Antiquarian Booksellers Who Preferred no Publicity 


    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.

  • Living With - And From - Books, Part 2 


    Living With - And From - Books, Part 2
    Published 12 Apr 2011

    This catalogue, consisting of 34 pages, printed on plain paper in June 1921, for us is just like a “Number One Dime”, a Disney’s good luck charm at the beginning of a long series of publications. The index of subjects is already quite significant: next to fine arts, philosophy, Italian literature and religions, we find, as a matter of fact, unusual entries, such as “anecdotes”, “curiosities”, “erotica” and “freemasonry”. Going through the pages of this family, but also historical, treasure, 90 years after its publication, is really touching. The delicate pages yellowed with dignity, its simple cover in light green wrappers, a little worn out and with a few brown spots, the border surrounding the title - that would have remained as the graphical design for some years to come - make this “elderly and distinguished gentleman” closer to the dust-jacket first editions of the beginning of the century, which are now for sale on the shelves of the bookshop, than to the modern and colourful recently published “colleagues”.

  • Living With - And From - Books, Part 1 


    Living With - And From - Books, Part 1
    Published 12 Apr 2011

    We are rare book dealers and from the items we bought and sold over these decades,  we had the opportunity to learn something about history, literature, art, life and the  world (past and present). We realised that editing a text in English which should  be read almost as an “historical tale” is a very hard job, something totally different from  the usual bibliographic descriptions with our familiar technical terms. In any case, this  pamphlet will be a much more comfortable way for you to share our history with us:  let’s say that this text was guided by the same “Italian passion” that we have been putting  in our works for a century...

  • In Memoriam Menno Hertzberger (1897 - 1982) 


    In Memoriam Menno Hertzberger (1897 - 1982)
    Published 05 Apr 2011

    For Menno Hertzberger the addition 'Internationaal' to his firm's name was not just an embellishment: From the very beginning onwards his business was internationally orientated, and it aimed for a wide public of bookcollectors, librarians and fellow-dealers. As early as 1921 Menno held his first auction-sale and he soon became known as an important auctioneer as well. The growth of the firm necessitated a move to larger premises and in 1935 the firm's new address became Keizersgracht 610 in Amsterdam, a large and elegant house along one of the famous canals. Menno Hertzberger, the Father of the League, died in 1986. Bob de Graaf's obituary characterizes him as a truly international antiquarian bookseller and a man with a vision: to unite dealers worldwide under one roof, the ILAB.

  • Antiquarian Books Do Have a Future! - An Interview with Alain Marchiset 


    Antiquarian Books Do Have a Future! - An Interview with Alain Marchiset
    Published 22 Oct 2010

    Our trade has known in recent years very deep changes. We are hearing more and more often of the e-book, and it is not difficult to understand that in a few years the paper book will no longer be the cultural reference. I had also anticipated that fact in 2002 in another article “What future for rare books”, in which I explained that rare and antiquarian books would probably be safe from the breakdown of the new book market, because rare books will remain collectibles. As I said then, “as the gap widens between books for consumer purposes and rare books, there will be greater  distinction between them, and that such books will acquire greater value for collection purposes ”. There will therefore always be demanding amateurs for fine leather bindings, beautifully illustrated books on fine paper, original manuscripts, etc… Can one really compare these beautiful artefacts to an e-book? Antiquarian books do have a future!

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