Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2021 Issue

Part III - The Year that Was, the year that Will Be - The Dealer Perspective + Marvin Getman

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I have asked leaders of the dealer community, ILAB, ABAA and ABA for their perspectives on the year just past and the year just beginning, and as well have asked Marvin Getman for his views on the Electronic Book Fair phenomena that helping dealers worldwide through Covid-19.  Participants are in alphabetical order:  Roger Treglown & Pom Harrington on behalf of the ABA, Susan Benne of the ABAA, and Sally Burdon of ILAB.  After which Marvin Getman adds his perspective.  They are committed and will be careful. 

 

Roger Treglown & Pom Harrington, ABA President and Vice President

 

The second hand and antiquarian books trade is renowned for its enduring resilience and optimism ever since Herr Gutenberg printed a Bible in Mainz, 1455 ! In my memory the financial crash of some twelve years ago created enormous problems for our trade - with perseverance most of us survived. The current epidemic demands a ' Churchillian ' resourceful and positive approach from us all, hence the increase of the virtual book fair platforms in order to satisfy the insatiable demands of our existing and new clients. Notwithstanding the foregoing we in the ABA are planning our international flag ship fair -  Firsts London taking place in May 2021, at the Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea. Similarly our fairs at Edinburgh, in March and Chelsea in November next year are at the planning stages. However, if propitious conditions are not in our favour we will  continue to offer  bibliophiles and collectors a number of our, very well received, virtual book fairs throughout the year. As ever the ABA has adopted a pro-active forward thinking  approach to 2021.

 

Susan Benne, Executive Director ABAA

 

The ABAA was founded more than 70 years ago. Since then, as citizens, spectators, and advocates, we have long sought to be at the forefront of the trade.

 

What was once an association of book and manuscript sellers has evolved to encompass maps, prints, ephemera, zines, and other facets of material culture. In the last decade, we launched initiatives that broaden the inclusion and participation of women, BIPOC, and non-binary persons in the trade. Further, it is of utmost importance that diverse voices are represented in the formation and holdings of private and institutional collections.

 

As we move beyond a year that has caused physical, emotional, and financial hardship for many, we continue to listen, support, and bring forth programs to connect collectors and sellers. We look forward to a better new year and continue to offer virtual book fairs until we can safely gather for in-person events.

 

 

Sally Burdon, ILAB President

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused heartbreak for many and enormous disruption for even more, the fears that many held for the antiquarian book trade in March and April fortunately did not eventuate. Most antiquarian booksellers whether or not they have open shops have a solid mail order service integrated into their business. This has allowed the majority to manage to ride the storm, or in many cases do very good business, as collectors and readers return to their shelves and seek to fill in gaps or extend their collections. The re-emergence of virtual book fairs, last seen in the early 2000s, has been another bright spot for the book trade. These book fairs are much better supported than they were 20 odd years ago and have helped open the book fair world to those who have not attended a fair, or at least not one of the major fairs, before. The Virtual Book fairs are for book collectors and libraries a great equaliser offering equality of access to everyone with an Internet connection where ever you are on the globe. Many booksellers also used this year to try and catalogue some of the famous backlog that most booksellers have. Every bookseller buys more than they can process and frequently never quite get around to cataloguing some, often, very good stock. This year more of that stock came out and speaking from personal experience sold very well.  Overall the trade has faired, surprisingly given the year, very well in 2020. 

What are we to expect?  What’s going to be the new normal?  

Of course none of us know the answers to these questions - would that we did! The desire to return to physical shops and book fairs is great among both booksellers and their customers. Studies show that the interaction gained from talking in person is more deeper, pleasurable and interesting than the same interaction via video conferencing, very good though this is. Physical fairs will return I have no doubt and may do better than before as book collectors and readers seize opportunities to talk and look at books in person again. It seems likely as well  that the virtual book fairs will continue either as an adjunct or at different times over the year. Into the future booksellers will continue to do what they do so well,  putting out interesting catalogues and helping collectors build their collections.  

 

Marvin Getman, Electronic Book Fair Visionary

 

Virtual Outlook 2021

 

My last live book fair was on March 6-7. It was the satellite fair to the ABAA Armory show. That seems like an eternity ago. The last eight months has been a whirlwind of activity. How I came about developing a virtual platform has been widely reported so no need to repeat it here. Now to look forward to 2021. Here’s what I see:

Thankfully, vaccines are on the way and by this time next year, maybe sooner, I predict that some live fairs will return. I see that the Boston ABAA is being advertised for November and the New York ABAA Fair is being advertised for September. I do not plan, at this time, to bring back my live fairs. I know that might be a disappointment to some who enjoy attending my satellite fairs during the ABAA fairs but the fact is that those fairs take a lot out of this old guy for their financial return.  I will devote my time and attention to continuing to improve my virtual platform and to develop themes that will bring booksellers and their customers together. I get emails from institutions, librarians, collectors and dealers thanking me for developing a platform that is so easy to use and easy to navigate. I take pride that, during this unprecedented year, $2 million of commerce passed through my virtual fairs. There is no question in my mind that virtual fairs are here to stay. It gives me pleasure that other fair producers, Rare Books LA, and recently The SLAM French Book Fair were able to keep their fairs alive by using my platform. We hosted a special fundraiser for CABS which was highly successful. In January, the Rocky Mountain Booksellers Association will hold their annual fair on my platform. Expect to see more social interaction on the virtual fairs. I don’t expect to be able to duplicate the happy hour that so many people seem to miss from the live fairs.  I welcome ideas from booksellers as to what would make the platform more useful. I am investigating a way for money to pass between the buyer and seller quickly. I realize that is something people would like to see.


Posted On: 2021-01-03 08:39
User Name: 19531953

Bravo to Susan and Marvin. Well put and Well done!

Eric C. Caren


Posted On: 2021-01-13 19:23
User Name: mbook

That was more about bookfairs, they are in their own little world. Just the odd book dealer fact. They are not real down to earth actual book dealers.


Posted On: 2021-01-13 19:23
User Name: mbook

That was more about bookfairs, they are in their own little world. Just the odd book dealer fact. They are not real down to earth actual book dealers.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Verlag, Luzern, Publishers: <i>The Book of Kells,</i> the most precious illuminated manuscript of the early Middle Ages, now reproduced, the FIRST AND ONLY COMPLETE FINE ART FACSIMILE EDITION. €5,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone,</i> 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1997, First Deluxe Edn., Signed by the Author on title page. €4,000 to €5,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Gilbert (John T.) Account of Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland, from the earliest extant specimens to A.D. 719. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> <i>The Georgian Society Records of Eighteenth-Century Domestic Architecture in Dublin [-Ireland],</i> 5 vols. lg. 4to D. 1909 - 1913. Limited Editions. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Yeats (W.B.) <i>The Poems of W.B. Yeats,</i> 2 vols., roy 8vo, L. (MacMillan & Co.) 1949, Limited Edn., No. 185 (of 375 copies). Signed. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Crone (John S.)ed. <i>The Irish Book Lover, A Monthly Review of Irish Literature and Bibliography.</i> Vol. I No 1 August 1909 - Vol. XXXII No. 6, September 1957. €1,250 to €2,000.
    <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Yeats (John Butler) <i>An original self-portrait Sketch,</i> Signed and dated April 1919, N[ew] York. €1,200 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Photograph Album. Entitled ''A Souvenir of the Visit to Jeypore Samasthanam of His Excellency the Right Hon'ble Viscount Goschen of Hawkhurst… 14th December 1927''. €1,000 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Pistolesi (Erasmo) <i>Il Vaticano,</i> 8vols. large atlas, folio Rome (Tipografia della Societa..) 1829. €500 to €600.
    <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Chagall (Marc)illus., Legmarie (Jean) comp., <i>The Jerusalem Windows,</i> folio N.Y. (George Braziller) 1962. €400 to €500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Bullitt (Thos. W.) <i>My Life at Oxmoor,</i> Life on a Farm in Kentucky before the War. Roy 8vo Louisville, Kentucky, 1911. Privately Printed No. 86 of 100 Copies Only. €300 to €400.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Popish Plot: Oates (Titus) <i>The Popes Whore House or The Merchandise of The Whore of Rome,</i> folio L. 1679. First Edn. €100 to €150.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother (horizontal),</i> silver print, 1936. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Group of 32 WWII-era identification badges for manufacturing & military-related companies, 1940-50s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Julia Margaret Cameron, <i>Alfred, Lord Tennyson,</i> albumen print, 1869. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Arnold Genthe, <i>Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt,</i> silver print, circa 1908. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Edward Curtis, <I>Oasis in the Badlands,</I> toned platinum print, 1905. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Francis Frith, three volumes, approximately 140 photographs, 1860-70s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Eugène Atget, <i>20 Photographs,</i> gold-toned silver prints by Berenice Abbott, 1898-1927. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Neil Leifer, <i>Muhammad Ali,</i> chromogenic print, 1965. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b><br>A group of approximately 50 Photomatic selfies of the same man taken over a period of time, 1940s. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STEINBECK, John (1902-1968). <i>The Pastures of Heaven.</i> New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1932. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> FITZGERALD, F. Scott (1896-1940). <i>Tender is the Night.</i> New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STOKER, Bram (1847-1912). <i>Dracula.</i> Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company, 1897. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> GOLDING, William (1911-1993). <i>Lord of the Flies.</i> London: Faber and Faber, 1954. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> SALINGER, J. D. (1919-2010). The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HEMINGWAY, Ernest (1899-1961). <i>The Torrents of Spring.</i> New York: Scribner's, 1926. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HUXLEY, Aldous (1894-1963). <i>Brave New World.</i> London: Chatto & Windus, 1932. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> WELLS, H.G. <i>The Time Machine, an Invention.</i> New York: Henry Holt, 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> DAHL, Roald (1916-1990). <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.</i> New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HERBERT, Frank (1920-1986). Dune. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> KESEY, Ken (1935-2001). <i>One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.</i> New York: The Viking Press, 1962. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> VONNEGUT, Kurt, Jr. (1922-2007). <i>Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade.</i> New York: Seymour Lawrence Delacorte Press, 1969. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>
    <center><b>California Virtual Book Fair<br>March 4-6, 2021<br>www.abaa.org/vbf</b>

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