Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2022 Issue

2021: Some Highlights from the Rare Book Hub Monthly Archives

I was going to call this article, Journal of the Plague Years Part II,” but despite operating in pandemic mode since March of 2020 most of us seem to have muddled through somehow and are still trying to figure out how much longer this crazy scenario is going to last.

During 2021 the Rare Book Hub Monthly carried a variety of news and opinion articles relating to the rare book world in particular and auctions, dealers and collectibles (not always books) in general. Here are a selection of links from 2021 that may shed some light on the year just completed. You might want to click on a few if you missed them the first time around.


Notice that increasingly high values in sports card collectibles made frequent appearances throughout the year; also there were a number of stories that either noticed or predicted the future of NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens). Unlikely candidates for roles in the “culture wars” were Dr. Seuss and Curious George, both of whom made appearances in RBH Monthly. These and other digital wrinkles to our venerable trade were duly noted.


As always there was news of thefts, frauds, forgeries and deceptions related to books and paper, old and new, and we also reported on a variety of disasters that struck unexpectedly, including a number of major fires. Sadly we also carried news on the passing of a number of notables in the book world, people who have made exceptional contributions to our area of special interest and will all be missed.


Wishing you and yours a happy, and prosperous 2022, here is a brief recap of some of our more relevant articles from 2021.



Jan 2021 

Crime: Twenty Years Later Cambridge University Concludes that Missing Darwin Notebooks were Stolen https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2925


Forecasts:  Thoughts on the Year Ahead from the Auction World https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2933

Prediction from trade groups, dealers and on-line shows  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2932

Feb 2021

Auctions Had a Good Year in 2020:  Excerpt: “The reality is many dealers have been struggling for many years as the older models for book selling have not worked as well in the current market. Herein lies a potential long term bright spot for the dealers in the midst of this difficult year. One has been the emergence of paper collectibles other than books, such as manuscripts, photographs, prints, comic books, even baseball cards. Even among book buyers, more collectors are collecting a subject, rather than a type, that is, buying books, manuscripts, prints etc. pertaining to a favored subject, rather than buying only books or prints, etc. Many dealers are expanding their inventory to meet this changing demand, rather than limiting themselves to a single shrinking part of the market.” https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2948


Obit: Everett Cleveland Wilkie Jr., noted librarian, scholar, moderator died of Covid-19  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2937 


Auctions: New Record Price for Baseball card - $5.2 million paid for 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card which sold for 5 cents new.  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2941 


March 2021

Obit: Death American Poet Lawrence Felinghetti at age 101. Iconic figure excelled in many areas https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2959


Special Collections: Small Museum in Asheville Meets the Challenges of the Pandemic https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2952


Digital: Virtual Tours Offered for California Book Fair  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2955


Crime: Italian Senator Acquitted in Girolamini Library Massive Book Theft Case https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2953


Auctions: Sports Cards Smashing All Sorts of Records https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2978


April  2021

Obit: Dorothy Sloan, fifth generation Texan and one of the great Texas dealers https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2973


Culture Wars: Some Dr. Seuss Books Will No Longer Be Published  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2979


Culture Wars: Dr. Seuss Publishing Decision Ignites Furor on Many Fronts https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2967 A recent Forbes article ranked the Seuss’ estate second in value only to the King of Pop - Michael Jackson, in the money making abilities of dead creative celebrities. Or as the magazine wrote, “Sam-I-Am now has a lot more green to go with those eggs and ham. The estate of Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) nearly doubled its income in 2020, earning an estimated $33 million in a very Grinch-like year.”


Obit: Edmund “Leigh" William Eveleigh Stein, exceptional bookman dead of Covid at 90 https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2981


Forgery: Grolier Club Receives Rendell Collection on Detecting Forged Handwriting https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2983


May 2021

Auctions: Another Record Price for Collectible Sports Card https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2997


Digital: TikTok for Books https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2991


Digital: Coming Soon - Digital Collectible books? NFTs (Non fungible tokens) make an appearance in world of collectible books  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2998


June 2021

Film: “Booksellers” Debuts https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3011


Crime: Mexican National Archives - Scholars Turned Sleuths FindSource of Auctioned Cortes Letters https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3012


Auctions: Donald Heald Becomes an Auction House https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3008


Auctions: More Mega Prices for Sports Cards - this time it’s hockey https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3007


Dealers & Special Collections: ExLibris Listserv a Useful Forum and Offers Commercial Opportunities Too https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3001


Culture Wars: Curious George Joins Dr. Seuss as Part of Cancel Culture https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3005


July 2021

Dealers: Sotheran's Historic Bookseller Describes the Pandemic from London https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3015


Auctions: Where Are We? Recap of transition to online auctions and trends as observed mid-pandemic.  ...This migration of catalogue - and fair-centric collectors to online auction platforms is not an isolated occurrence." https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3019


Auctions: Yet Another Record Price for Sports Cards - rookie card for Babe Ruth and related news. https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3026


Digital: Dr. Suess is Coming to Blockchain: Seuss collectibles to be offered as NFTs.  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3027


August 2021

Auctions: Christies to Sell William Reese Personal Collection in May 2022  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3041


Censorship: Book Censorship Raising Its Head Again - becomes an issue in Hungary  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3039


September 2021

Dealers: Ken Karmiole ABAA Downsizing https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3054


Dealers: Mark Funke ABAA Expanding https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3058


Digital: Is This the Long Distant Future of Collecting? More on NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) via Forbes https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3047 


Library:  Overdue Library Book Returned…. 300 Years Later https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3046


Auction: Yet Another Record Price: Baseball Card Sells for $6 million https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3052


October 2021

Valuation: What is Going on with Astronomical Prices for Collectibles, it's not just baseball cards  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3077


Scams: Confirmed: The Vinland Map is a Fake https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3071 


Crime: 500 Comics and Other Items Stolen from Florida State uUniversity https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3070


Auctions: New Record Auction Price for Comic Book $3.6 million - “Amazing Fantasy #15 from Marvel, published in 1962. Back then it cost 12 cents. That is a 3 billion percent increase in value.”   https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3062


Collecting: Is it Too Soon to Collect Covid Materials? https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3072


November 2021

Dealers: Extraordinary History of the Everyday -  Langdon Manor creates a niche https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3082


Book Fairs: Old Books and Old Collectors Shout Harrah!!  Return to In-person fair and sales. Firsts live event a success in London   https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3089


Auctions: Do You Believe in Magic? Sotheby’s Ricky Jay sale of magic materials does well https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3090


December  2021

Obit: Richard Lan dies at 74  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3106


Auctions: World Record Price: 1st printing of the U.S. Constitution in private hands sells for over $43 million https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3104


The Trade: Buying and Selling in Complicated Times: https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3107


Crime: Arrest Made in $1.5million Book Fraud Scheme https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3101


Disaster: Fire at Another British Bookstore  https://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/3108


How to find Rare Book Hub Monthly Archives by Year and Month

All articles from prior issues of the Book Hub Monthly can be found in the archives. Links to the archive are posted on the far right of each RBH monthly  page about midway down. The most recent few months are shown in a list. To access earlier issues press the arrow for the drop down menu.


Reach RBH Monthly writer Susan Halas at wailukusue@gmail.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.

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