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

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions