Rare Book Monthly Articles - March - 2024 Issue

Sotheby’s is still the straw that stirs the drink

Sotheby’s has announced they are capping their buyer’s maximum commission to 20%, down from 26 + 1%.   It has been apparent for some time that while auction outcomes for paintings and other high value collectibles were rising, Sotheby’s original business based on rare books, while best in class worldwide in 2023 among the 300 auction houses we cover, was also relatively quiet by their recent standards.  Sotheby’s February announcement to lower their commission rates effective May 20th was probably principally based on improving their performance with paintings, their largest category.  Wh...

ABAA’s San Francisco book fair draws 121 exhibitors and over 3,300 attendance

  “We had the largest opening night of any California ABAA fair in recent years,” said Alexander Akin of Bolerium Books, who chaired the Northern California book fair committee of the recent 56th ...

March Is Women’s History Month: Honoring Women and Books

Women have always made a deep contribution to books; they have enriched our lives as writers and teachers, sellers and buyers, designers and printers, librarians and collectors. But it was not unti...

Boxes War Is Over!

The bouquinistes of Paris have won! Their boxes won’t be removed during the Olympic Games. We talked to Jérôme Callais, the president of the association of the Parisian Booksellers (or bouquinistes...

AbeBooks' Top 10 Most Expensive Items in 2023

AbeBooks has released the list of its Top 10 most expensive sales for 2023. As the largest book selling site in the world, “Abe” sells millions of books. Lots of people shop for lower priced copies...

PBA Galleries, Bay Area Auction House Continues to Evolve and Diversify

In October 1978, Bruce MacMakin answered an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Wanted – Cataloger, Antiquarian Books.” He was hired for what he thought was a short term job at a local auction firm...

IOBA to sponsor Virtual Book, Map, and Ephemera Fair

As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, the board of directors of the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) recently decided to sponsor a virtual fair featuring rare and collectibl...

Toronto Book Auctions: Announcing a (mostly book), auction scheduled for March 6th, 2024 at 2pm ET

Toronto Book Auctions, affiliated with one of the oldest independent bookstores in Canada, Acadia Art Rare Books Est. 1931, a long-standing member of the Antiquarian Bookseller Association of Cana...

Used Book Market to Grow by 58% Over the Next Decade (Maybe)

Prognosticator Fact.MR predicts substantial growth in the used book market over the next decade. According to Fact.MR, the current size of the market is $14.65 billion. By 2034, they expect the siz...

James Visbeck, a Partner at Isaiah Thomas Books and Prints, has Passed Away

James Visbeck, of Cotuit, died at home on January 26, 2024 at 79. Jim is survived by his husband, Harold Holt, brother David Visbeck and his wife Fran, and cousins, Christine Davidson, Gail Mello a...

San Francisco Initiates Unusual Method of Dealing with Certain Book Thefts

Many libraries have eliminated late fees over the past few years. Now, the San Francisco Public Library has taken another step. They may not even require you to return some books. That will be the ...

Artifacts Recovered from Historic Ships Erebus and Terror

This is technically not a story about a book but one about the subject of dozens, perhaps hundreds of books and articles. It was the cause of more searches and expeditions from the era of voyages a...

Eight New Catalogues Reviewed for March

This month we review eight new dealer catalogues. David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has issued their 200th printed catalogue. He started publishing them back in 1989. Mark Funke, Bookseller fe...

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: 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

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