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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade
Published since 10 May 2013
Over the course of what is now a legendary international career, Mason shows unerring instincts for the logic of the trade. He makes good money from Canadian editions, both legitimate and pirated (turns out Canadian piracies so incensed Mark Twain that he moved to Montreal for six months to gain copyright protection). He outfoxes the cousins of L.M. Montgomery at auction and blackmails the head of the Royal Ontario Museum. He excoriates the bureaucratic pettiness that obstructs public acquisitions, he trumpets the ingenuity of collectors and scouts, and in archives around the world he appraises history in its unsifted and most moving forms. And above all: David Mason boldly campaigns for what he feels is the moral duty of the antiquarian trade: to preserve the history and traditions of all nations, and to assert without compromise that such histories have value.
Published since 26 Apr 2013
Barbara Burdon, the founder of Asia Bookroom and beloved mother of Burdon Family Booksellers' members Sally, Jonathan and Elisabeth, and mother-in-law of Kay Craddock, died on March 20th after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. Paul Feain, who had known her for a very long time, wrote a touching obituary.
Published since 16 Apr 2013
"Peter J. Kroger, of Ruislip, was not an ABA member for very long: the minutes of the General Committee say no more than ‘(October 1960) (Removed from membership April 1961)’. He and his wife Helen ran a modest catalogue business from their bungalow, 45 Cranley Drive, between 1954 and 7 January 1961, when a visit from Superintendent George `Moonraker' Smith, of Scotland Yard, put an abrupt end to their bookselling - and other - activities." The spy who loved books - An amazing story told by Angus O'Neill as "no. 1 in a very short series".
[+] More Rare Booksellers in the Press - A Tribute to Madhava Rao, One of those Antiquarian Booksellers Who Preferred no Publicity
Published since 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.
Published since 26 Feb 2013
Peter Auriol Murray Hill, who served as ABA president in 1956-1957, was born on 20th April 1908 at Bushey in Hertfordshire, the son of George Murray Hill, a solicitor, and his second wife Ida Stogdon, who had married in 1907 ... His introduction to the presidency of the ABA was overshadowed by the furore surrounding the auction-ring which had carved up the Lowther Castle library in late 1955. The ABA was attacked in the House of Commons (see the comment and link below from Adrian Seville) and publicly humiliated in the press. The Times led off with a Saturday leader headed “This Shabby Business” and, following a reply from the ABA, followed up with “Only a Little Crooked”. The second leader began, “For a body concerned with the written word the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association is singularly inept in its public statements”.
Published since 20 Feb 2013
In 1924 William H. Schab founded a branch of Gilhofer & Ranschburg in Lucerne. Drawings and prints, and most of all rich and important libraries were sold at Lucerne, as for example the library of Prince Alexander Dietrichstein at Nicholsburg and those of the Austrian monasteries of Admont and Göttweig, the collection of Albert Figdor and treasures from Soviet libraries. Following the German annexation of Austria the Viennese firm was confiscated and the Lucerne branch had to stop its activities. Otto Ranschburg, sonof Heinrich Ranschburg, emigrated to London and then to New York. William H. Schab fled to the United States where he founded his own business in New York. Nevertheless Gilhofer & Ranschburg was one of the founding members of the Swiss Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (Vereinigung der Buchantiquare und Kuperstichhändler in der Schweiz, VEBUKU) was established in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1939.
Published since 14 Jan 2013
Off to Mayfair again today to take a look at two rather different bookshops perched either side of Curzon Street. On the south side, at no. 46, is the retail showroom of Shepherds, incorporating of course the famous old Sangorski & Sutcliffe bookbinding business. As you might expect, all the emphasis is on fine bindings – new and not so new. Rob Shepherd, incidentally doing a fine job as the new ABA treasurer, and his colleague Kim Pooley, bemoan the fact that the stock is looking a little thin – they simply sold so many books in the run-up to Christmas and the bindery is already at full stretch. Nice problems to have, in a sense, but there are plans to move a lot of the gorgeous stationery, bookbinding accessories and so on, over to their new premises in Gillingham Street at Victoria and to concentrate on books here in Curzon Street.
Published since 10 Jan 2013
Glancing at an old account book, ranging from 1835 to 1850, with a few entries in 1851, which in some way had come into the possession of my predecessors, I was struck by the occurrence of the names of book-collectors such as Ashburnham, Beaufoy, Beckford, Drury, Phillipps, Spencer, Vernon and numerous others - libraries which have been dispersed in my lifetime. It is concerned only with payments received, and though the sales of single books for cash are recorded they do not often amount to any considerable sum in total. Amongst these items Greek and Latin classics are often prominent with sundry entries which make us envy the unknown purchasers, viz: - Euclidis Elementa Latine. H. Walpole’s copy. 4/- Biblia Latina, folio. Jenson, 1479. £3.10.0 Boccace des Nobles Maleureux, Folio. Red. Mor. A. Verard, 1494. £3.13.6.
Published since 15 Nov 2012
"I was entering the booktrade in 1978, working for Jake Zeitlin. It was from Howard that I always enjoyed a warm relationship that was welcoming from his heart right from the start. Howard gave me a copy of Armand Coppens’ The Memoirs of an Erotic Bookseller. From that book I judged that Howard was a true romantic at heart! He was absolutely unique: my eye was drawn to the wonderfully colored Mexican sculptures around the store and then at his home. I remember going to gatherings at the home and enjoying company, seeing some more books and laughing while having a good time. While Beverly was in the home and store all was brightened and joyful". In May 2012, Howard Karno passed away. An obituary by Jeff Weber.
[+] More “Book collecting is a vibrant, exciting and engaging pastime” - An interview with ILAB President Tom Congalton
Published since 06 Nov 2012
Quite frankly, book collecting is often thought of as a hermeneutic pursuit, but what it really is an adventure, a treasure hunt, and a fascinating journey of self-discovery. What could be sexier than that? If you attend one of the bigger ILAB sponsored book fairs, you are likely to see famous authors. artists, actors, musicians, filmmakers, and intellectuals. Often perceived by outsiders as a staid and scholarly pursuit, book collecting is and almost always has been a vibrant, exciting and engaging pastime – it’s our job to make others understand that.