First Catalogues, Part 3 (Europe)
"This catalogue is not only expensive to print, but has only been produced as a result of very many hours of hard work - sometimes forced drudgery - on my part. PLEASE DO NOT WASTE IT."
Arthur Rogers (1951)
"Current book-sellers' catalogues present a grave problem. Space forbids that they should all be retained, yet it is a sad wrench to part with them. No ephemeral literature approaches them in fascination. To receive one at breakfast, to skim through it with one's porridge, possibly leaving the table to dictate a telegram if circumstances demand it, to note complacently how the books one bought for modest sums in the past have risen in price - these are among the highest pleasures of life. Only when a mountainous accumulation of catalogues demands drastic action can I bring myself to throw a proportion of them away. Then - perhaps once in three years - there is a gigantic sorting; some are earmarked for permanent retention as works of reference; the rest are reluctantly destroyed after certain material such as plates of bindings and manuscripts has been cut out and transferred to a growing series of folio scrap-books - 'cutting up books to make other books', as an unsympathetic friend once described it."
Part 2 of ILAB's cover story of rare booksellers' first catalogues reflects the history of the trade in Europe from the late 19th century up to the present with copies from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Italy and Scandinavia. Among them are the old names such as H.P. Kraus (Vienna), C.G. Boerner (Leipzig), Martin Breslauer (Berlin), E.P. Goldschmidt (London), Paul Graupe (Berlin), A. Rosenthal (London), Bernard Rosenthal (New York), Heinrich Rosenthal (Munich), Harry Hirsch (Hamburg) and Hübscher & Teufel (Cologne). Other catalogues symbolize the first steps into the trade of former ILAB Presidents: Bob de Graaf and Michael Steinbach jr., or they show the beginnings of dealers like Heribert Tenschert, Jörg Schäfer, Die Schmiede, Gunnar Kaldewey, Manfred Nosbüsch and Dr. Adrian Flühmann.
Karl-Heinz Knupfer of Venator & Hanstein has invested much time and energy in building up this collection and providing ILAB with pictures and bibliographical details. Thank you very much!
(The quotations are taken from H.R. Woudhuysen: Catalogues. In: Out of Print and into Profit. A History of the Rare and Seconhand Book Trade in Britain in the Twentieth Century. Edited by Giles Mandelbrote. The British Library and Oak Knoll Press 2006).
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