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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and Prints - Japanese Surimono 


    Collecting Rare Books and Prints - Japanese Surimono
    Published since 03 Dec 2014

    Surimono, meaning "printed thing," are a subsection of traditional Japanese woodblock prints. They were printed on commission in small numbers and generally not sold by art publishers, unlike their more commercialized companions, ukiyo-e woodblock prints. Known as far back as the early 18th century, surimono rapidly rose in popularity in the 19th century. They were printed on high-quality paper, called hôsho-gami, using the finest printing techniques. Prior to 1810, these sheets could be quite large and folded so that the illustration accompanying the text faced outward. Later into the 19th century, however, sizing of surimono became more standardized and most were printed on small, nearly square sheets called shikishiban.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Being an 'Ai Sho Ka' 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Being an 'Ai Sho Ka'
    Published since 16 Jun 2014

    I normally don’t. But this time I couldn’t help myself and paid almost two hundred fifty US dollars (€ 175,- euro) for three books in Kanji (logographic Chinese characters used in Japanese language) printed on very thin paper and traditionally bound in yellow embossed paper wrappers. Why?

  • [+] More The Japanese Literature Publishing Project and The Private Library 


    The Japanese Literature Publishing Project and The Private Library
    Published since 15 May 2012

    For many years L.D. Mitchell's blog The Private Library showed collectors that it is possible to build a collection without the benefit of much money. He published numerous articles on every imaginable subject of book collecting, he wrote about the most beautiful, the most important, the most common, the most attractive, the most unusual, the most interesting, the most extraordinary, the most amazing ... books one could read, buy, collect and simply enjoy. The Private Library has become an irreplaceable resource for all booklovers. Since April 2012, it is a static archive. L. D. Mitchell will no longer post new original content. ILAB is very grateful that he has given permission to publish some of his best articles and collecting tips from The Private Library on the ILAB website. Thank you very much, L.D.

  • [+] More Art and the World's First Novel 


    Art and the World's First Novel
    Published since 24 Feb 2012

    What is generally acknowledged as the world's first novel was written by a Japanese woman a thousand years ago.  The Tale of Genji, by Murakasi Shikibu (known as Lady Murakasi in the West), is regarded to be an accurate description of life in the imperial court in the Heian era (794 - 1185 CE).  The daughter of a scholar and an officer of the court, she was given a male's education.  Being a lady-in-waiting herself, she was privy to life at court.

  • [+] More Book Scouting in Japan - Tokyo 


    Book Scouting in Japan - Tokyo
    Published since 20 Sep 2011

    Rare book dealer and photography specialist Harper Levine travels through Japan with photographer John Gossage where Harper was welcomed at the airport as the “best book dealer (also best blogger) from East Hampton”. Part 2 of Harper Levine's report, featuring the Tokyo booksellers and a sushi bar.

  • [+] More Book Scouting in Japan - Introduction: The Back Story 


    Book Scouting in Japan - Introduction: The Back Story
    Published since 13 Sep 2011

    Rare book dealer and photography specialist Harper Levine travels through Japan with photographer John Gossage where Harper was welcomed at the airport as the “best book dealer (also best blogger) from East Hampton”. Bibliophiles may follow his book scouting traces in Tokyo reading his fabulous blog.

  • [+] More Japanese Woodblock Ephemera 


    Japanese Woodblock Ephemera
    Published since 14 Jul 2011

    "For many people in the west mention of Japanese woodblock prints brings to mind the beautiful single sheet colour examples by artists such as Hokusai, Hiroshige and the many other artists of  extraordinary skill working during the 18th and 19th centuries. Immense pleasure can also be gained from looking a little further and discovering the plethora of games, decorative papers, books, calendars, lists, news-sheets, maps, advertising, and ephemeral material of every kind that was published  using woodblock printing methods during the Edo and Meiji periods." Sally Burdon's collecting tip is one of the highlights of BookFare 2, the recently published newsletter of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB). Read the article and subscribe to further issues!

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