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

  • [+] More The Rare Book Trade - Gauguin’s Model 

    The Rare Book Trade - Gauguin’s Model
    Published since 14 Oct 2015

    Today’s entry has to do with the way Tahiti looked to Gauguin, but it is also about colleagues, and buying things, and about surprises – about whether or not they can be surprises if we expect them.

  • [+] More Collecting Photography - A Thousand Words… 

    Collecting Photography - A Thousand Words…
    Published since 27 Aug 2015

    Neither of my kids, doubtless traumatized by having a bookseller for a father, is much of a reader, but both are splendidly visually literate. He’s a photographer and she’s a florist. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and all that other stuff I don’t know how to work, is about images, not words. That’s how we communicate with one another these days. Even our book descriptions depend on images now. Rare is the catalog that is not lavishly illustrated, and if our online listings hope to have any chance of selling, they’d better feature plenty of images. We’re in the cradle period of images and imaging. Some day soon images will be text, and text will be arcane. We will be practitioners of black arts.

  • [+] More On Identifying Photographic Prints and the History of Early Photography 

    On Identifying Photographic Prints and the History of Early Photography
    Published since 18 Nov 2014

    Without a doubt, every antique store and flea market from California to New York somewhere has a box of photographs – black and white, early Kodaks, or even tintypes… often warped, mirrored, faded – if you are reading this blog it is assumed that at some point or another your interest in antiquarian books and materials has drawn you to such an establishment, and you have at least fingered through a box of photographs labeled “.10 each or 15 for $1.00”. Why is it, then, that those photographs are (seemingly) worthless, while there are photograph albums offered by booksellers with the same types of prints for thousands of dollars? As with all things antiquarian – provenance, condition and interest levels dictate the differences between a bin full of late 19th century silver-gelatin prints and an album full of un-faded, unaltered albumen photographs.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Picture this 

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Picture this
    Published since 14 Nov 2014

    This little book (it measures only 138 × 108 mm), ‘The Secret of taking Daguerreotypes, or the Art of producing Photogenic Pictures with a Camera Obscura’, has been described as ‘the first photographic manual in the world’ (Gernsheim, Concise History of Photography (third edition, p. 11), and is also the first German publication on photography.

  • [+] More Rare Books in the Press – The Bodleian Library now keeps the William Henry Fox Talbot archive 

    Rare Books in the Press – The Bodleian Library now keeps the William Henry Fox Talbot archive
    Published since 13 Oct 2014

    He is regarded as the British founder of photography. His photographs are dated as early as 1843. From now on his works and historical documents relating to his life and oeuvre will be kept at the Bodleian Library. “The archive of Britain's "founder of photography" William Henry Fox Talbot has been acquired by the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Talbot created the first book illustrated with photography, The Pencil of Nature, published in instalments between 1844 and 1846. The Bodleian spent two years raising the £2.1m needed to buy the private collection. A library spokesman said it was a ‘fascinating and important resource’.”

  • [+] More Preserving Antiquarian Photographs and Photo Albums 

    Preserving Antiquarian Photographs and Photo Albums
    Published since 21 Mar 2014

    Collectors of rare and antiquarian books are well aware that they must take specific measures to preserve and protect their collections. Condition directly impacts value, but perhaps more importantly, condition dictates how intimately you can experience the items in your collection; items that have deteriorated cannot be handled and studied with the same freedom as items that have been better protected. Common enemies of antiquarian books include direct sunlight, humidity, and vermin, along with substances like adhesives – and even other paper. The same holds true for antiquarian photographs and photo albums. But due to their more complex composition, these items often require even more specialized care.

  • [+] More Preserving the photographic heritage of the Middle East 

    Published since 18 Mar 2011

    "When Bank of America Merrill Lynch launched its $1m conservation grant programme in May 2010, the Arab Image Foundation (AIF), a Beirut-based non-profit organisation, applied and hoped for the best. When the recipients were announced, the young foundation was among distinguished institutions such as the Courtauld in London, the Hermitage in St Petersburg and Madrid’s Reína Sofia to have conservation projects selected. Now that the project is under way, the foundation’s director Zeina Arida admits she was surprised to be selected." Snippets from an article by Emily Sharpe in The Art Newspaper.

  • [+] More A Secret Archive: On the Mexican Suitcase 

    Published since 13 Jan 2011

    For seven decades the negatives – known as “The Mexican Suitcase” – were considered lost. The photographs document the duration of the Spanish war, beginning with David Seymour's pictures of marching Republican dignitaries in April 1936, three months before the conflict broke out, and ending with Robert Capa's portraits of Republican refugees in concentration camps in Southern France in March 1939. Dan Kaufman tells the story of “The Mexican Suitcase” and describes the photographs hidden in it for such a long time.

  • [+] More La photo qui parle - Rimbaud 

    La photo qui parle - Rimbaud
    Published since 05 Oct 2010

    Cinq mois après sa publication, la photographie de Rimbaud que nous avons retrouvée est devenue le plus documenté des neufs clichés connus où il apparaît. Elle date d'août 1880, et donc des tous premiers jours de la nouvelle vie de Rimbaud. Elle a été réalisée par l'explorateur Georges Révoil, qui a utilisé une technique toute nouvelle (c'est l'une des plus anciennes photos "instantanées" conservées en France).

  • [+] More Rare Books, Book Illustration, and the DADA movement: Hannah Höch - Brushflurlets and Beer Bellies 

    Rare Books, Book Illustration, and the DADA movement: Hannah Höch - Brushflurlets and Beer Bellies
    Published since 01 Sep 2010

    Rare books, book illustration, book art and the DADA movement – Hannah Höch was born in Gotha, Germany. From 1912 to 1914 she studied at the College of Arts and Crafts in Berlin under the guidance of Harold Bergen. In 1915, Höch began an influential friendship with Raoul Hausmann, since then she was involved in the Berlin Dada movement. She designed dress and embroidery patterns for Die Dame and Die Praktische Berlinerin, published by Ullstein. From 1926 to 1929 she lived and worked in the Netherlands. She was one of the leading DADA artists, and a pioneer of the photomontage. Her collages, photographs and illustrations were statements about life and art in the Dada movement – and are well-known to art and rare book collectors. Snippets …