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

  • [+] More The Cinderella of the Arts: A Short History of Sangorski & Sutcliffe 


    The Cinderella of the Arts: A Short History of Sangorski & Sutcliffe
    Published since 26 Jan 2016

    The Cinderella of the Arts, written by Rob Shepherd, charts the history of one of the most celebrated craft bookbinding workshops of the 20th century. Sangorski & Sutcliffe was founded in 1901 and within a few years the workshop had grown into the most important hand bindery of the Edwardian era.

  • [+] More Collecting - Serendipity and The Private Library 


    Collecting - Serendipity and The Private Library
    Published since 27 Nov 2015

    I visited a little antiquarian shop in Weesp (not far from Amsterdam) to do a little browsing.  After half an hour I was done and ready to leave. I was taking a last look at the shop's shelf of House of Orange books (books about the Dutch Royal House) when my eye was drawn to a book with an interesting but untitled spine. The book turned out to be a catalog of an exhibition of portraits and objects relating to the House of Orange-Nassau on the occasion of the inauguration of Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina (1898).

  • [+] More American Publishers' Bindings on the Books of Amelia E. Barr 1882-1918 


    American Publishers' Bindings on the Books of Amelia E. Barr 1882-1918
    Published since 11 Sep 2015

    Today hardly anybody knows the name Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr, yet a hundred years ago she was among the most prolific and popular women writing in America. If it were not for the decorated bindings on her books I would not have known she existed. Some of the best cover artists were assigned to her works, including Thomas Watson Ball, Alice Cordelia Morse, Evelyn W. Clark, Blanche McManus Mansfield, Amy Richards, William Snelling Hadaway, Harry B. Matthews, Theodore Brown Hapgood and the Decorative Designers.

  • [+] More 23 Wiener Werkstätte Bindings for Max Morgenstern – On Show in Vienna, until October 2015 


    23 Wiener Werkstätte Bindings for Max Morgenstern – On Show in Vienna, until October 2015
    Published since 09 Sep 2015

    In January 2015 Norbert Donhofer presented an extraordinary gathering of bibliophile treasures documented in a richly illustrated catalogue. The second part of this amazing collection will now be on display at the Grillparzerhaus in Vienna from 24 September to 9 October 2015.  Max Morgenstern was one of the best customers of the Wiener Werkstätte. The Jewish collector belonged to a generation of Viennese bibliophiles who founded libraries with great knowledge, ultimate taste and a life-long passion. The precious bindings of the Morgenstern Collection, now on show at the Grillparzerhaus in Vienna, are a shining example of the outstanding artworks created during the Viennese Belle Epoque.

  • [+] More The Art of American Book Covers - A Previously Unknown Amy M. Sacker Cover 


    The Art of American Book Covers - A Previously Unknown Amy M. Sacker Cover
    Published since 03 Jun 2015

    One exciting find was Amy M. Sacker's design on Sweet Peggy by Linnie S. Harris [Little, Brown & Company, 1904]. Like many of their rebound books, the replacement endpapers are acidic, have turned brown and are disintegrating, but this does not affect the cover art. Considering the amount of use this volume must have had, the design remains bright on the cover and spine, with just a few smudges that can be cleaned. What's exciting about it? It's not just that it's a good cover design by an important artist, and one that adopts Thomas Watson Ball's style of clouds. This is a rare book.

  • [+] More The Art of American Book Cover - Frederick W. Gookin 


    The Art of American Book Cover - Frederick W. Gookin
    Published since 20 Nov 2014

    When trying to learn more about F. W. Gookin, the first few biographical notes I found did not even mention his work as a book cover designer. I thought, "Maybe this Frederick William Gookin (1853–1936) is the wrong one." He was the Buckingham Curator of Japanese Prints at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is described as "a lifelong Chicagoan."

  • [+] More The Art of American Book Covers - Ball Covers Identified by Lee Thayer 


    The Art of American Book Covers - Ball Covers Identified by Lee Thayer
    Published since 08 Oct 2014

    In 1970 Charles Gullans and John Espey conducted two interviews with Emma Redington Lee Thayer (1874–1973), co-founder (with Henry Thayer) of Decorative Designers, the New York firm that created thousands of book cover designs. The firm was started about 1895 by Henry, Emma joined him the following year, they married in 1909, were divorced in 1932 and DD closed. In 1919 Lee Thayer, as she then called herself, published her first mystery novel, which was followed by another 60, the last issued in 1966.

  • [+] More Famous Figures in the History of Book Binding, Part Two 


    Famous Figures in the History of Book Binding, Part Two
    Published since 30 Sep 2014

    The way we present and preserve the written word has changed considerably over the millennia. When Johann Gutenberg introduced movable type, our concept of the book changed forever. Since then, famous figures like William Caxton, Jean Grolier, and Samuel Mearne introduced the concept of the book as an object of art. In more recent centuries, Roger Payne and William Morris paved the way for the modern private press movement.

  • [+] More Famous Figures in the History of Book Binding 


    Famous Figures in the History of Book Binding
    Published since 26 Sep 2014

    From the scroll to the codex to the modern volume, the form of the book has evolved considerably over the centuries. And alongside that, our methods for keeping the pages together have also changed considerably. Today we enjoy a thriving world of designer and art bindings, collectible in their own right. We can thank figures like William Caxton, Jean Grolier, and Samule Mearne for bringing innovation and beauty to the craft of bookbinding.

  • [+] More Richard Minsky’s New Book! American Trade Bindings with Native American Themes 1875-1933 


    Richard Minsky’s New Book! American Trade Bindings with Native American Themes 1875-1933
    Published since 13 Aug 2014

    Richard Minsky has been making and remaking artists’ books for over fifty years. He founded the Center for Book Arts in 1974, his work has been shown around the world and remains in public collections, including the National Gallery of Art and The Victoria and Albert Museum. Minsky has received many fellowships, grants and awards of recognition, including several from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his tremendous work is documented in The Book Art of Richard Minsky, published by George Braziller Inc. in the year 2011. His new book – recently released – is a piece of art in itself and a documentation of a unique and fascinating field of collecting: American Trade Bindings with Native American Themes 1875-1933. In the preface Richard Minsky writes

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