Archive for November, 2011

Members in the News: Rabelais and Amber Unicorn

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Bon Appetit recently named the “7 Best Culinary Bookstores in America” and ABAA firms Rabelais (Portland, ME) and Amber Unicorn (Las Vegas, NV) made the list!  (If you’ve browsed either shop’s inventory, this is no surprise!)


The 7 Best Culinary Bookstores in America [Bon Appetit]

NCBCC Awards Ceremony

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

The awards ceremony for the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest was held last month in the Library of Congress and included a special presentation by Mark Dimunation, in which he showed off some of the Library’s treasures.  As one would imagine, the excitement was palpable during Mark’s presentation.  Winners and attendees were also treated to a lecture by noted bibliophile and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Dirda. Michael’s talk, entitled The Thrill of the Hunt: The Serendipitous Pleasures of Book Collecting,  will soon be available for listening on the Library of Congress’ website.

Photos, courtesy of the Library of Congress:

1. First-place winner Mitch Fraas, “Anglo-American Legal Printing 1702 to the Present”, and Second-place winner Maggie Murray, “Literature of the Little Review: In Which Margaret Anderson Enters an Antiquarian Bookstore”. Third-place winner Sarah McCormick, “Desert Dreams: The History of California’s Coachella Valley”, and Essay winner Emily Brodman, “Sourcing the Sanctuary Movement”, were unable to attend.

2. Michael Dirda

3-5. Mark Dimunation’s Presentation

6. First-place winner Mitch Fraas and Second place winner Maggie Murray with ABAA President Sarah Baldwin.

Boston Fair a Great Success (And Included Some Celebrity Sightings)

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Last weekend’s 35th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair was a great success– lots of incredible material was being offered by dealers and each day the fair was filled with enthusiastic attendees both young and old.  If you could draw your attention away from the books, prints, maps, ephemera, etc., you could even see a few celebrities!  According to the Boston Globe:

Rocker Peter Wolf, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough, and Italian novelist-essayist Umberto Eco were among the 4,500 visitors spotted at the 35th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair over the weekend. The event, held at the Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, drew 120 rare book dealers from around the world, offering not only first editions of Melville, Wilde, Frost, and Hemingway but also antique maps, letters, political documents, and an array of pop culture totems. Among the latter: a 1967 Bob Dylan album signed by Jimi Hendrix; film directorFrank Capra’s manuscript copy of James Hilton’s novel “Lost Horizon’’; a notepad autographed by members of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and other iconic ’60s bands; and an Indiana State University yearbook with a youngLarry Bird on the cover, firing up his patented jump shot. Fetching one of the highest sums – $112,000 – was a hand-written letter from Alexander Graham Bell to his parents, detailing his invention of the iPhone (just kidding). No word on what if anything the Woofa Goofa took home with him, but we hear he’s a big Raymond Chandler fan.

This only increases anticipation for the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, which will be held in Pasadena on February 10-12, 2012.  We hope to see lots of West Coast bibliophiles, collectors, and other intellectually curious parties there!


Wolf, other celebs vist Antiquarian Book Fair [Boston Globe]



Unpublished Charlotte Brontë Manuscript Up for Auction

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

An unpublished manuscript written by a fourteen-year-old Charlotte Brontë will go up for auction at Sotheby’s London next month.  The manuscript is of a mini-magazine entitled The Young Man’s Magazine, Number 2, and tells a story of murder and madness.  Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s specialist on Books and Manuscripts, said that the piece “provides a rare and intimate insight into one of history’s great literary minds”, and adds that a scene from the manuscript foreshadows a famous scene from Jane Eyre.

The manuscript will go to auction on December 15.  Sotheby’s estimates that it could sell for £300,000 ($482,000).


Manuscript By Teenage Charlotte Brontë To Be Sold [Huffington Post]


‘Lord of the Flies’ Manuscript on Display for the First Time

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

In commemoration of what would be William Golding’s centennial birthday, the Bodleian Library at Oxford will be displaying the original manuscript of The Lord of the Flies.  The exhibit was curated by the author’s daughter, Judy Carver, and will also include several first editions of the author’s works, family photographs, and the Nobel Prize he received in 1983 for The Lord of the Flies.  According to the Fine Books & Collections’ blog:

First impressions of the first edition (with the dust jacket) from Faber [British publisher] start at about $3,000 online.  The first American edition, published in 1955 by Coward-McCann, commands about half that price.  Ironically, the first American edition is scarcer than the British edition.  2,383 copies of the first American edition were sold before the book initially went out of print.  The first British edition, meanwhile, went through a print run of 3,040 copies.

The exhibit will be on display at the Bodleian Library through December 23, 2011.


Lord of the Flies Manuscript on Display [The Fine Books Blog]

Bodleian Library Exhibits

35th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

Friday, November 4th, 2011

ABAA members across the country are gearing up for next weekend’s 35th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair and we hope to see you there!  Over 120 dealers from the US and around the world will be exhibiting rare, antiquarian books, modern first editions, manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, and an abundance of ephemera.  The Fair will be held in the Hynes Convention Center, and will run from Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13.

Highlighted Items at the Fair

Fair Activities

Fair Hours
Friday: 5pm to 9pm
Saturday: 12noon to 7pm
Sunday: 12noon to 5pm

It’s going to be a wonderful fair, so mark your calendars if you will be in the Boston area!

Please click here to visit the Fair’s website.   











“An Introduction to Antique Books”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Below is a video by ABAA member Phil Pirages (Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books & Manuscripts) about book collecting– how and why people collect books, and the collaboration between the collector and the bookseller.  Enjoy!


Notable Private Library to be Auctioned Today in New Zealand

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Today, a collection of over 600 rare books– what some are calling “the last great private library [in New Zealand]“– will be auctioned off in New Zealand.  The books were collected by Arthur Pycroft, a prominent Auckland naturalist and scholar.  Pycroft earned his living as a senior manager of NZ Railways, but his passions were ornithology and natural history, which he delved into with dedicated research and during personal explorations of Hen Island, Little Barrier, the Kermadecs, and Melanesia.  At the age of 50, Pycroft received a hefty inheritance and was able to retire and devote himself to his passions full time.  He became a member of the “Moa Searching Committee”, a group that searched for skeletons at specific sites.  He even had a newly discovered species of petrel named after him.

Now let’s get down to business– what are some of the treasures in this collection?

  • A complete set of Cook’s Voyages, published in the 1770s
  • A first edition of the first novel published in New Zealand, Taranaki: A Tale of the War by Henry Stoney (1861)
  • A 2-volume set of Captain Scott’s journals from his last expedition, published in 1914
  • Early Maori language publications, including an 1838 New Testament and an 1852 translated version of Robinson Crusoe
  • Te Tohunga, a 1907 German translation of ancient Maori legends and traditions by Wilhelm Dittmer, which features a leather cover adorned with a color illustration

Also included are numerous titles about exploration, shipping and maritime history, natural history and botany, Maori history, and chronicles of the NZ Company.  The Pycroft Collection of Rare Books will be auctioned off today  and tomorrow at Art + Object, 3 Abbey St, Newton at 6.30pm.


‘Last great private library’ under hammer [New Zealand Herald]