Sunday, July 15, 2018

Links & Reviews

- E. H. Shepard's manuscript map of the Hundred Acre Wood set a new world record for a book illustration at auction, fetching £430,000 at Sotheby's this week.

- An Elgar manuscript brought for valuation on "Antiques Roadshow" in the UK has been identified as missing from the Elgar Foundation since 1994.

- Yeats letters stolen from Princeton University in the 1970s were recently returned, anonymously.

- Richard J. Wolfe's Marbled Paper is now back in print from Oak Knoll Press.

- An archaeological dig in southern Greece has turned up a clay tablet containing thirteen verses of The Odyssey; it may be the earliest written evidence of Homer's poem discovered in Greece.

Reviews

- Joyce Lee Malcolm's The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold; review by Alexis Coe in the WaPo.

- Margalit Fox's Conan Doyle for the Defense; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams London on 18 July.

- Early English Books: A Single-Owner Sale at Skinner, Inc. on 20 July.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Over on Medium, Travis McDade on "Of Rich Kids and Rare Book Theft: American Animals and the Various 'Nonfictions' of a True Crime."

- Diane Mehta writes for the Paris Review on "The Rare Women in the Rare-Book Trade."

- From Cait Coker over on Sammelband, the second post in a series on setting up a print shop.

- Among the books from West Horsley Place being sold at Sotheby's tomorrow is a copy of the Faerie Queen believed to have been among the books Charles I read during his pre-execution imprisonment; see Alison Flood's report in the Guardian.

- Meaghan Brown writes for The Collation on the Lost Plays Database.

- Alex Johnson takes a look at the books on the secure e-readers developed for the Navy.

- Peter Steinberg explores the story behind a Sylvia Plath association copy.

- Margaret Gamm has been appointed Head of Special Collections at the University of Iowa.

- An important collection of British suffragette material was sold at auction in Derbyshire for £16,000.

- James Pickford reports for the Financial Times on "Triumph of the trophy hunters at rare books auctions."

Reviews

- John R. Payne's Great Catalogues by Master Booksellers; review by Don Lindgren for the ABAA blog.

- Edmund White's The Unpunished Vice: A Life in Reading; review by Rachel Cooke in the Guardian.

Auctions

- English Literature, History, Science, Children's Books and Illustrations at Sotheby's London on 9–10 July.

- The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII at Sotheby's London on 10 July.

- The Rothamsted Collection: Rarities from the Lawes Agricultural Library (Part I | Part II) at Forum Auctions on 10–11 July.

- Valuable Books and Manuscripts at Christie's London on 11 July.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 12 July.

- Fine Americana – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 12 July.

- Autographs & Memorabilia and The Library of Giancarlo Beltrame Part III and other Fine Antiquarian Books at Chiswick Auctions on 12 July.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Paula Reed Ward has a long report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about recently unsealed court documents in relation to thefts from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Definitely one to keep watching, given the serious implications hinted at in the report.

- Roland Arkell writes for Antiques Trade Gazette about the recent round of Aristophil auctions, highlighting particularly pre-emptions taken by several French institutions.

- July's Rare Book Monthly articles include Michael Stillman's report on the return of the Vatican Columbus Letter, Susan Halas on bibliomania, and Bruce McKinney writing about John R. Payne's Great Catalogues by Master Booksellers.

- The July Crocodile mystery post is up at The Collation.

- On the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Networks of Knowledge: Insular manuscripts and digital potential."

- Ian Kahn highlights a recent—and most wonderful—book placement he was able to help make: finding a new home for a full set of Doves Press publications.

- From Aaron Pratt, "The Trouble with Translation (w/Errata)."

Review

- Victoria Johnson's American Eden; review by Marta McDowell in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auction - may just be one this week, but it's a big one!

- Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental and Russian Books at Sotheby's London on 3 July.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Over at JHIBlog, Fiore Sireci on "Reading (with) Wollstonecraft."

- Brittney Washington writes for The Collation on "A Pamphlet War in England, 1641–1643."

- Also on The Collation, Sarah Lindenbaum reports on her recent identification of two more Frances Wolfreston books in the Folger's collections.

- On the LARB blog, Andy Fitch interviews Amaranth Borsuk about her new book The Book, published as part of the MIT Press "Essential Knowledge" series.

- The University of Southern Maine has formally received the map collection of Harold Osher.

- "Pressing On: The Letterpress Film" was released on DVD/streaming this week.

- In the CHE, Geoffrey Pullum on "Strunk at 100: A Centennial Not to Celebrate."

- Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for the FB&C blog about a 4 July 1776 document currently up for sale.

- The Plantin-Moretus Museum and Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library have announced a new scholarly fellowship program to support research in the early printed books in Antwerp.

- A collection of rare agricultural books known as the Rothamsted Collection will be sold at auction next month.

- Pradeep Sebastian writes about book-heist movies for The Hindu.

Reviews

- Jean-Louis Brunaux's Vercingétorix; review by Peter Thonemann in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Books and Decorative Prints at Dorotheum on 27 June.

- Libros Antiguos y Contemporáneos de la Colección de un Bibliófilo at Morton Subastas on 27 June.

- Art & Illustration, with Asian & Asian-American Material at PBA Galleries on 28 June.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Links & Reviews

- An obituary for Bill Reese ran in the 15 June NYTimes. The Beinecke Library has also posted a tribute page, as well as a podcast of Bill talking about Audubon's Birds of America which I recommend most highly.

- The Portland Audubon sold at Christie's on Thursday for $9.65 million, the second-highest auction price for a copy of Birds of America.

- In other Audubon news, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this week that the copy of Birds of America owned by the city's Carnegie Museum of Natural History was sold last fall to a California buyer for $6 million. The sale was facilitated by ... Bill Reese.

- Elizabeth Povoledo reports for the NYTimes on the return to the Vatican of a stolen Columbus Letter. See also the press release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware. This is the third such restitution in two years (and the second this month).

- The ABAA has posted a "Missing in Transit" notice for a number of autograph letters and a book from Stalin's library.

- The Petau Book of Hours sold at Drouot on Saturday for the equivalent of $5 million.

- Jessica Lester Hester writes for Atlas Obscura on the use of manuscript and printed waste in bookbindings.

- As the film about the 2004 Transylvania University special collections theft arrives in theaters, BJ Gooch, the librarian the thieves assaulted, has spoken about her experience to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

- If you can, be sure to stop by the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at UVA to see the new exhibition "Eminent Miniatures."

- Another week, another Voynich Manuscript theory.

- Alex Johnson writes for the Independent about the library brought along on Scott's Discovery expedition from 1901–1904.

- Really enjoyed the news that the Massachusetts Historical Society has installed a "little free library" on the front steps.

- New from the AAS, an illustrated inventory of the Society's collection of ribbon badges.

- From Caroline Duroselle-Melish at The Collation, "Engraved to Sell."

- David McKitterick has a short post on the Cambridge University Press blog about his new book The Invention of Rare Books.

- Fleur Macdonald reports for the BBC on the ongoing analysis of the manuscripts in the library of St. Catherine's monastery in the Sinai.

- Corey Kilgannon profiles Carolyn Waters, head librarian at the New York Society Library.

Review

- Giorgio van Straten's In Search of Lost Books; review by Alberto Manguel in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Five Aristophil sales this week: Beaux-arts, œuvres et correspondances (4) at Aguttes on 18 June; Littérature, écrivains et poètes du XIXe-XXe (5) at Drouot on 19 June; Littérature, écrivains et poètes du XIXe-XXe (6) at Aguttes on 19 June; Musique, de Jean-Sébastien Bach à Boulez (7) at Ader on 20 June; Musique, de Lully à Stravinsky (8) at Aguttes on 20 June.

- Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull on 19 June.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases & Historical Photographs at Bonhams London on 20 June.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 20 June.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Books & Relics at University Archives on 20 June.

- Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III at Swann Galleries on 21 June.

- Modern Literature & First Editions at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 21 June.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Links & Reviews

We lost one of the greats this week. Bill Reese was not just an extraordinary bookman and bookseller, but also an indefatigable supporter of biblio-institutions and causes. I had long been a great admirer and somewhat voracious collector of his catalogs, but I first went up and introduced myself at the 2010 Boston Book Fair, to thank him for his support of the Reese Fellowships at Rare Book School (I had been the recipient that year). Frequently thereafter we were able to chat briefly at various book fairs, something I always looked forward to (usually he shared some very funny anecdote about past book fairs). In 2016 he came and gave a wonderful Rare Book School talk, "Starting Out: My Early Days as a Rare Book Dealer." The next day he joined an RBS class, "Reference Sources for Researching Printed Americana," and talked to the students about his favorite reference sources. I had the great pleasure of sitting in on that session, and will remember it very fondly. Nobody wanted to go to coffee break at the end of that one. My deepest condolences to Bill's family and colleagues, and here's to many more years of great books and great catalogs to come from Temple Street.

There will certainly be more posts to come, but for now, see the ABAA's In Memoriam, Kurt Zimmerman's post at American Book Collecting, and Rare Book School's news post, which contains a list of his other RBS lectures.

- Along with the Portland Audubon coming up this week, Christie's will also offer a proof copy on wove paper (one of just six known) of the Stone facsimile of the Declaration of Independence.

- The National Library of Scotland's collection of early Scottish Gaelic manuscripts has been added to UNESCO's UK Memory of the World register. Sir Robert Cotton's manuscripts at the BL have also been added.

- Erin Blake writes for The Collation about a proof print from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.

- Mary Yacovone posts on "The Joy of Bookplates" over on the MHS blog. Also on the Beehive this week, Kate Viens explores the history and origins of the Massachusetts Historical Review.

- The BBC reports on a fascinating "hidden diary" from 1880–1 discovered written on the underside of a parquet floor of a French chateau.

Book Reviews

- Carys Davies' West; review by David Vann in the NYTimes.

- Fiona Sampson's In Search of Mary Shelley; review by Charlotte Gordon in the WaPo.

- Stuart Kells' The Library; review by Steve Donoghue in The National.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams New York on 12 June.

- Rare Books & Manuscripts at PBA Galleries on 14 June.

- The Portland Audubon, followed by Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana at Christie's New York on 14 June.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Some modern first editions have gone missing from the Portland, OR area; see the ABAA theft report.

- Live Science follows up on the investigation into the theft of books from a London shipping warehouse in January 2017.

- Dennis Duncan joined David Attenborough at the ABA Rare Books Fair last weekend and reported on it for the TLS. Scott Reyburn also reported on the fair for the NYTimes.

- Sarah Thomas will retire as Harvard University Librarian at the end of the year.

- June's selection of Rare Book Monthly articles is posted.

- Posted on Exlibris, a letter of thanks from the BnF to ILAB for assistance in recovering some stolen books and prints.

- Not new, but passed along to me this week and very interesting, a 2012 Bookhunter on Safari post about the book catalogs of P. M. Barnard.

- "The paper that poisoned its printers" in the Economist.

- The manuscript of the Two Ronnies "Four Candles" sketch (watch on YouTube) sold for £28,000 this week at East Bristol Auctions.

- Weird bookmarks in the Guardian.

Reviews

- The Bodleian's new Tolkien exhibition; reviews by Samantha Shannon in the Guardian and John Garth in the Telegraph.

- Kirk Wallace Johnson's The Feather Thief; review by Joshua Hammer in the NYTimes.

- Matthew Pearl's The Dante Chamber; review by Patrick Anderson in the WaPo.

- C. D. Rose's Who's Who When Everyone is Someone Else; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

- Stuart Kells' The Library; review by John Glassie in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

- Autographs, Manuscripts, and Certificates at Dorotheum on 4 June.

- Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on 5 June.

- Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries on 7 June.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Skinner (online) continues through 8 June.