Bookseller News

While you enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend, we invite you to peruse the most-recent catalogs of rare books and print ephemera from the members of the ABAA. Please note, this list is updated weekly, usually on Wednesdays. *New* indicates any catalogs added this week. We aim to include the most-recent catalog (or catalogs if appropriate) from members, because not every member issues new catalogs every week -- and not every collector can browse this list weekly. CHARLES AGVENT Winter Miscellany ANDERSON BUTLER RARE BOOKS Short E-List #7 Short E-List #6 NICK ARETAKIS May 2017 New Acquisitions *New* April 2017 New Acquisitions ARTISAN BOOKS & BINDERY Holiday Catalog 2016 New Acquisitions November 2016 ATHENA RARE BOOKS LIST 21: MODERN PSYCHOLOGY (1870-1944) New York Antiquarian Book Fair BACK OF BEYOND BOOKS Catalog 18 -- The American West Recent Acquisitions -- list only available to mailing list subscribers. Sign up here... LORNE BAIR RARE BOOKS The Immigrant Press in America New York Antiquarian Book Fair BAUMAN RARE BOOKS April 2017 Great Women in History & Culture STUART BENNETT RARE BOOKS English Libertine LIterature 1652-1843 -- Catalog available by request stuart@sbrarebooks.com F.A. BERNETT BOOKS Political Periodicals ARLIS Conference 2017 BETWEEN THE COVERS, RARE BOOKS Catalog 212: Vernacular Photography Catalog No. 211: Americana Part II BICKERSTAFF'S BOOKS, MAPS, &. Americana: Books, Periodicals, Maps & Views -- November, 2016 BIBLIOCTOPUS Catalog 57 -- Sustained Am... [more]

The ABAA Benevolent Fund recently received the largest contribution in the fund's history from the estate of Gyngr Schon, who owned Old London Books in Bellingham Washington with her husband Michael Schon. Gyngr Schon became an ABAA member in 2008, after her husband's death, though the Old London Bookshop had been an ABAA member firm since 1994. She had worked as a secretary in her twenties and befriended a rare book librarian at The Huntington, later entering the antiquarian book business with her husband. In 1988, like many other antiquarian booksellers, the Schons began operating their business out of their home — a large, 17-room Victorian in Bellingham. After her husband's death, Schon established a presence on the internet, and through what her colleague Ed Smith describes as “hard work and a positive attitude” kept the business going at a difficult time. Smith recalls the last time he saw Gyngr Schon was at a Book Club of Washington event that “included a stop at Old London Books where Gyngr served refreshments to all and was holding court surrounded by book people who were having fun and laughing and enjoying themselves and buying books from her.” Schon's friend and fellow-ABAA member Taylor Bowie explained the impulse for this bequest: “I recall very well the time I happened to visit Gyngr at her home/shop in Bellingham. No one else was there that day but the two of us, and so she talked very freely. She told me that her will stipulated a large donation t... [more]

“Three columns of unknown verse by the Mad Poet of Broadway: Life is good.” (A brief remembrance of Robert Fraker from Garrett Scott, May 3, 2017.) I probably met Robert Fraker of Savoy Books sometime in the mid-1990s, though later neither of us could ever remember when exactly it happened. It must have been some February back when I worked for John Crichton at the Brick Row Book Shop in San Francisco, when Robert would have been wandering through the shop a day or two before a California Book Fair. This genial bookseller from back east immediately stood out because even when judged by the recondite standards of the Brick Row Book Shop, Robert tended to purchase remarkably obscure titles of American verse. In those days, to have sold anybody a copy of C. L. Woods's Kaw-Wau-Nita, and Other Poems (Stockton, Calif., 1873)—as I believe we did to Robert around that time—seemed to me an event worthy of at least minor celebration; to have sold it to a colleague in the trade, who presumably labored under the belief that he might someday sell it, and at a profit, seemed to my tender sensibilities even more baffling and worth further inquiry. Across the broad landscape of 19th century American poetry, a landscape marked by tall trees like Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson (or even by the spreading shade trees of Fitz-Greene Halleck and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, or by the tough native shrubbery of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman or even Jones Very), what kind of bookseller would in... [more]

Belle da Costa Greene Scholarship With the goal of actively working to achieve a more diverse and inclusive community of booksellers and librarians, thanks to the generosity of Lisa Unger Baskin, The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminars (CABS) is pleased to offer a 2017 scholarship for $2,000 to cover the cost of tuition, room and board ($1,646) with the additional $354 intended for travel or incidental expenses. The scholarship is intended for a bookseller or a librarian from an historically underrepresented community. We encourage applications from booksellers and librarians from the African American, Latino/a/x, Asian American/Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, working class, persons with disabilities, or other self-identified communities of booksellers or librarians who might benefit from this scholarship. Applicants should submit a short 1- or 2-page essay on why they want to attend CABS. They should include in the statement a brief personal and professional history, and something about their relationship to books and the book trade. We also ask for a CV and one letter of support from a member of the book trade, a professional librarian, or another member of the antiquarian book world. This scholarship is named for Belle da Costa Greene, the African-American librarian, bibliographer, and director of the Morgan Library. The deadline to submit your application is May 1, 2017. We will notify the winner by or before May 15, 2017. Submit your application by mail or by email to Garrett S... [more]

Autograph expert and ABAA-member Gary Combs died last month. A celebration of his life will be held in New York City on March 7, as many of his former colleagues will be in the city for the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. ABAA-member James Camner paid tribute to his late friend and colleague: It is with deep sadness that I am reporting the death of my dear friend and colleague Gary Combs who died just after his 70th Birthday on February 10. Gary will be known to many in the ABAA as a premier level autograph dealer in New York City. He was a top private dealer, a “dealer's dealer” for many years, but his start in the business was as a salesman in the Book Department of B. Altman's Department store, where I met him back in 1976. At the time, he was the assistant to another dear old departed friend of the trade, Bob Tollett. Upon Bob's retirement, Gary became Altman's buyer, and remained there until the store closed for good. We older autograph and book dealers will remember what a force Altman's and their buyers were in their day. At every book fair, autograph show and twice a year in Europe, we all looked forward to their buying trips. They were perhaps the most powerful retail outlet to the general public, and their groundbreaking full page ads in the New York Times likely created countless new collectors. With Gary's passing, we have lost our last link to that grand old institution and its retail world of antiquarian books, maps and autographs. After leaving Altman's, Ga... [more]

You've no doubt heard the great news that Assembly Bill 228 has been introduced by California State Assembly Members Gloria and Chiu. If passed, this bill will provide significant relief from the most troubling and onerous provisions of AB 1570, California's new autograph law. The ABAA, IOBA, PBA Galleries, and The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, The Manuscript Society, The Ephemera Society, The Northern California Independent Booksellers' Association, The Professional Autograph Dealers Association, Horror Writers Association, The Grolier Club, Biblio and The Easton Press have formally expressed support for this pending legislation in the linked letters. The legislative process is long and complicated. Bills pass through policy committees in each house of the legislature and the process takes many months. What this bill needs to help ensure that it becomes law is your support. We encourage members and interested parties to write a letter of support for AB 228 addressed to the bill's primary author: Assemblymember Todd Gloria P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 94249-0078 You can also add your name and comments to the change.org petition. We'll keep you updated on progress here. [more]

Bernard M. Rosenthal was born in 1920 in Munich. Most of his immediate family left Munich for Florence in 1933, left Italy for France in 1938, and arrived in the US in 1939, each move in response to the problem of being Jewish. Both sides of his family, the Rosenthals and on his mother's side, the Olschkis of Italy, were heavily involved in the book trade going back generations as antiquarians, printers, publishers and authors. An extensive interview with Rosenthal was conducted by Dan Slive (head of Special Collections of the Bridwell Library at SMU) and appeared in the RBM Journal in 2003; in it, Rosenthal gives a fulsome account of his early days in the trade, starting in 1949 as an apprentice bookseller in Zurich under a bibliographical “tyrant,” Herr Frauendorfer, then later under the tutelage of Arthur Swann at Parke-Bernet, and finally starting off on his own in 1953, at 71st and Madison in Manhattan as a seller of scholarly and bibliographical works. In 1970 he moved his firm to San Francisco and remained in Northern California the rest of his life. His specialties included early printed and manuscript books, the history of scholarship and bibliography, and paleography. He joined the ABAA in 1955, served as its president from 1968-70, and was a generous guide, resource and mentor to many of the ABAA's current members. One of Rosenthal's greatest contributions was his catalogue of a collection of early printed books bearing extensive contemporary manuscript annotat... [more]

At a time when some brick and mortar antiquarian bookstores are closing their doors in favor of an internet-only presence, Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, of Raptis Rare Books, have gone against the grain and recently opened a rare bookstore on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. Worth Avenue, like Madison Avenue or Rodeo Drive, is synonymous with luxury brands and caters to an island that is home to the rich and famous, including the new President-elect, Donald Trump. Raptis Rare Books had previously operated mainly as a catalog and online business out of a beautiful Italianate villa in Vermont, but Matthew Raptis wanted to have more interaction with his customers and allow people to come into greater contact with “these wonderful written works of art.” The new gallery opened on November 1, but the grand-opening is being held until January 2017, when the holiday rush is past. "We've had an outstanding initial reception to the store,” Matthew commented. “People love the idea of something new and different on the Avenue and when they walk in they often talk about their love of the smell of old books and how a particular book touched their lives. Holding a rare book is like holding a bit of history in your hands.” Almost all of the books in the Raptis Rare Books inventory are first editions and many of them are signed or inscribed by the author. Matthew and Adrienne refer to the new store as a gallery because "like fine art, in a way it is like stepping into a museum." Unlike a ... [more]

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New Members: Fall 2016

By Rich Rennicks

The ABAA has recently approved several new members, all of whom have successfully proven themselves to be, in the words of the ABAA Guarantee, "established, knowledgeable, and of excellent reputation." These new members were sponsored by existing members, and have undergone a rigorous screening process. We welcome the newest members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. Full Members: Kim Herrick, The Book Lair Kim Herrick got her start in the book trade by buying a large collection from an estate sale and then going to the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar to figure out what to do with it. Luckily, this turned into a passion for a new career and Kim went on to attend the Rare Book School several times and many trade shows with her new business, The Book Lair. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Kim has kept her roots in the Bay Area by joining the Book Club of California and regularly attending events there. One of her specialties is miniature books and she is a member of the Miniature Book Society. Andrew Langer, Andrew Langer Bookseller Andrew Langer came to bookselling in a roundabout way, in large part as a consequence of moving into a nearly 100-year-old house in 1996. Efforts at restoration led to an increased interest in the old ways and to a need for parts sourced from the local community. Books and ephemera came home with the fixtures, and the infant online auction market demonstrated an audience for the uncommon. A decade later, Mr. Langer began to sell eph... [more]

Denver has its very own "Booksellers' Row" after the relocation of two ABAA members, Anderson Butler Rare Books and Gallagher Books. Anderson Butler Rare Books has opened and Gallagher Books has re-opened after moving seven doors South of their previous location. Anderson Butler Rare Books relocated to Denver from Seattle a year ago and have just rented the storefront at 1460 South Broadway. Mark Anderson has been in the antiquarian book business since 2001. Mark's wife, Nora Butler Anderson, joined him in the business in 2008. The original store opened on the second-floor of a Seattle building in 2010. Now in its new street-level incarnation on Antique Row, Anderson Butler Rare Books specializes in antiquarian, collectible and eclectic books, manuscripts, art and ephemera across many fields including Americana, Literature, Travel and Philosophy. They are especially interested in books relating to the Culture of Time: Almanacs and Calendars, Astrology and Divination, and Horology. Anderson Butler Rare Books, 1460 South Broadway, Denver. Inside Anderson Butler Rare Books. Gallagher Books was started by Don and Sue Gallagher in 1994 in the Antique Guild that used to be at the corner of Louisiana and Broadway. After 12 years in that location, the Guild was redeveloped and Gallaghers moved to the 1400 block of the row where they had a shop for 10 years. Now they are in the new location just two doors from Anderson Butler. Don died in the spring of 2015 and Sue has continued the b... [more]