IMG_0803.JPGFriday was a marathon day of book fair browsing. I started my day uptown at the NYC Book and Ephemera Fair, where I caught up with booksellers, several “Bright Young Booksellers” among them. I had the chance to meet Edmund Brumfitt, a London-based bookseller who was exhibiting on his own in New York for the first time (he was previously with Pickering & Chatto). He showed me a “pocket guide to physiognomy” c. 1805 that I found intriguing, primarily for its folding leaf of illustrations. (Considering my penchant for medical/surgical illustration, it was tempting, but more on that later.) We did come away from this fair with one purchase, a gift for my daughters: American Girl’s Home Book of Work and Play (1883), from John Liberati Books, where we struck gold last year with a serendipitous find.

From there, I ventured to the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, where five or six hours of serious looking (and not-so-serious chatting) barely scratches the surface of what this fair has to offer. I was taken aback by a 1793 needlework map of the world, offered by Boston Rare Maps (pictured below). A large and beautiful world map executed in silk thread on satin, it is amazing to behold, perhaps even more so when one reads that it was made “almost certainly [by] an English girl of school age.”  

BRM2711-Barwick-embroidered-World-1783_lowres-1024x640.jpgRaptis Rare Books, which recently relocated to Palm Beach, Florida, showcased a wall of titles with an economic/political/timely bent, including the rare first edition of Asa Greene’s The Perils of Pearl Street, Including a Taste of the Dangers of Wall Street (1834). Between the Covers Rare Books was offering a substantial and wow-inducing archive of children’s book editor and author Charlotte Zolotow. I also enjoyed perusing their first edition of the unfamiliar (to me, anyway) dos-a-dos volume penned by Dorothy Parker (Men I’m Not Married To) and Franklin P. Adams (Women I’m Not Married To) and published in 1922. As always, vernacular art, photography, and agitprop--from Donald Trump to Harvey Milk--commanded attention in the vibrant booth shared by Brian Cassidy Bookseller and Lux Mentis Booksellers. And a trip to the fair would have been incomplete without a look at Seth Kaller’s $2+ million Alexander Hamilton collection; more on that here.  
IMG_0056.JPGOne of the gems at this fair, in my opinion, was a stunning fine binding of Butterflies and Moths (British) by Hannah Brown, offered by Bromer Booksellers (pictured above). The full leather binding is embroidered over colored leather inlays with silk thread; brass “pins” inserted through the boards appear to hold each in place. Its custom wooden case is made to look like a specimen box.

And ... two further purchases were made: a medical treatise on the eye from 1833 with a dazzling illustration and lovely contemporary marbled boards, from Jarndyce Booksellers; and the South African first edition of J. M. Coetzee’s The Life & Times of Michael K (1983), one of my all-time favorite novels, from Jeff Bergman Books.

                                                                                                                                             Images, top: Courtesy of the author; middle: Courtesy of Boston Rare Maps; bottom: Courtesy of the author.

Rare Book Week NYC: Navigating the Bazaar


Book Week has arrived in New York, and there’s plenty to do and little time to do it in. What are the best ways to get the most bang for your buck? Below, a few suggestions to help make your Book Week a rousing success:

1. Go to, browse the list of exhibitors, and study the layout of the shows (there’s three this year). With over two hundred exhibitors at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair (NYABF) alone, it’s wise to have some sense of which dealers you want to see first. What do you do if you don’t have a clue about who’s who? The NYABF is mantaining a robust Instagram page where various exhibitor-provided highlights give a sense of the vendors and their specialties.
2. Pack smart. If your game plan includes active acquisition, tuck a sturdy canvas tote into your carry-all or purse.
3. Find your Fair. The NYABF is Book Week’s crown jewel, and tantalizing offerings include a $3,000 children’s book entitled Die Wunderfahrt at Pierre Coumans’ booth, a stunning 40-volume collection of Balzac presented by Imperial Fine Books ($15,000), and other not-to-be-missed items. Still, if all the glitz and glamor of the Park Avenue bazaar is too rich for your blood, head over to the Uptown Satellite Show at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola’s Wallace Hall at 980 Park Avenue. Sixty dealers, such as Rare PaperLizz Young, and Jonathan Kearns, are participating. Don’t be surprised if you see a few dealers from the NYABF browsing here as well. Free shuttle service between both locations runs from 7:45 am-6:45 pm throughout the weekend. And finally, the hip “Shadow Show” takes place on Saturday from 10pm to 5pm directly across from the Armory at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, where show organizer John Bruno (as seen on PBS’s “Market Warriors”) will be conducting appraisals from 1-3pm.
4. Do your homework. Active collectors know that education is key to making smart purchases. See the bibliographies in A Gentle Madness and Among the Gently Mad for worthwhile guides to book hunting. As noted author and collector Michael Sadleir said in 1937, “In nature the bird who gets up earliest catches the most worms, but in book collecting the prizes fall to birds who know worms when they see them.”
5. Get there early. Though the NYABF and the Satellite Show are running extended hours this year, the good stuff always goes first.
6. Talk to the exhibitors. Booksellers, especially antiquarian booksellers, are a highly educated lot, so a conversation on Renaissance illuminated manuscripts could lead into all sorts of glorious directions. 
7. Take it in stride, i.e., wear comfortable walking shoes--your feet will thank you.
8. Are you driving? Bring a roll of quarters in case you’re one of the lucky few who snags street parking. Failing to feed the parking meter could set you back $65, and that’s no way to end a great day at the Fair.

What are your best practices for a successful Book Week? Let us know!

Our Bright Young Booksellers series continues today with Rebecca Romney, of Honey & Wax Booksellers, and author of Printer’s Error, out next week from HarperCollins. (An excerpt from Printer’s Error can be read in the current issue of Fine Books & Collections.)

R Romney.jpgHow did you get started in rare books?

Pure accident. I had just returned home from a year teaching English in Japan. I had planned on getting a Master’s degree in Japanese Literature, but was not able to get back to the US in time to start for the fall semester. While I was waiting for the next semester, I looked around for a job in Las Vegas, where I had temporarily settled because my family lived there. This was the fall of 2007, and Bauman Rare Books was hiring staff to open its new gallery in the Palazzo.

It didn’t take long before I knew I had stumbled quite innocently into the perfect job for me. And at Bauman, I benefited from the old-school apprenticeship model, in addition to a quick turnover of books (allowing me to see multiple copies of a single title in a short period of time), and many customer interactions in a retail environment. Thus a better initial answer might be: pure serendipity.

Tell us about your recent move to Honey & Wax and your new role there:

I left Bauman in early 2016 and spent some time drilling down on the manuscript for my book, Printer’s Error. But soon I was craving the rare book trade again. Heather O’Donnell and I are friends from back when we were both at Bauman, and would often grab dinner when I was in New York. We share a similar philosophy about the book trade. When I left Bauman, Heather saw that as an opportunity and opened up a dialogue with me.

We arranged for me to collaborate with Honey & Wax from my home in Philadelphia. (I had moved there in 2014 to manage Bauman’s central operations.) I visit Brooklyn once a week, but I work mostly independently, researching, buying, cataloging, and selling. In addition I lend another hand and eye towards general Honey & Wax projects, like book fairs, catalogs, buying for stock, etc. I feel lucky: we are good friends who also happen to work very well together.   

Describe a typical day for you:

On any given day I can wear many hats. I am most likely to be hunting and researching books to buy, cataloging books we’ve bought, or discussing and selling these books with clients. But the amount of time I may spend in a day on any single one of these tasks varies greatly. 

What do you love about the book trade?

The book trade is an excuse for me to spend my life learning, while still contributing in a meaningful way to our civilization.

I love the research. It doesn’t take much for my curiosity to turn into obsession. In many other situations, this susceptibility to enthusiasm (my euphemism for “obsession”) can be counter-productive. But the kind of cataloging I do means leaving no stone unturned, so this otherwise questionably helpful instinct can be mustered to good use. I am easily fascinated, and not so easily bored.

I also love the social aspects of this business. Many of my closest friendships, and indeed many of my favorite people in the world, I have met through the trade. This applies equally to fellow members of the trade and academics in related fields, but also to customers. Over the years, I have met many clients who are brilliant, interesting, and engaging. I love to talk books with them.

Favorite rare book (or ephemera) that you’ve handled?

The book I felt most honored to handle was a first edition of Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687) in a contemporary vellum binding. It had these yapp was a thing of beauty.

But often I feel that the favorite item I’ve handled is whatever I’ve cataloged most recently. I’m always fresh off some new discovery that has pleased me in some unexpected way.

For example, recently I cataloged the first edition in English of a novel written by Sonja Kovalevsky, a Russian mathematician who became the first female professor in modern Europe. Similar to Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons, it examines the interaction between the new socialist radicals and the conservatives of older generations in mid-nineteenth century Russia - but, here’s the kicker: it’s inflected with informed commentary on women’s education there. It was not issued again in English until 2001, under the title Nihilist Girl. (That title is so good. So. Good.)

Another recent favorite is an amusing Victorian-era entomology primer called Episodes in Insect Life. The work depicts anthropomorphized insects. Fine; Jiminy Cricket is familiar to us. But these are remarkable: the cricket turned into the weary author, a butterfly as a “painted lady,” a bee doing “Apian Phreno-Magnetism.” Let me say that again: bees, practicing phrenology and mesmerism.

What do you personally collect?

Don’t ask me that question. I hate that question. It encourages me to do something I work very hard not to do (against my natural inclination). Instead, I feed that impulse into collection-building with my clients. I recently put together a collection of great spy novels and, even though I thought this genre wasn’t my thing, reading and researching these books has turned out to be surprisingly satisfying. I prefer this type of collecting, which also happens to keep me fed.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Besides reading, yes? That’s obvious? I’ve found I need frequent physical activity, or I tend to get lost in my head rather too often. I do Krav Maga and try to lap swim regularly. I’m also partial to video games, which I know is a rather unpopular stance in our world. You can argue the merits of that last choice with me if you’re inclined, but play Portal first. Then tell me if you still feel that way.

Thoughts on the present state and/or future of the rare book trade?

I see a lot of pessimism and bewilderment in the trade, but I also see a lot of people doing interesting new things. I recall a conversation at the Boston ABAA fair a couple years ago with a brilliant and respected member of the trade, who has been selling books for over four decades. He was shaking his head, saying, “I don’t know what your generation is going to do.” My response: “I am bursting with ideas.” And I’m definitely not the only one. It’s not easy - it takes work, real expertise, vision, and resources - but the possibilities of what one can do in the trade are as exciting as ever.

Any upcoming fairs or catalogues?

Honey & Wax just released its fifth print catalog last fall. We will be exhibiting at the ABAA book fair in New York this March. Booth E17: come visit.

Tell us about your podcast and your upcoming book project:

I created a podcast with author JP Romney called Biblioclast, a sort of book club for iconoclasts. Which is to say: we talk about classic books from a place of affection, but we also aren’t looking to pull any punches in our discussions. Each episode is on the short side (10-15 minutes), so they’re meant to be quick, digestible biblio-candy. New episodes will drop in March. The featured book: The Handmaid’s Tale.

y450-293.pngJP and I also co-authored a book about books called Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History, forthcoming from HarperCollins on March 14. That’s just after the New York Book Fair. It’s meant to be an introduction to the major themes and topics in print history, through the lens of individual figures’ absurd, ironic, or just plain crazy life stories. For example, one chapter follows William Blake’s invention of illuminated printing, the medium in which he printed most of his own poetry, and which he claimed to have learned from his recently deceased brother in a dream.

The book is meant for a general audience, rather than the book history community directly. For this reason, we’ve taken a tone of levity throughout (but with over 800 endnotes because I can’t help myself). JP’s particular strength is as a comic writer, so it’s influenced as much by John Oliver as it is A.S.W. Rosenbach.

On March 15, we are having a book release party at Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, co-sponsored by Honey & Wax. If you’re in NYC, please stop by; I would love to have you. I’ll also be at the Rosenbach talking about the book on April 27.

You can read more about Printer’s Error on my website or pre-order it here. Or start by reading the current issue of Fine Books & Collections: an excerpt from the book is the cover story.

[Images provided by Rebecca Romney]

PBS has been a savior these past few months, not only as an impeccable source of “real” news but also of escape. Its new historical drama series about Queen Victoria pulled me through the inauguration haze (and, yes, I do see some irony there). Still riding high from Sunday night’s Victoria finale, I have been preparing for Rare Book Week by perusing catalogs and lists of ABAA book fair highlights and taking note of books and manuscripts that I’d like to see on Friday.

Heald.jpgOne of those items is an incredible presentation album of eighty etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, to be offered at the fair by Manhattan’s own Donald A. Heald Rare Books. According to the catalog copy, Victoria “took up etching as a hobby, introducing the art to her husband shortly after their marriage in 1840.” (I wish PBS had given us a glimpse of that...) They etched separately and together, sometimes working on the same plate, which was then handed off for biting and printing. Their artistic subjects were courtiers, children, and dogs. “[V]ery few of each of the etchings were printed, the pastime being largely for the royal couple’s own amusement; an occasional print and a very few sets, like the present, were distributed as gifts.”

Only two complete sets are known--one in the Royal Collection and one at the British Museum. This set, lacking seven etchings and bound in contemporary purple morocco, was presented by the queen to Sir Theodore Martin, author of Queen Victoria as I Knew Her (1901).

At the princely sum of $125,000, it is clearly a volume fit for a royal collection.

Image via Donald A. Heald Rare Books.

55a Foringer Abundan#8724A3 copy.jpgIt’s Rare Book Week in New York City with the New York Antiquarian Book Fair running from Thursday through Sunday, as well as both a “satellite show” and a “shadow show” to tempt buyers.

If you want to give your credit card a break, however, here are several free book exhibits on display across the city:

The Grolier Club, 47 East 60th St, is opening its doors with two exhibits on display: Images of Value: The Artwork Behind U.S. Security Engraving 1830s-1980s, (see image) which surveys 150 years of images in watercolor drawings, prints, photographs, and oil paintings that were used as engraving subjects by US bank note firms, largely from the collection of Mark D. Tomasko. (For more on this exhibit, check out a New York Times article). Head up to the second floor for For Art’s Sake: The Aesthetic Movement in Print and Beyond from the Collection of Eric Holzenberg. The free exhibits are open to the public Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

At The Center for Book Arts, 28 W. 27th St., 3rd floor, you can visit Pulp as Portal: Socially Engaged Hand-Papermaking, an exhibition that features “the artist’s book--specifically bookworks, publications, zines, and printed matter--as both artwork and outcome.” While you’re there, you can also check out Chantal Zakari: Narratives of Conflict (in collaboration with Mike Mandel).

The Metropolitan Musem of Art, 1000 5th Ave, has a special exhibit on the “heritage and allure” of Parade de cirque, painted in 1887-88 by Georges Seurat, featuring more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints, period posters, and illustrated journals, supplemented by musical instruments and an array of documentary material. (While technically free, the Met does have suggested admission rates).

Image: Alonzo E. Foringer. [Standing female with wheat and scythe]. Oil on canvas, 30 x 30.” For American Bank Note Company, 1927. Collection of Mark D. Tomasko.

trunk copy.jpg

On Wednesday of this week (Rare Book Week in NYC), Heritage Auctions will offer for sale a traveling trunk once owned by Mark Twain. Not only is it, as the catalogue copy puts it, “an astounding artifact from arguably the most important author in American literature,” but for us at FB&C, it is particularly gratifying, as we “broke the story,” so to speak, of its recent discovery and its owner’s efforts to research and authenticate it:

The story seems as far-fetched as Mark Twain’s tall tales. A man, who by day crafts and restores stained glass, happened by an old trunk at an auction in Kansas City, Missouri, in early 2015. The words ‘Property of Samuel L. Clemens’ applied in black paint caught his eye. A lifelong fan of the American author born Samuel L. Clemens but better known as Mark Twain, the browser’s interest was piqued. He purchased the tatty antique and began a yearlong quest to verify its authenticity. (Read the full article here.)

The bidding opens at $25,000, and we’ll be watching!

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Stories to Tell at the Harry Ransom Center


Photo credit: Pete Smith                                                                                                                             

Since its establishment in 1957, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has positioned itself as “a cultural compass” in the Lone Star State, acquiring phenomenal literary manuscripts, letters, film memorabilia, as well as a Gutenberg Bible once owned by Carl and Lily Pforzheimer now on permanent display in the first-floor rotuunda. (See “Instant Ivy” in A Gentle Madness for a thorough account of the “institutional bibliomania” pursued during the tenure of the Center’s namesake founder, a drive that positioned it today as one of the finest research libraries in America.)

Now through July 16 the Center is hosting an exhibition highlighting some of those treasures in “Stories to Tell: Selections from the Harry Ransom Center.” Over 250 items explore the worlds of literature, film, art, photography, and dance, and how those disciplines enrich the human experience. The display labels read like a who’s-who of the twentieth century: Henri Matisse, Walker Evans, Gloria Swanson, Bob Woodward, Carl Berenstein, Robert de Niro, Henri Houdini, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and others. 
                                                                                                                                                          Creative improvisation is the name of the game in the hall where some of Robert de Niro’s archive is on display. His copy of the Taxi Driver script shows the lines, “You talkin’ to me?” scribbled at the bottom of the page, confirming that the actor was rehearsing the ad-lib as part of the final performance. That improvised monologue resulted in perhaps one of the most memorable lines in movie history.



Hack license issued to Robert De Niro, New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, September 23, 1974 Robert De Niro Papers, Harry Ransom Center. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                Testifying to the exact opposite of winging it are two cases dedicated to Kazuo Ishiguro and David Foster Wallace. Both collections are recent additions--Ishiguro’s was acquired in 2015, and the majority of the Wallace papers arrived in 2009. Manuscripts curator Megan Barnard prepared these displays, focusing on the creative process of both authors. “Ishiguro meticulously saved his drafts, notes, and papers, and the archive documents the full arc of his career,” Barnard explained. Prior to shipping his collection to Austin, Ishiguro added extensive notes handwritten on yellow sticky notes and typed discursive memos. “Now, researchers have access to the original primary materials documenting Ishiguro’s creative work and to many of his personal reflections and memories that provide context for those items,” said Barnard.



A page from Kazuo Ishiguro’s diary, dated October 22, 1975. Harry Ransom Center. 

The David Foster Wallace material is studied more frequently than any other collection at the HRC. “There seems to be especially strong interest in Wallace’s work from a new generation of scholars, many of whom are writing their dissertations or are approaching archival research for the first time,” explained Barnard. As a result, the Wallace display demonstrates the Center’s commitment to building and enhancing this archive to provide a complete understanding of the writer and his work.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Texans are known to “go big or go home,” and while the HRC is known for acquiring large troves of material, Barnard asserts that those acquisitions represent a fraction of their collection development activities. “We are equally dedicated to supplementing and enhancing the archives we already have by acquiring related materials from other sources to provide researchers a fuller understanding of a writer, a work, or an important cultural moment.”

                                                                                                                                                                               Admission to Stories to Tell: Selections from the Harry Ransom Center is free. For more information, visit 

                                                                                                                                                                            Hook ‘em Horns.



Our Bright Young Booksellers series continues today with Emil Allakhverdov, proprietor of Rare Paper in New York City:

Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 10.56.52 PM.pngHow did you get started in rare books and ephemera?

I became familiar with rare books and ephemera ten years ago when I was living in Odessa, Ukraine.  Having a degree in economics, I could never imagine that I would be so drawn into the world of collecting. My first mentor was my father-in-law. It was his passion for collecting which was so contagious that led me to enter into a field absolutely new to me. Very soon I became so involved and interested in this process that I collected my own first collection - postcards of my birthplace, the city of Baku, Azerbaijan. I was really in love with my new hobby and felt encouraged to learn about the deltiology field in depth, and this cultivated my desire to become a collector. However, unlike many collectors of that time, who preferred to find their “treasures” at various shows, I was working only on the Internet.  I was surprised to see how easy and convenient it could be to contact dealers and collectors from all over the world in just a few clicks. Soon I switched to another subject, the history of Odessa, the town in which I lived. Just buying did not work; sometimes it was necessary to have something to offer to other collectors, something that I could surprise them with - that’s how I started selling. Over time I realized that I wanted to do it for a living, meeting new collectors and dealers, researching and studying the subject.

When did you open Rare Paper and what do you specialize in?

My online store opened at the beginning of 2016. I specialize in scarce and unique Russian books and ephemera I have not seen before, that I want to share with others.

What do you love about the book and paper trade?

Most important for me are the people I meet... and the unexpected element of surprise that arises out their breadth of knowledge, experience and interest. I love to meet people, and listening to their stories always increases my knowledge. Also, there is the possibility to travel around the world in search of another treasure.

Describe a typical day for you:

I do not have a daily schedule. No two days are alike. However, my day usually begins with mail and phone calls, which will determine my schedule. It may be meetings with my clients, business trips, attending shows, shipping orders and preparing products for upcoming auctions.

Favorite rare book (or ephemera, or rare paper, etc.) that you’ve handled?

I have seen and held many rarities, but it is more interesting to talk about what I have in stock at the moment. Special among my current rare items is an 1850’s Daguerreotype of the Emperor of Russia, Nicholas I. I was able to locate another like it only in the Hermitage collection. Another unique paper is an original hand painted postcard of the famous Russian avant-garde artist, Jean Pougny (Ivan Puni).

What do you personally collect?

For over 10 years I have been collecting objects related to the history of the city of Odessa (Ukraine): Postcards, photographs, books, documents and ephemera. In the US, I’ve started a new subject, émigré books and ephemera, both Russian and Ukrainian. Recently I’ve become the owner of an extensive collection of Ukrainian children’s books. More than 1,000 émigré books were published in Europe and in the US from 1918 to 1970. Now I am searching for new books to add to my collection.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I volunteer in the Thomas J. Watson Library (at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), assisting in the Slavic and Special Collections Department. I like to visit new museum exhibitions and other cultural events in New York City with my wife. We also love to travel in upstate New York, especially along the Hudson River.

Thoughts on the present state and/or future of the rare book and paper trade?

Today we can see how the concept of collecting is changing. We live during a time in which more and more people prefer to participate in online auctions and make purchases from home. Young people show no interest in old books at all. I don’t think the concept of collecting itself is dying; I think people will just be collecting other things. People will always enjoy owning things of value and rare beauty, and those who can afford to will collect them. I believe the main goal of dealers and collectors today, besides buying and selling of course, would be to encourage interest among younger individuals in identifying a new generation of objects worth collecting.  Aside from this it is important to pass along the shared knowledge obtained from previous generations of collectors who did their work without the Internet.

Any upcoming fairs or catalogues?

March 10, New York City Book and Ephemera Fair

March 17-18, New York City Spring 2017 Postcard Expo

March 31, Photo NYC Fair 2017

September 8, Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair with the New Works on Paper Gallery 

Image Courtesy of Emil Allakhverdov.

TEFAF Maastricht is widely regarded as the world’s preeminent art fair. Though TEFAF recently expanded into New York City, this anchor fair is held in the Netherlands from March 10-19 and is going into its thirtieth year. TEFAF draws rare book, map, and manuscript dealers and collectors as well, as we found during our visit in 2013, but the offerings bask in the highest echelon of such material. They are captivating to look at and destined for museums or major private collections. Here are four highlights:

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 10.38.57 AM.pngShapero Rare Books has exhibited at TEFAF for nearly 25 years. One of its show-stoppers this year is Maria Sibylla Merian’s groundbreaking work of entomology, Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (1726-1730). Courtesy of Shapero Rare Books.   

Nova et Accurata Totius Europae Tabula, Fre derick de Wit, Amsterdam, 1700. £60,000 copy.jpgDaniel Crouch Rare Books plans to display historic maps exploring how the boundaries of and within Europe, “changed over the centuries through conquest, decline, and simply better mapping.” Pictured here: Nova et Accurata Totius Europae Tabula, Frederick de Wit, Amsterdam, 1700. Courtesy of Daniel Crouch Rare Books.

1. Radegund_Life and Office_Poitiers_1496-1500_f.8_Feast copy.jpegDr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will offer several notable manuscripts, including the one shown above: Life of St. Radegund, a manuscript in French and Latin, illuminated by the Master of St. Radegund and made for King Charles VIII and his wife Anne de Bretagne. The manuscript was made in France, presumably between 1496-98. Courtesy of Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books.

isabeau-de-croix-boh-177v-178r copy.jpgLes Enluminures will exhibit this “flawless” fifteenth-century Book of Hours with 69 miniatures known as the Hours of Isabeau de Croix. Dr. Sandra Hindman, CEO and President of Les Enluminures, says, “This is by far one of the best Books of Hours I have ever handled as a dealer.” Courtesy of Les Enluminures.

1LaiFong.jpgThirty original photographs considered masterpieces from the late Qing Dynasty will be exhibited in New York at PRPH Books. The exhibition, presented by the 19th Century Rare Book and Photograph Shop, will run as part of Asia Week New York, March 7-20. 

The photographs, from the Stephan Loewentheil Historical Photography of China Collection, will be exhibited together for the first time. They open a window to the lost world of nineteenth-century China, before the country was irrevocably changed by the significant upheavals of the twentieth century. Photographs of China from the late Qing Dynasty are very rare and, as a result, largely unstudied.

The photographs in the exhibition will include both Western and Chinese photographers, such as Lai Fong, Felice Beato, John Thomson, Thomas Child, William Saunders, Pun Lun, and Tung Hing. All are drawn from Loewentheil’s collection of Qing Dynasty photographs, currently the largest in private hands.

2FBeato.jpgThe opening reception is on March 10, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., with a gallery talk “China’s place in the history of photography,” on March 15, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 

Images courtesy of Stephan Loewentheil Historical Photography of China Collection

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