Shelf Fulfillment

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association…

Month: March, 2013

by Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

Official Website of Rebecca Romney


 In 1493, the same year that Columbus’s discovery of the New World was announced, a man named Hartmann Schedel was creating his own world. Using the latest technological advances, he put together the most magnificent book of the era: the first printed illustrated history of the world.

The project was called the Liber Chronicarum, though it is better known as the Nuremberg Chronicle, and it covers all the events of human history from the creation of the world to the future apocalypse–from a 15th-century perspective.

There are Biblical stories,  emperors of Rome, popular myths, medieval wars; all have been edited together in this Renaissance tapestry of printing. More than 1800 woodcuts show us the great figures, eternal cities, and most advanced maps of the day.

Some copies of the work were colored by hand after they were printed. Today, complete hand-colored copies command prices in…

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by Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

The Bookhunter on Safari

Antiquarian2“A mere antiquarian is a rugged being” opined Dr Johnson, succinctly and meaningfully, to Boswell in 1778.  What’s in a name? – and what of the decidedly un-mere antiquarian bookseller?  A work in progress this – something which began in various desultory and ongoing e-mail conversations with Nicolas Barker and James Fergusson of The Book Collector, Simon Beattie and others. 

It would appear that the earliest citation the Oxford English Dictionary has for the phrase “antiquarian bookseller” is as recent as 1952, and for “antiquarian book(s)” a little later still.  This can’t possibly be right – the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association was founded in December 1906 – and that was precisely the name proposed at the time by Thomas Chatto and James Tregaskis.  Their proposal was defeated on that occasion and it was as the Second-Hand Booksellers’ Association that the ABA came into being – but not without those present…

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