AE Monthly Articles - February - 2010 Issue

Hammer2009

Book Auction Prices Declined in 2009...<i>But...</i>

By Michael Stillman

A detailed look at book auction results for 2009 reveals that virtually every important number was down. The most telling number - median sales price - was down. Sell through rates were down. The ratio of items sold above the high estimate to those sold below the low estimate was down. The number of auctions held and number of items offered were down. So why are we celebrating these seemingly woeful results? The answer is that these declines, particularly in terms of median price, were surprisingly small. We expected a much steeper decline, but the drop in median pric...

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A Page from the Future

By Bruce McKinney

For years, the changing economics of booksellers’ catalogues have caused headaches for booksellers. In decades past, such catalogues were often substantial; the number of items...

Halas-volk

Bookselling - It's a Business: Year and Decade in Review

By Susan Halas & Chris Volk

Many independent booksellers found 2009 was a better than expected year with a stronger than expected finish. It was also marked the end of a decade when everyone...

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Heritage: Two Sales in Beverly Hills

By Bruce McKinney

Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, the ascendant auction house rising from the flat lands of Texas, is entering the west coast collectibles auction market - bringing its uni...

Rhsbooktheft

<i>In The News:</i> "Tome Raider" In Jail Again, Book Returned 90 Years Late, New Publications

By Michael Stillman

It was a most unmerry Christmas for book thief William Jacques. Jacques is England's notorious "Tome Raider" of the 1990s, who allegedly did not learn his lesson. As they say...

Wrightpacking01

To Reuse or Not to Reuse, That is the Question

By Karen Wright

Wow! When I put a call out to two different booksellers' organizations, IOBA and my ABS group, asking for comments and opinions about wrapping books in new or reused materials, ...

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LA: A Hot Spot for Books in February

By Bruce McKinney

The ABAA, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, stages its biennial Book Fair in Los Angeles at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza from February 12-14. The ABAA ex...

Kindle v books

Printed Books vs. E-Readers: We're Ready to Make a Call

By Michael Stillman

There were several developments and news items concerning electronic readers appearing over the past few weeks, and while we will attempt to summarize a few of them, we don't...

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The Loot Returns

By Bruce McKinney

Sotheby's recently completed an exhibition of material from the James S. Copley collection of printed and manuscript Americana that will be sold beginning later this year. The...

Rushu

Rare Book Library Sells 3,700 Book Collection

By Michael Stillman

It was one of the largest, single owner book sales in recent memory, but it passed by virtually unnoticed. This was not an ordinary sale, as it also involved the extremely to...

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Important Maps to test the Market

By Bruce McKinney

In a day or two Sotheby's will add an auction to its calendar. It will be the necessary next step for Frank Benevento, a map collector who entered the collecting field a decad...

Northern lighthouse

British Lighthouse Board Sells Collection of Early Voyage Books

By Michael Stillman

Much of a distinguished institutional book collection, hundreds of years in the making, went up for sale in January, with the results much better than anticipated. There's al...

Cats02-10

Eight New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review eight new booksellers' catalogues. David Lesser Antiquarian Books focuses on Americana, while Clark Rare Books features primarily the American West. Librairie Thomas-Scheler, o...

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