Scarcity

Historically, the 4th quarter of the year is undoubtedly the strongest in sales of rare books. 2017 was no exception. We have come to realize through the years, that there are some aspects of the rare book trade that have been unlikely to drastically change. Thank human nature for that! On average, the October-December period has treated book […]

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It has the chemistry of a major hit – importance, scarcity, artistic impression, controversy, and mystique. Yet the small imprint of Editions Narcisse, later renamed Black Sun, has not performed like a major hit. It all became obvious a year ago during the Sotheby’s Fine Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana, auction event, held in New […]

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On April 3rd of 1973, Martin Cooper, the leader of Motorola’s cell phone team, broke History. In a fashion reminiscent of Alexander Graham Bell 100 years prior, Cooper called Joel Engel, the research head of rival AT&T’s Bell Labs to say – “Joel, I’m calling you from a real cellular phone.” Historic breakthrough introductions such […]

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The short-lived publishing house of William Godwin formally started operations in 1930 in New York. Talk about bad timing; the depression that began around September 4, 1929 had caused the famous Black Tuesday market crash of October 29, 1929, setting a bleak backdrop for the publishing house’s humble beginnings. For a small publisher looking to […]

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On September 1, 1939 4:45am Central European Time, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein leaves Danzig harbor to cross the channel to the Polish army fortress Westerplatte while German Wehrmacht begin crossing the border into Poland. It is the beginning of World War II. At the same time across the Atlantic in the United States, two partners […]

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Mark Twain once said “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” He was responding to his detractors that banished his book Huckleberry Finn from the Concord Public Library in Massachusetts and Brooklyn Public Library in New York.  Surprisingly, the controversy was not due to the […]

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What makes a rare book rare?  For any commodity to be called rare, scarce, or hard to come by,  the fundamental economics law of supply and demand is the primary factor. The higher its demand vs its supply the rarer of a commodity it becomes and that should result in higher pricing. Different commodities become rare for different […]

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