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Journal of No. 118


February 17th, 2008

smelly old books @ 06:21 pm

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I made a quick tour through the Antiquarian Book Fair. Spotted at least a half dozen Outsiders, including Robert Bloch's copy. (They also had Bloch's copy of BtWoS) But for Lovecraftian association copies, it's hard to beat Sam Loveman's copy of the 1936 Shadows Over Innsmouth ($27.5K). Another dealer had both the bound and unbound versions of the 1928 Recluse Press/Arkham Shunned House. The only Arkham that tempted me was poor Leah Drake's Hornbook for Witches, but even haggling was not likely to get the price down to something acceptable, so I didn't bother.

The bargain of the show, in my opinion, was a rebound 1543 De Rev for a measly $3,200. Okay, it's not the original binding, but that's about 1% of the price of a copy in the original binding. Sadly, I stuffed my hands into my pockets and came up with just $1.71 in change.

There was an amazing looking first of A Study in Scarlet, bone white and in its original wrapper. I'm not much of a Sherlock Holmes fan, so I had to look at the price several times - $260,000.

Apart from the merch, there was also an exhibit that pulled in things from special collections of local libraries, including several cabinets from UCLA's main library, UCLA's Biomed library, UCLA's Clark library, and even a small display from the other school.

The UCLA display had a few of the Aldines. dark_of_night worked on The Aldine Press: Catalogue of the Ahmanson-Murphy Collection of Books by or Relating to the Press in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles, Incorporating Works Recorded Elsewhere, and even I rated a thank you for, IIRC, providing some information on the Sator Square.

There was also a shelf from UCR's Eaton collection, including a Retro Hugo donated by the late Bruce Pelz. I used to work a dozen feet away from Bruce at the UCLA libraries, though I had no more than a handful of conversations with him.

Getting back to the books, there were a lot of lovely science books with elaborate illustrations. Usually they're common, since they make great display, but this year it was even more so. Several Flamsteed Atlases,including a couple that had been hand-colored. Amazing. On the humorous side of celestial atlases, there was the work by Julius Schiller, who was annoyed by the classical paganism inherent in the names of the constellations, so he renamed everything after saints and biblical characters and things. His painstaking work was entirely ignored.
 
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Journal of No. 118