Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another Day Without Daylight


Well, another busy day at the NEC with some solid sales but a lot of hard work, these kinds of events mean that you are talking almost continuously throughout the day, always trying to be bright, interesting and persuasive no matter whether someone is eyeing a £20 book or a £2000 book. I have had a little chance to look around a bit and when I have access to a scanner I shall certainly share some of the little bits and pieces that I have bought whilst I've been here.

One item that took my fancy, but I passed on, was a great piece of Oxfordiana, if such a thing can be said to exist it's a small book that consists only of a single sheet, folded concertina-style into its covers, and which, on each folded panel has a hand-coloured engraving, 17 in all, each of a version of the academic dress of Oxford types from scholar to Chancellor. Engraved by Nathaniel Whittock and published, according to the British Library c.1845. But it's a salutary example of why buying on impulse ain't always a good idea. Fortunately I didn't buy it at well over £200 at the NEC today, having found a couple of copies online for half and less of that when I returned to my hotel. It remained a great thing, but not perhaps as rare as I might have imagined to start with.

Today's picture, in my currently slightly internet-restricted state, is simply a lovely book token designed by Barnett Freedman (you may recall that I have a small collection of books in jackets by Freedman) that I found on the website of the Ephemera Society. If anyone out there has one of these tokens tucked away somewhere I'd be delighted to buy it for a reasonable price.

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