Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rare book-o-rama

Lots of rare book finds popping up lately:

  • In the Czech Republic, the Codex Gigas (the Devil's Bible) is attracting crowds.
The priceless piece, considered the biggest medieval book, was taken from the Prague Castle by Swedish troops at the end of the Thirty Years' War in 1648. It is in Prague on loan from Sweden's Royal Library in Stockholm. It was put on display last week under high security at the Czech National Library.

Its return to Prague for the exhibition, which runs through Jan. 6, was made possible after years of negotiations between Czech and Swedish diplomats, National Library spokeswoman Katerina Novakova said.
The books were discovered together last month in a single leather-bound volume that was clearly an unusual find, said Liza Holzinger, coordinator of the Bethlehem Area Public Library's book sale.

...The volume contained a first edition of Lydia Maria Child's 1833 book, "An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called African," and an 1840 second edition of "The Slave: Memoirs of Archy Moore."
The 177-year-old book was sold at an upstate New York estate auction to an undisclosed buyer who paid a 10 percent commission on top of a winning bid of $96,000, said Joseph Hessney of the Hessney Auction Co.

...The first editions were printed and published by E. B. Grandin in Palmyra in 1830. While there were roughly 5,000 copies printed, only a few hundred still exist.
Of course, no word on the location of those pesky plates.

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