Category Archive: Bookseller

An 18th-century pocket library

An 18th-century pocket library

18th November 2020

With the Boston book fair now behind me, I’ve now got time to focus on cataloguing some recent acquisitions and thought I’d share one with you. This is a rare eighteenth-century perspective view depicting a miniature contemporary library, complete with library users reading, discoursing, or simply admiring the shelves.  Such Guckkastendioramen (or ‘peepshows’ as they […]

In the pink

In the pink

12th November 2020

Later today, the Boston Virtual Book Fair will go live. Regular customers will already have received a copy of my fair list, to get a sneak peek at what I shall be showing. I thought this week on the blog I’d write about one of those books. Published in Budapest in 1922, this is a […]

Bless this house

Bless this house

5th November 2020

I am currently cataloguing some new material in preparation for the Boston Virtual Book Fair next week. Here’s one such item: ‘This elaborate house-blessing [which measures 412 × 325 mm], issued in the 1820s by Johann Ritter and Company of Reading … provides a unique poetic blessing rather than the common prose versions and the shorter […]

John Sims Reeves, English tenor

John Sims Reeves, English tenor

29th October 2020

This is a copy of the first edition of My Jubilee or Fifty Years of Artistic Life (1889), the published memoirs of John Sims Reeves (1818–1900), one of the leading English tenors of the nineteenth century.  ‘He made his début at La Scala in 1846 as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor [featured in one of the plates […]

The Musical Bouquet

The Musical Bouquet

2nd October 2020

This is a copy of the first edition of The Musical Bouquet (1799) by the Welsh harpist Edward Jones (1752–1824); the etched frontispiece is by Rowlandson. ‘Bard to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales’ as the title-page here styles him, he had moved to London from Llandderfel in 1774.  ‘The harp was very fashionable […]

Transvestite antiquarian bookseller

Transvestite antiquarian bookseller

25th September 2020

I’m currently putting together a new list of 18th-century material, and thought I’d share one item from it here. It’s two etchings of the ‘walking bookseller’, Theodora Grahn, ‘Baron de Verdion’, from 1793 and 1803. These are two versions of the much-reproduced image of Theodora Grahn/de Verdion, an émigré cross-dressing bookseller in Georgian London.  The […]