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Swann Galleries

Swann Galleries was founded in 1941 as an auction house specializing in Rare Books. Today they are the largest specialist rare book auctioneers in the world, and our business has expanded to encompass the Visual Arts.


Renaissance Dante in Print (1472-1629)

THIS EXHIBITION presents Renaissance editions of Dante's Divine Comedy from the John A. Zahm, C.S.C., Dante Collection at the University of Notre Dame, together with selected treasures from The Newberry Library. The Zahm collection ranks among the top Dante collections in North America. Purchased for the most part by Zahm in 1902 from the Italian Dantophile Giulio Acquaticci, the 15th- and 16th- century imprints presented here form the heart of Zahm's collection, which totals nearly 3,000 volumes, including rare editions and critical studies from the Renaissance to the present. The nine incunable editions and nearly complete series of 16th-century imprints featured in this exhibit constitute essential primary sources for both the history of Dante's reception during the Renaissance and the early history of the printed book.


Zamora 80

In 1945 the Zamorano Club published The Zamorano 80: A Selection of Distinguished California Books Made by Members of the Zamorano Club. The criterion for inclusion was that a selection above all should be distinguished, and that rarity and importance would be secondary. Yet, over time, it appears that the eighty books selected are both distinguished and important, and a number of them are definitely rare. The Club's goal was to choose those books considered cornerstones of a serious collection of Californiana. The books listed in The Zamorano 80 for the most part have withstood the test of time.


19th Century Schoolbooks

19th Century Schoolbooks"The Nietz Old Textbook Collection is one of several well-known collections of 19th Century schoolbooks in the United States. Among the 16,000 volumes are many titles that are rarely held and have not yet been reproduced in microform collections or reprint editions. The collection is used by Pitt faculty and students as well as visiting scholars from other colleges and universities. The ULS received two U.S. Higher Education Act Title IIC grants (1985-1987) to catalog the original collection."


Library of Congress Rare Books and Special Collections: An Illustrated Guide

Library of Congress Rare Books and Special Collections: Table of Contents; Introduction (Larry Sullivan Chief, Rare Book and Special Collections Division); American History; American Literature; Europe; Book Arts; The Illustrated Book; List of Selected Special Collections; Concordance of Images (Includes information on how to order copies of the images).


An excellent report by Maureen Mulvihill of the auction of rare books and manuscripts from the estate of Paula Peyraud

The Paula Peyraud Collection: Samuel Johnson & Women Writers in Georgian Society. An Auction Report by Maureen E. Mulvihill as published in Eighteenth-Century Studies, Fall 2009, with 8 images and a list of selected buyers, prices & new locations of the Peyraud properties.
A pdf of the published report may be downloaded here: http://www.ilab.org/download.php?object=documentation&id=81
Bloomsbury Auctions: The Paul Peyraud Collection, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 Bookplate from Peyraud copy of Frances Burney’s <i>Cecilia</i>
‘DARK LADY’ OF RARE BOOK COLLECTORS, PAULA FENTRESS PEYRAUD (CHAPPAQUA, NY, 1947 ~ 2008). Peyraud Collection Auction, May 2009, Bloomsbury Auctions N.Y. 483 Lots (books, manuscripts, images). Sales total: $1.6 million, including premium. Photograph, Margie Van Dyke. Bookplate from Peyraud copy of Frances Burney’s Cecilia, (lot 218, buyer McGill University). Bookplate bears inscribed initials (“FCP - EKP”), being the collector’s grandparents Frank C. Peyraud & Elizabeth Krysler Peyraud, both visual artists (see “Peyraud,” Benezit, vol. 10, 2006 edition).


The Latest Decalogue

Thou shalt have one God only; who 
Would be at the expense of two? 
No graven images may be 
Worshipp’d, except the currency: 
Swear not at all; for, for thy curse 
Thine enemy is none the worse: 
At church on Sunday to attend 
Will serve to keep the world thy friend: 
Honour thy parents; that is, all 
From whom advancement may befall: 
Thou shalt not kill; but need’st not strive 
Officiously to keep alive: 
Do not adultery commit; 
Advantage rarely comes of it: 
Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat, 
When it’s so lucrative to cheat: 
Bear not false witness; let the lie 
Have time on its own wings to fly: 
Thou shalt not covet; but tradition 
Approves all forms of competition.
Arthur Hugh Clough [1819-1861]