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16th century warfare manual shows rockets strapped to cats and doves

Textbooks on the art of war have been around for centuries in one form or another. One of the most interesting examples is Armamentarium Principale Oder Kriegsmunition und Artillerey=Buch by Frank Helm. This 16th century book details the manufacture of bombs, canons and other types of artillery involving gunpowder.  Instructions include strapping rockets to the […]

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Rare copy of first Beano annual sells for £3,000

A very rare copy of the first Beano annual has sold for £3,000 on AbeBooks.co.uk. Published for the 1939 Christmas market, The Beano Book was published by DC Thomson and is somewhat of a landmark in children’s publishing. This particular copy is unrestored with no pages missing or scribbles or colouring.  Very few copies are […]

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Alice meets Salvador… with surrealist style

Like so many of us, Salvador Dali would have enjoyed visiting Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. In 1969, the Spanish artist, famous for surreal melting clocks, illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Only 2,500 copies were produced and one of them sold for five figures last month. Our first list of 2014 also includes a collection of rare […]

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Holocaust book repeats the word ‘Jew’ six million times

It’s a book that contains just a single word, repeated six million times across 1,250 pages. Gefen Publishing, a Jerusalem-based published, has produced And Every Single One Was Someone and it’s a book that was worthy of the front page of the New York Times at the weekend. That one word is ‘Jew’ and this […]

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Dario Ustino – Venice’s master of bookbinding

When it comes to the treasured art of bookbinding, Dario Ustino is a true master. One of the more interesting booksellers listing books for sale on AbeBooks is Charta located in Venice, Italy. Charta is the business operated by Ustino and Jeanne Biagi. The couple moved to Venice in 1975 and opened their ‘art binding’ […]

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£150,000 will buy you this beautiful Hebrew prayer book

If you have a spare £150,000 and a fascination with printing history, then you might like this beautiful miniature illuminated Hebrew prayer book, published in 1745 in Mainz, Germany. Recently listed on AbeBooks by Les Enluminures from Chicago, this is a stunning item. It contains 13 miniatures and is bound in maroon morocco leather. The illustrations include […]

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Ten Signed Books to Give This Christmas

1. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton 28-year-old Catton has the world at her feet after winning the 2013 Man Booker Prize. Prices from £38. 2. The Ocean at The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman One of the year’s bestsellers. A vivid story of memory, magic and survival. Vintage Gaiman. Prices from £35. 3. […]

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The Boys in the Band: a beautiul landmark for gay culture

It’s a memorable cover from 1968 but The Boys in the Band by Mart Crowley is much more than just a pretty book from the 1960s. This is the book version of an off-Broadway play that opened in 1968 and stretched to a thousand performances.  A movie version followed in 1970 with William Friedkin directing. […]

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Purple & yellow: the signed limited edition of And the Mountains Echoed

Fans of Khaled Hosseini should take note of this signed and numbered limited edition of And the Mountains Echoed issued by Bloomsbury. There are just a thousand copies – all with a purple slipcase – in beautiful purple and yellow boards. The lowest current price is £45 with free postage.

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America’s first printed book heads for auction

Our latest video concerns the Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in what became the United States. Published in 1640, this book will be auctioned by Sotheby’s on November 26. The auction firm estimates the sale price will be between £9 million and £18 million – and anything in excess of £7.5 million ($12 […]

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