Blog posts by Eloisa Amezcua

Eloisa Amezcua is the Associate Director of the ABAA. 

UPDATE: The items below have been recovered. ________________ The following has been reported missing in transit from New York City to San Diego, CA, shipped via UPS: John Gould's Birds of Europe Three Volumes (of Five) green leather bindings with gold tooling (see attached images) Please contact the firm directly if you know the whereabouts of this material: Harry S. Newman The Old Print Shop, Inc. 49 West 24th St., 2nd Floor New York, NY 10010 (212) 683-3950. Ext 109 hnewman@oldprintshop.net [more UPDATE: Missing in Transit: John Gould’s Birds of Europe]

An ABAA Member reports the following item as lost in transit (FedEx) from Chevy Chase, MD to Chicago. The buyer received an empty box upon delivery. Bressani, Francesco Giuseppe (1612-1672) Breve Relatione d'Alcune Missioni de' PP. della Compagnia di Giesù nella Nuova Francia. Macerata: Heirs of Agostino Grisei, 1653. Quarto: 21.5 x 15.5 cm. , 8 pp., 9-10 ll., 11-127, pp. Collation: π2 A4 B4 (±B1.2) C-Q4 FIRST EDITION. Bound in 17th c. limp sheepskin parchment. With a large woodcut Jesuit device on the title page, woodcut initial, and a factotum built up from fleurons. There is a neatly written contemporary inscription of a Roman Jesuit library on the title page; some leaves foxed or lightly browned; there is a minor ink stain on two leaves. In all, a nice, genuine copy with generous margins. A full description of the item can be found... [more Missing in Transit to Chicago]

UPDATE: The following item has been recovered. The two below are still missing after being placed in a UPS deposit box at The Arsenal in Philadelphia. The First American Edition Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick: or the whale. New York, Harper & Brothers/ London, Richard Bentley, 1851. 8vo (19.3 cm). xxiii, , 654, pp., ff. BAL 13664; Wright, II, 1701; Tanselle 2; Grolier, American, 60. Publisher's purple/brown cloth with company's device stamped in center both covers; orange endpapers; ads at rear. Foxing, top of spine pulled; board edges show wear; spine sunned. In a quarter green Morocco open-back slipcase with a chemise. Spine of slipcase sunned as are part of the sides. The following significant items went missing after being placed in a UPS deposit box at The Arsenal in Philadelphia. The Inquisition & Father Hidalgo's "Manifiesto" Mexico. ... [more UPDATE: Melville Recovered; Missing in Transit from Philadelphia: Father Hidalgo & Lettsom]

The following list of items were stolen from a post office in the Sellwood district of Portland, Oregon during a break-in on Saturday, April 30, 2022. The books had been enroute to a Portland book dealer and were accompanied by an invoice stating their value. These items may be offered to bookdealers in the area, or to dealers that specialize in conceptual art. The books are: 1. Dieter Roth. Preisliste. Dieter Roth-Ausstellung Galerie Ernst Hannover 1969. 6 hectographed pages with illustrations drawn on the matrix by Dieter Roth. Stapled. - Original edition. - Signed and dated Hannover 69 by Dieter Roth in ink at upper right. - "The list is typed as a continuous text by Roth and decorated with small drawn illustrations. It begins: 'Once upon a time there was a man who sat on a sausage, one of the famous and notable literary sausages at 30... [more Conceptual Art Books Stolen in Portland, OR]

A 1916 bound manuscript illuminated by Alberto Sangorski is missing from Oakland University Libraries (Rochester, MI) following a leak in Kresge Library discovered on December 11, 2021. Specifically, the item is Daisy, A Poem, by English poet Francis Thompson, “designed, written out, and illuminated” on 13 vellum pages by Alberto Sangorski for Riviere & Son with notice that “This manuscript will not be duplicated,” signed by Sangorski. Boards are jade green crushed morocco, inlaid with a border of gilt-outlined daisies and ochre celtic knots encircling five thistle flowers bordered by a thin strip of inlaid black morocco and a thicker band of red with studs echoing jewels; emerald crushed morocco doublures with border of gilt flower and pinnate leaf motif framing watered silk, and watered silk endleaves. Portrait miniature (signed... [more Missing: 1916 Bound Illuminated Manuscript by Alberto Sangorski]

The eleven documents were part of a fifteen item lot sold by Charles Hamilton from his catalogue 15 in 1966, and they were not discovered missing until 2010. They consist mostly of legal documents signed by Mark Twain and his business manager Ralph Ashcroft. A link to a list of the documents with full descriptions and a full account of the matter can be found at the Twainquotes website: http://www.twainquotes.com/MissingInDetroit.html If you have handled any of these documents or recall seeing any of them in the market at any time since 1966, please contact Barbara Schmidt who operates the Twainquotes website (bsschmidt@twainquotes.com), or ABAA member Kevin Mac Donnell (info@macdonnellrarebooks.com). [more Possible Theft of Eleven Important Mark Twain Documents from the Detroit Public Library]

Update: this item has been recovered as of 1/22/21. Report of an alleged theft over the holidays, possibly linked to previously fraudulent activity from the Essex area of the UK. The item is a first British edition of Finnegans Wake in a restored dust-jacket. There is a name in pencil on the front free endpaper. The book was ordered and paid for with a credit card over the phone and the buyer claimed the book was a gift. The item was shipped to Dagenham, UK and delivered on Dec 8th. After delivery, the credit card owner disputed the charge via PayPal. We advise all members to be vigilant and please exercise caution if you receive orders associated with or from this area. If offered this item, please contact: Rachel Eley John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller Telephone: (415) 986-5826 rachel@johnwindle.com [more Update/Recovered: Possible Fraudulent Activity: Essex, UK Area, Finnegans Wake]

In Memoriam: Bob Petrilla

By Eloisa Amezcua

Longtime ABAA member Robert “Bob” Petrilla of Roosevelt, NJ passed away at his home on September 1, 2020. Petrilla started in the book business in 1970 as he operated two open shops in Bucks County, PA. In 1981, he began selling books through the R & A Petrilla catalogues, and then online. Bob Petrilla first became a member of the ABAA in early 80's and reinstated his membership in 2014. Petrilla considered himself a generalist, saying of R & A Petrilla's catalogue, “We specialize in what we bought yesterday. We pursued several specialties in the past: Western Americana, African Americana, American Music, Women's Studies. When one could still scout such material on the shelves of bookshops, we built some nice collections, now in institutions.” In 1997, Petrilla was elected to membership in the American Antiquarian Society, and was... [more In Memoriam: Bob Petrilla]

ABAA Mentorship Program

By Eloisa Amezcua

The ABAA Women's Initiative is proud to announce the launch of the ABAA Mentorship Program in an effort to further the ABAA's mission to promote ethical standards and professionalism in the antiquarian book trade, to encourage the collecting and preservation of rare and antiquarian books and related materials, and to facilitate collegial relations within the trade. Goals Further the mission of the ABAA Provide dealers early in their careers with the opportunity to advance their professional development Build a recruitment pipeline for the Association that enhances the number of qualified applicants Advance the diversity of new members Afford mentees the opportunity to build a relationship with an ABAA member Educate potential candidates about a career in the trade (for example, graduate students looking for a profession outside of academi... [more ABAA Mentorship Program]

Join us for some Virtual Book Fair fun! The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America will host a Virtual Book Fair Scavenger Hunt via Facebook on November 13th and 14th. Enter for your chance to win a $500 gift certificate! Browse through the thousands of items shown on the Boston Virtual Book Fair website in search of the best and most creative answers to all five items on the Scavenger Hunt List! To enter, head to the ABAA Facebook page, and post: Five answers including links to the items in the Book Fair Be sure to use the hashtag #bvbfhunt and tag the ABAA's Facebook Account @ABAARareBooks! SCAVENGER HUNT LIST 1. Find an item with a connection to something on television 2. Find a book description that passes the book equivalent of the Bechdel test (no mention of a man anywhere in the description) 3. Find a printed book issued i... [more Boston Virtual Book Fair Scavenger Hunt]