Blog

Centuries of Rare Chinese Books Now Online at the Library of Congress

Sunday June 2, 2019

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online 1,000 Chinese rare books produced before 1796. The Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection includes the most valuable titles and editions housed in the Library’s Asian Division, some of which date as far back as the 10th century and are the only extant copies in the world.

The collection may be viewed here and to read the full article...

The Proper Title: issues faced by libraries and the rare book trade on the topic of provenance, theft and forgery.

Wednesday May 29, 2019

The Proper Title: In the wake of more high-profile book thefts, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers is tackling head-on the sometimes thorny issue of provenance-- published on the ILAB website with kind permission of the Antiques Trade Gazette.

Shakespeare's First Folio returns to Britain after 40 years

Thursday May 23, 2019

In the 1970s theatre writer and book collector John Wolfson began accumulating what was to become one of the largest and most rare collections of works on Shakespeare in the world. Housed in New York only the lucky few have been offered the opportunity to see this marvellous collection. That is until a sneak preview of one of its highlights at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe last week.
 
Chairman of Firsts – London’s Rare...

Two recently-discovered works by 18th Century Women Artists

Monday May 20, 2019
Our new catalogue includes two important works by 18th Century women artists:
   
A previously unrecorded album of 45 watercolours by Sarah Stone of Leverian Museum fame. Besides a couple of single images this beautiful album is the only surviving example of Sarah Stone's work after her marriage. It is therefore one of the most significant finds to come to light in modern times by an artist with such fundamental and highly-researched connections to Cook...

Private Libraries that inspire

Tuesday April 30, 2019

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal featuring remarkable private libraries--spectacular rooms housing the owners’ collections of books, antiques, art and ephemera representing their unique, life-long passions and interests. Including the Including the the Walker Library of the History of the Human Imagination (pictured left) which automatically “wakes up,” glowing with theatrical lighting, when entered! Click the link above for the full article.

500-year-old library catalogue reveals lost books

Thursday April 11, 2019

The Libro de los Epítomes was a catalogue for Hernando Colón’s 16th-century collection, which he intended to be the biggest in the world. The Guardian reports on the extraordinary discovery in the Arnamagnæan Collection in Copenhagen: a window into a “lost world of 16th-century books”, according to Cambridge academic Dr Edward Wilson-Lee, author of the recent biography of Colón, The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books

 “It’s a discovery of immense importance, not only because it contains so...

Great finds in Bookshops

Friday April 5, 2019

The rewards of bookshop browsing...watercolours by William Blake that were sold by a Glasgow bookshop for £50 each and subsequently dispersed by Sotheby’s for over $6m will be shown in a Tate exhibition this autumn.

Painted in 1805 to illustrate Robert Blair’s poem The Grave, they include the finest of the set, Death of the Strong Wicked Man (1813), which is to be lent by the Louvre in Paris. Altogether eight of the 19 watercolours for the poem...

Matthew Flinders found!

Friday January 25, 2019

"Against the odds, and just in time for Australia Day, Matthew Flinders has been found.

The body of the famous British explorer who helped name, and was the first to circumnavigate, Australia was thought lost when the cemetery he was buried in 205 years ago became a public park behind London's Euston station."

[SMH, Nick Miller Europe Correspondent]

For the full fascinating story click website link above. 

French Visions of Australia

Friday December 7, 2018

Hordern House was fortunate to have the opportunity to research and write the catalogue for the important collection of French voyage art recently auctioned by Deutscher and Hackett (Melbourne, 28 November). This in-depth cataloguing added another important dimension to the critically important story of early Australian art.

The 1800-1804 voyage of Nicholas Baudin in the ships Géographe and Naturaliste carried on board an impressive array of artists and savants, none more important than Nicholas-Martin Petit...