The term antiquarian is often associated with a person who has an unhealthy, sometimes pathological obsession with the past. This type of person values objects based on their age, state of decay, and meaning. As such, the image of an antiquarian may make one uncomfortable or even depressed. Read on Antiquario to learn some of the characteristics of an antiquarian:
Many collectors are drawn to antique leather-bound books for both aesthetic and content reasons. However, a person should be aware of the type of leather used for bookbinding before starting a collection. While calfskin is the most commonly used type of leather, other types are also used, including goat skin and levant leather. The latter is usually used for books that are described as Moroccan-made or have an exotic appearance.
Antiquarian leather-bound books are generally in great condition and come in sets. A typical set may contain several volumes. There may also be several sets that contain several titles. These are generally in very good condition, though they do display normal shelf wear. Some may have cracks and fade to the covers.
One of the most common causes of damage to leather-bound books is improper handling. When holding a leather book, the spine should be kept centered on the palm. The cover should not be dropped on its face, as it can cause damage to the gutters and hinges. The cover can also break off if it is dropped.
Leather books should be stored in a dry, clean environment. Avoid placing them in humid or warm conditions, as this can cause mold to grow on the cover. Likewise, do not store them in a closed room. It is best to leave a small space between each book so that the leather can breathe and not get damaged.
The most important thing to remember when caring for a leather-bound book is to use proper care products. First, clean your hands before handling the leather binding. Avoid touching food or beverages with the leather binding. Second, use a lubricant, such as neatsfoot oil. The oil is a type of wool fat that has excellent water retention properties.
Another important thing to remember when caring for leather-bound books is to wear cotton gloves while handling them. Leather is a delicate material and can be damaged if improper care is not taken. Moreover, cotton gloves will prevent your body oils from getting on the leather, softening it up.
The materials used for books are much more fragile than we think. Excess moisture can cause the pages to tear and the leather to rot. They can also be targets for rodents. It is not uncommon for a book to be damaged by improper climate conditions or even from handling. For example, poor climate conditions can lead to mildew on a leather-bound book.
The air is also a major cause of chemical damage to leather-bound books. Air pollution causes leather to darken or become less able to absorb and release moisture. It also causes the leather to crack and separate from its grain. In extreme cases, the leather can even become dry and disintegrate.
Association copies are books that have been signed by a person of significance. These rare books often extend the meaning of a book by giving the reader a greater understanding of the author’s background or character. Association copies are extremely valuable and desirable among collectors. They are also a great way to add some spice to your shelves.
Association copies of antiquarian books may have a variety of characteristics. Usually, they have a beveled board or spine, which is a pronounced, natural edge to a page. Sometimes, they have an artificially rubbed edge. They are also often dog-eared.
An association copy of an antiquarian book can be a valuable item, especially if the author is a famous person. For example, if the writer of “Wonderful Creatures” signed hundreds of books, this would constitute an association copy. Similarly, if the author had his own library, he might have had bookplates printed.
The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) is a global network of 22 national associations of antiquarian booksellers. It was founded in 1947 and consists of nearly 1,800 professional antiquarian book businesses. It lists its member books on its website. Another website that lists antiquarian books is AntiqBook.com, which lists books from hundreds of booksellers worldwide.
The market value of an antiquarian book depends on the condition of the book, its relative rarity, its age, ownership history, and the bibliographic details. Since the Department of Special Collections is not allowed to appraise books, you may be able to determine the value of an item by consulting readily available sources. The Internet is a useful source for obtaining prices of antiquarian books.