Muriel Spark’s Writing Table Heads to Auction

By Rebecca Rego Barry

Muriel Spark is less read in America than in her native Great Britain, which is a shame since she is one of the “50 greatest British writers since 1945,” landing at No. 8, ahead of the more popular Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl, and A.S. Byatt. Spark, who was born in Scotland in 1918, published novels, short stories, and poems from the late 1950s until 2004, two years before her death. She is perhaps best known for her novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), although three other novels were shortlisted for the Booker Prize; she was also awarded a Golden PEN Award.

Muriel Spark’s Writing Table Heads to Auction - from Fine Books & Collections and Biblio.com

On May 17, this elegant wooden table, “said to be the table at which Muriel Spark wrote The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” goes to auction in Edinburgh. The table had belonged to the author’s parents, and, according to the auctioneer, “Spark is thought to have come to her parents’ home in Edinburgh for six weeks to work on The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at this small table.” Her parents presumably willed the table to Spark’s estranged son, the artist Robin Spark, who died last year.

The auction estimate is £300-400 ($387-516), an incredible bargain for a Spark fan. Spark’s archives are at the National Library of Scotland.

Image via Lyon & Turnbull

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2017 Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar Scholarship

August 10, 2012 CABS – Janine Moodhe

Biblio.com is excited to offer a scholarship to the 2017 Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar!

Biblio is offering a scholarship to the 2017 Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar. This year, we are ding something different and opening our scholarship to both book sellers and book collectors.

This year’s scholarship recipient will receive:

  • The full cost of tuition
  • $250 toward accommodations at the facilities provided by the seminar
  • $250 donation to a non-profit of their choice that promotes literacy and/or education

The scholarship is open to book sellers and book collectors.

Applicants should provide:

  • An essay written to explain their chosen field of expertise to someone new to book collecting. Around 500 words is ideal. Biblio may, at its discretion, publish your article on its websites and will provide you with full credit and links to your business, where applicable.
  • A brief description of the charity you would choose to receive the donation and why you chose them. (no more than one single-spaced page)

Deadline for applications/articles is May 31, 2017. Please send all applications to scholarship@biblio.com.

A drawing is held among qualified entrants to find the winner.

The scholarship winner will be notified within 7-10 days of the application deadline.

Best of luck to all of our scholarship applicants!


“Show Me the Mini” Exhibit at Harn Museum is Full of Tiny Treasures

By Barbara Basbanes Richter   Sometimes the best gifts come in tiny packages. Now through November 2018, the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida will be exhibiting over one hundred tiny treasures from the Harn’s Asian art collection in celebration of the five-year anniversary of the opening of its David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing. Curator Jason Steuber decided over four years ago that the show would investigate what he feels is the overlooked topic of miniatures … Continued


Scarfe’s Satires at Auction

By Rebecca Rego Barry For more than five decades, 80-year-old English cartoonist Gerald Scarfe has been at the ready with his pen to comment on the political and cultural scene. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and the Sunday Times, as well as in theatre and film. On April 5, 130 of his originals go to auction at Sotheby’s London for the first major sale of his drawings. From Winston Churchill to Donald Trump, Scarfe has taken a … Continued



William Blake in Color in San Francisco

The William Blake Gallery presents:

William Blake in Color

For the first time a massive volume of 2500+ rare plates from the Trianon Press Illuminated Book series enters the collector market

Additional proofs and personal archives from legendary Trianon producer, Arnold Fawcus are also made publicly available

William Blake, Jerusalem, Trianon Press facsimile, 1951

Exhibition Dates: April 22 – July 28, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, April 21, 4 – 7 pm

Exhibition Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm
William Blake Gallery, 49 Geary, San Francisco, CA | www.williamblakegallery.com (more…)


The Folio Society Publishes New Edition of Joyce’s “Ulysses”

Introduced and illustrated by John Vernon Lord With introductory essays by editors Danis Rose & John O’Hanlon, and Stacey Herbert  ‘For seven years I have been working at this book – blast it!’ wrote James Joyce in a letter in 1920. What had started out as a short story entitled ‘Ulysses in Dublin’, intended as a rounding-o for Dubliners, had taken him over. Homer’s Odyssey had become the epic model for an epic journey – not this time from Troy … Continued



Exquisite English Rebus Bible at Auction

By Rebecca Rego Barry

Amongst a collection of antique rifles, carved pipes, and Civil War imprints for sale tomorrow at Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati is this beautiful late eighteenth-century English rebus Bible. Titled The Hieroglyphick Bible, III Edition by its anonymous creator, the 8 x 12.75” copybook contains selected verses from the King James Bible, illustrated in rebus form, with small watercolors throughout. The auction house believes the illustrator to have been an English seaman–albeit one acquainted with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.

The book comes from the collection of E. Norman Flayderman, a collector and antique arms dealer who founded the militaria outfit, N. Flayderman & Co. According to Cowan’s, “Flayderman apparently acquired this while researching his book, Scrimshaw and Scrimshanders: Whales and Whalemen (New Milford, CT, 1972).” Files found with the rebus Bible indicate that it originally hailed from a New Bedford, Massachusetts, family.

This illustrated Bible is, as Cowan’s intimates in its catalogue, sea journal meets Nuremberg Chronicle. It is estimated to reach $15,000-25,000 at auction.

Images via Cowan’s Auctions

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