Thursday, September 25, 2014

Antiquarian books news from bookcollector

Ancient Prayer Book

The oldest Jewish prayer book in the world was presented to the Bible Lands Museum on Thursday. The book is over 1,200 years old and was presented to the general public in Jerusalem during a closed ceremony.

The prayer book, originates from the Middle East and is about 50 pages long, is written in Hebrew and is still in its original binding. Using sophisticated carbon-test dating methods, it was discovered that the Jewish prayer book dated to the first half of the Ninth Century AD, making it the oldest in existence. The study of the text is ongoing and is only due to end in 2015.

The prayer book contains three main parts: the morning service, liturgical poems and the Haggadah, read during the Passover Seder. The rare book was first presented to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by its owner Steve Green, owner of one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical artifacts, known as the Green Collection.


Marilyn Negative Sells

Marilyn Monroe, formerly known as Norma Jeane Baker, was once a factory girl who had dreams of becoming a model. A negative of a photograph of her at this time, aged 20, has recently sold for £4,250 at Henry Aldridge and Sons in Devizes, Wiltshire. It was hoped that it would have reached somewhere between five and eight thousand pounds.

The negative was considered to be an exceptionally unusual item and the copyright which was included added another dimension, as often only the physical item is offered for sale. The auctioned image was taken at Zuma Beach in Malibu. The pictures made Joseph Jasgur famous and helped create the star who would go on to become Marilyn Monroe.

Part of The Watsons on display

Part of a rare Jane Austen manuscript has been put on display at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire. The display consists of one of the 11 booklets that formed “The Watsons,” a novel that Austen started and then abandoned sometime between 1804 and 1805. Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries acquired the full manuscript for $1.16 million in 2011, and will be lending a portion to the museum until December 2014.

The exhibition, which also includes a needle case and other domestic tools belonging to Austen, focuses on the way the author meticulously prepared her writing surface, pinning precisely sized patches to the paper in those rare places where she made substantial revisions.

Graves sentenced

A man who admitted to stealing historic photographs and posters from the Bangor Public Library, Maine was sentenced this week to two years in prison after pleading guilty to a theft charge.

Earlier this year, Russell Graves took 75 Civil War-era cartes de visite and about 50 posters from World War I and World War II from the Library. All of the stolen items, the value of which was alleged to have been about $31,000, were recovered.
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