FABS Letter January 2013

An eclectic group of collectors, the interests of our members range from Rolls Royce and Bentley books, catalogs and literature to Judaica, cartoons, Japanese prints, film and women’s craft magazines. Newly elected president, Paul Belard, is not only a collector of fine bindings, explorations, American civil war, and books with original works by illustrators, but an author and Master Bookbinder trained in Paris at the shop of renowned French bookbinder Paule Ameline. Some of his work can be viewed at newyorkbookrepair.com.

To kick off the fall season, Gerry Deutsch , who bills himself as a professional magician and an “accidental collector” of the literature of magic, regaled us with stories of magic societies and the besmirched legacy of Robert Hudain, whose creative genius was upstaged by admirer and rival Harry Houdini. Mr. Deutsch prides himself on his skills at sleight of hand which he terms “perverse magic,” for its characteristic quality of seeming to conspire with the audience, only to produce an unexpected result.
In October we had the privilege of an informative presentation by Dara Zargar on his collection of intricately crafted Islamic manuscripts and books showcasing the various scripts and decorative traditions used from the tenth to the fifteenth century. His talk touched on the art of the deal and the financial ups and downs of collecting books; including caring for and maintaining a sizable library of rare books.

Our annual holiday luncheon at the fabled Milleridge Inn in Jericho, Long Island was well attended. Post -storm spirits were buoyed by LIU’s Provost, Dr. Paul Forestell, who treated us to a lecture and slide presentation of both material relating to his maritime book collection and footage of whales along the coast of Costa Rica where he has been leading studies in the social habits of whales for over thirty years. A marine biologist, a lifelong professor, and an ardent book collector, Dr. Forestell shared a personal account of his efforts to date to replicate the bibliography used by Herman Melville in writing Moby Dick. Along the way, he has traced the path of many of the lives that have touched his, as previous owners of the volumes now in his possession.

This season, several LIBC members have acquired the much lauded Bibliophile’s Bookruler, brainchild of Main Street Fine Books in Galena, IL. The 18” ruler makes easy work of determining the size of rare books.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy we are happy to be meeting once again in the beautifully appointed Hunt Room at Winnick House; part of the Tudor style former estate of cereal heiress Marjorie Post. Our final guest speaker of 2012 will be Ron Wood, collector and connoisseur of miniature books.
We welcome all to browse our archive, now online. The Archives of the Long Island Book Collectors can be accessed by going to www.liu.edu/University Libraries, LIU Post, and clicking on the Special Collections & Archives option at the left of the screen.