AbeBooks’ 50 Most Expensive Sales of 2014

AbeBooks’ 50 Most Expensive Sales of 2014.

Think old books are worth nothing these digitally-deluged days? Think again.

Each year, at year’s end, Abe Books lists the most expensive books it has sold. They just published this list and I always find it interesting. Especially when it contains a rare Christian book, which this list does.

And you wonder why I browse Thrift stores for old volumes. 🙂

And by the way, if you are ever shopping for used books, – of all kinds! – be sure to include Abe Books. They have a lot of everything!

Here are the top two, and then a third one ( at #19) of particular interest, since we have in the Letis collection a facsimile edition of this work (But, alas, a different edition!).

1. Les Maîtres de L’Affiche (5 vols) – $43,450
This translates as Masters of the Poster, which was a monthly illustrated French publication published between December 1895 and November 1900. The magazine, produced under the leadership of Jules Cheret, contained reproductions of the best Art Nouveau posters of the era from both French and international artists. This is a five-volume collection featuring 256 posters from 97 artists.

2. Das Kapital by Karl Marx – $40,000
Published in 1867 by Otto Meissner with German text, this copy of Das Kapital was the only one published in Marx’s lifetime (he died in 1883). The book is housed in a slipcover with cloth wrapping. It’s not the first time that a copy of Das Kapital has sold for a high price via AbeBooks. In November 2011, a very rare copy in three volumes sold for $51,739. Interest in Marx’s book, which arguably did indeed help change the world, remains as strong as ever.


19. The Book of Kells (Facsimile edition) – $13,673 
A faithful facsimile of the manuscript in Dublin’s Trinity College. The facsimile is housed in a box and includes original Latin text and commentary, in German, on this historic illuminated Gospel book written by Celtic monks around 800. The foreword is by Umberto Eco. No. 467 of 1480 copies. Published in 1990.


Published in: on December 17, 2014 at 2:42 PM  Comments (2)  

Word Wednesday: “Ta Thung” and “Koinonia”

The first part of our “word Wednesday” feature is taken from the collection of letters written by “Eutychus” (“and his kin”, and published under the title Eutychus and His Pin, Eerdmans, 1960) – aka Edmund Clowney – for Christianity Today.

KoinoniaUnder the letter title of “Ta Thung” Clowney has a penetrating note on the meaning of Christian fellowship. What is “Ta Thung” and what does it have to do with Christian fellowship – koinonia? Read on, my friends.

O, and “Eutychus” wrote this after a trip to the crowded beach, to help set the background for some of the language:

The charm of the beach is equaled only by the subway in achieving the modern ideal of ‘togetherness.’ Even the Iron Curtain is no screen against togetherness. The Chinese Communists call it Ta Thung, ‘the Great Togetherness,’ a phrase from the classics describing a legendary golden age. Ta Thung can also mean ‘great similarity,’ a remarkably apt term for the drab, mechanized uniformity of totalitarian togetherness.

…Too often togetherness is confused with the Christian ideal. The notion of heaven which masses lounging saints on a golden strand can be forbidding to a man fresh from the seashore. Dante saw unending proximity as one of the torments of hell.

What makes comradeship a delight, and a great host inspiring? Not that they are together, but what they share together. Christian fellowship is koinonia, a sharing in the blessings of God. Christians are together with one another because they are together with Christ.

Without this relation to the Giver and Meaning of life, togetherness is only crowded emptiness. Men surrender their personal freedom to the packed prisons of mass society and the modern state in vain flight from loneliness – and from God. We find one another when we are found of Him, and join the singing saints in the Ta Thung in Christ (16-17).