1 What is one category popular with collectors right now?
If I knew, I’d be rich, but my areas of interest seem to work pretty well. Those are mostly 18th century books and manuscripts, preferably with an interesting provenance, which allow me to tell a story about the material world.
2 How did you get your start?
After some time as a graduate student at UCL, I got the perfect job in the US part-time cataloguing for an English literature dealer. After my first job in the US I worked for half a year for Sims, Reed & Fogg, ran the new books department of Sotheran’s for two years and then joined Pickering & Chatto, where I was for about five years.
3 What is one great discovery you’ve made?
A great recent find is a charming suite of mid-18th-century hand-coloured Augsburg costume plates, signed by Helena Regina Rohbausch, one of the few women engravers of the time. The representation of fabrics, textures and colours is absolutely amazing. It is available for £9000.
4 Who do you admire in the rare books world?
I admire the friendship and intellectual stimulation of great librarian collectors, such as Roger Stoddard, rare books librarian at Harvard. He covered pretty much all areas, travelled to the UK and Europe to look for books and was just endlessly curious about books.
5 What do you collect personally?
I used to collect 17th and 18th century phrase books, but then I sold them all. That was the end of personal collecting.
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