The Fortsas hoax refers to an incident in Binche, Belgium, in 1840. That year, booksellers, librarians, and collectors of rare books throughout Europe received a catalogue describing a collection of rare books to be auctioned.
Binche is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. On January 1, 2006, Binche had a total population of 32,409. The total area is 60.66 km² which gives a population density of 534 inhabitants per km². Since 1977, the municipality of Binche has gathered the town of Binche itself with seven old municipalities : Bray, Buvrinnes, Epinois, Leval-Trahegnies, Péronnes-lez-Binche, Ressaix and Waudrez.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
According to the message, "Jean Nepomucene Auguste Pichauld, Comte de Fortsas", had been a collector of unique books — books of which only one copy was known to exist. When he had died, on September 1, 1839, he had possessed 52 such books. His heirs, not interested in collecting books, had decided to auction the collection. The auction was to be held on August 10, 1840.
On the appointed date, numerous collectors and intellectuals gathered in Binche, hoping to bid on the books. They learned, however, that the offices of the notary where the auction was to take place did not exist — nor did the street upon which the offices were supposedly located. Notices which had been posted around Binche claimed that there would be no auction after all, because the town's public library had acquired the books; however, those attempting to visit the library to view the collection discovered that Binche possessed no public library. Later it was discovered that there had never been a Comte de Fortsas.
It was eventually revealed that the hoax had been planned and carried out by antiquarian and retired military officer Renier Hubert Ghislain Chalon, who enjoyed playing elaborate pranks on intellectuals.
Ironically, the original catalogue of fictitious unique books Chalon had sent to his victims has itself become a sought-after collectors' item. It has since been reprinted several times.
An incunable, or sometimes incunabulum, is a book, pamphlet, or broadside printed in Europe before the year 1501. Incunabula are not manuscripts, documents written by hand. As of 2014, there are about 30,000 distinct known incunable editions extant, but the probable number of surviving copies in Germany alone is estimated at around 125,000.
Stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps and related objects. It is related to philately, which is the study of stamps. It has been one of the world's most popular hobbies since the late nineteenth century with the rapid growth of the postal service, as a never-ending stream of new stamps was produced by countries that sought to advertise their distinctiveness through their stamps.
The Inverted Jenny is a 24 cent United States postage stamp first issued on May 10, 1918 in which the image of the Curtiss JN-4 airplane in the center of the design is printed upside-down; it is probably the most famous error in American philately. Only one pane of 100 of the invert stamps was ever found, making this error one of the most prized in all philately.
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1840.
Book collecting is the collecting of books, including seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever books are of interest to a given collector. The love of books is bibliophilia, and someone who loves to read, admire, and collect books is called a bibliophile.
The Wellcome Library is founded on the collection formed by Sir Henry Wellcome (1853–1936), whose personal wealth allowed him to create one of the most ambitious collections of the 20th century. Henry Wellcome's interest was the history of medicine in a broad sense and included subjects such as alchemy or witchcraft, but also anthropology and ethnography. Since Henry Wellcome’s death in 1936, the Wellcome Trust has been responsible for maintaining the Library's collection and funding its acquisitions. The library is free and open to the public.
Record Collector is a British monthly music magazine. It distributes both within the UK and worldwide. It started in 1979.
Lessing Julius Rosenwald was an American businessman, a collector of rare books and art, a chess patron, and a philanthropist.
Quentin David Bowers is an American numismatist. Beginning in 1952, Bowers’s contributions to numismatics have continued uninterrupted and unabated to the present day. He has been involved in the selling of rare coins since 1953 when he was a teenager. A 1960 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, Q. David Bowers was given the Alumni Achievement Award by that institution's College of Business Administration in a ceremony in 1976.
The Chalon Head is the name of a number of postage stamp series whose illustration was inspired by a portrait of Queen Victoria by Alfred Edward Chalon (1780–1860).
Hans Peter Kraus, also known as H. P. Kraus or HPK, was an Austrian-born book dealer described as "without doubt the most successful and dominant rare book dealer in the world in the second half of the 20th century" and in a league with other rare book dealers such as Bernard Quaritch, Guillaume de Bure and A.S.W. Rosenbach. Kraus specialized in medieval illuminated manuscripts, incunables, and rare books of the 16th and 17th centuries, but would purchase and sell almost any book that came his way that was rare, valuable and important. He prided himself in being "the only bookseller in history...to have owned a Gutenberg Bible and the Psalters of 1457 and 1459 simultaneously," stressing that "'own' here is the correct word, as they were bought not for a client's account but for stock."
Alfred Edward Newton (1864–1940) was an American author, publisher, and avid book collector. He is best known for his book Amenities of Book Collecting (1918) which sold over 25,000 copies. At the time of his death, it was estimated that he had approximately 10,000 books in his collection, focusing on English and American literary works, the major part of which were auctioned by Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York in April, May, and October 1941. Highlights of the sale included the autographed manuscripts of Thomas Hardy's novel Far From the Madding Crowd and Charles Lamb's essay Dream Children. However, the fall in rare book prices steadily through the Great Depression meant that many sold lots brought only a fraction of prices they would have realized at the time of the Jerome Kern sale in 1929. The three volume Newton sale catalogue remains a useful reference for literature collectors.
Charles James Phillips of London, England, and New York City, was a philatelist highly regarded in both England where he started his philatelic career and in the United States, where he emigrated to in 1922.
Baron Armand-Marie Ghislain Limnander van Nieuwenhove was a Belgian composer of choral and orchestral works and church music. Knight of the Order of Leopold, he was the founder and conductor of the choral chamber ensembles Société Symphonique and Réunion Lyrique in Belgium.
The Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb, Croatia, was established in 1880, by the initiative of the Arts Society and its former President Izidor Kršnjavi. Drawing on the theoretical precepts of the Endgland's Arts and Crafts movement and the intellectual postulates od Gottfried Semper, the museum was devised with the aim of creating a collection of models for master craftsmen and artist to reinvigorate the production of everyday use items. The strategy of the museum's activity was focused on presevation of traditional crafts, as well as creation of a new middle class aesthetic culture. Therefore, in 1882 the Crafts School was founded along the museum. The building, constructed in 1888 by Hermann Bollé, is one of the first purpose-built edifices devised to merge the functions of the museum and the school. Stylistically, the building is a grand historicist palace in the spirit of the German Renaissance.
The Zamorano Eighty is a list of books intended to represent the most significant early volumes published on the history of California. It was compiled in 1945 by members of the Zamorano Club, a Los Angeles-based group of bibliophiles. Collecting first editions of every volume on the list has become the goal of a number of book collectors, though to date only four people have completed the task.
The Thomas J. Watson Library is the main research library of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA), and supports the research activities of the museum staff, as well as outside researchers.
The Lost Continental is a light-purple 24¢ United States postage stamp depicting General Winfield Scott, printed around 1873 on vertically ribbed paper by the Continental Banknote Company. It is the only known copy of this 24¢ Scott stamp—among the many surviving examples—that can be positively identified as a printing by the Continental firm, and not by the National Banknote Company, which had originally produced this 24¢ issue three years earlier. For more than a century experts could not determine with certainty whether Continental had ever, in fact, printed its own version of this stamp—or, if it had done so, whether any of the copies it printed survived. Conclusive evidence did not begin to emerge until a collector named Eraldo Magazzu discovered the Lost Continental while examining a lot of old stamps he had purchased in 1967. Much debate and analysis followed before the stamp, on the evidence of its paper-type, was finally certified as authentic by the Philatelic Foundation in 1992. How many other copies of this Scott issue printed on normal paper by Continental still exist is a question that philatelists believe will never be answered. Despite this uncertainty about the stamp's actual degree of rarity, the Lost Continental sold for $325,000 at a Siegel Gallery auction in December, 2004 A photograph of the stamp appeared on the front cover of the catalogue for that auction; on page 60 of the catalogue, a photograph of the Lost Continental's back shows the pencil mark "153": a Scott Catalogue number that erroneously identifies the stamp as an example printed by the National Banknote Company.
The book collection of Konstantinos Staikos, henceforth “Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation Library” is centered on the intellectual, printing and publishing activity of the Greeks from the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the late 19th century. The aim of its creation was to collect and present relevant material from that time period. Editions of highly significant and rare books are continually being added to the original corpus of the collection.
Bertram Ashburnham, 4th Earl of Ashburnham was a British peer. He was the fourth son of George Ashburnham, 3rd Earl of Ashburnham. As the eldest son still living when his father died in 1830, he succeeded as Earl of Ashburnham, Viscount St. Asaph and Baron of Ashburnham.
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog (OPAC) in the world. OCLC is funded mainly by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC also maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system.