sudden fury

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sat Feb 14 03:10:50 EST 2004

JOdel at wrote:
>There is one book of Holbein's drawings  from the '40s in our fine arts
room that is still circulating even though three quarters of the book is
simply not there. The pages were neatly sliced out with a razor blade or

>It took me a few moments to make the connection and realize that these
books have been in the library since before libraries had xerox machines.
One there was a xerox available, people gradually stopped tearing out the
plates. (Now they take the book home and scan them.)

My understanding is that plates that go missing like this have usually been
removed and sold on separately as framed prints. For instance: one of my
favourite books at home is a 2-vol early-eighteenth-century edition of
Camden's *Britannia*. It's a lovely thing, and as close as I've ever got to
book fetishism - but the plates with the county maps are long gone, and are
no doubt to be found hanging over fireplaces up and down the country. On the
other hand, if they'd still been there I'd never have bought the book, since
(I am reliably informed) its price *with* the plates would be over £1,000 (I
paid £150).


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