Friday, February 22, 2008
Most shops that sell antiquarian books have only one copy of each in stock. By their very nature, antiquarian books are rare and a case of, say, hand printed copies of Dicken’s lost masterpiece Trials of a Wytchfinder simply don’t exist. The works were lost for a reason, after all, not least of which was scarcity of supply. Not so with the bookshop Alexandrian Gold where a gentleman of sufficient means could purchase a one-of-a-kind hand-illustrated copy of the Kama Sutra one day and return the next to find an identical ‘unique’ original copy in the display case. If questioned, the proprietor will allude to ‘the miracle of supply and demand’ and direct the gentleman’s attention to the scriptorium where modern reproductions are available for a fraction of the cost of an original. It is no coincidence that the payroll of Alexandrian Gold includes some on the names from the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Most Wanted’ list.