Adventures in American Bookshops, Antique Stores and Auction Rooms

Adventures in American Bookshops, Antique Stores and Auction Rooms

by Guido Bruno

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Proofed and corrected from the original magazine edition for enjoyable reading. (Worth every penny spent!)


An excerpt from the beginning:

I. The Romance of Buying and Selling Old Things

OLD things of all description may lose their value and desirability to their temporary owners, but never to the world. Nothing disappears completely. The smallest piece of tissue paper that has served as a wrapper for an orange and is swept along the sidewalk by a stray wind will ultimately be gathered by someone and again put to some use.

Objects which find their way through the back door of a Fifth Avenue mansion into a rubbish wagon and are carried away will re-appear in some flat of a tenement house as a new and welcome addition to somebody's comfort.

Articles discarded in tenement house dwellings and sold for a few pennies to a ragman are triumphantly brought into the reception room of a patrician mansion, treasured by the new owners, and admired by his friends.

Curious and extraordinary are the fortunes of old objects on their way to a new proprietor with whom they will stay for a while, and their wanderings are eternal.

Old things in New York are sold in magnificent establishments on Fifth Avenue, and they are sold in dungeons on the Bowery. Some people are so poor that they have to buy "second-hand things" to furnish their homes and clothe their bodies. Others are so rich that they are compelled to buy antiques in order to possess something unique.

But the men who deal in old things, whose chosen calling it is to buy and to sell antiques and secondhand wares are the true adventurers among the business men of New York. No matter whether their finger nails and manners are polished and they entertain prospective buyers in luxurious display rooms, or, whether they walk in tenement house districts from door to door, ready to buy anything and everything, or whether they wait for customers in their stuffy shops on Park Row or Baxter Street; they all possess the hope that someday they will make the find, and buy for a song something they will be able to sell for a large amount. Not money but the game of hunting after the unexpected, and the thrill in finding it, constitute the lure that attracts the seeker after old things.


The Author of the above work was Guido Bruno (1884–1942), a well-known Greenwich Village character, sometimes called 'the Barnum of Bohemia'.

He was based at his "Garret" on Washington Square where for an admission fee tourists could observe genuine "Bohemian" artists at work. He produced several little magazine publications from there, in particular around 1914-16: Greenwich Village magazine, then Bruno's Weekly, and the 15 cent Bruno Chap Books. He published Alfred Kreymborg, Djuna Barnes and Sadakichi Hartmann, letters of Oscar Wilde, Alfred Douglas, Richard Aldington on the Imagists. Others were Theodore Albert Schroeder, Edna W. Underwood, and Charles Kains-Jackson. In 1915-16 Bruno briefly partnered with Charles Edison in the operation of the "Little Thimble Theater" .

He was a close associate of Frank Harris, allegedly though stealing Harris's diary and trying to sell it.

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940013244726
Publisher: OGB
Publication date: 10/07/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 388 KB

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