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Rare Book Recovered at N.Y. Auction

April 7, 2001

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ A rare book missing from a University of Texas at Austin collection since 1992 has turned up in a New York City auction house.

Investigators hope the discovery will lead them to 11 other rare volumes missing from the school’s Ransom Center collection. University officials won’t comment on how the books left their collection.

``Il Petrarcha,″ a collection of poems written in Italian by Petrarch and printed in 1514, was discovered in a Swann Galleries catalog for an April 19 sale.

``The catalogs had been out less than a day when one or more people spotted it,″ said Ransom Center librarian Richard Oram.

The book has vellum pages and a red goatskin cover trimmed in gold and green. University officials valued it at $40,000, although Swann’s catalog suggested $4,000 to $6,000.

The auction house would not reveal how the book got into the sale.

The Ransom Center collections include more than one million rare books, millions of manuscripts and photographs, and thousands of works of art.


On the Net:

Swann: http://www.swanngalleries.com

Ransom: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu

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