Obituary: Louis Bondy

Louis Bondy, antiquarian bookseller and local politician: born Berlin 19 June 1910; died 10 June 1993.

LOUIS BONDY's bookshop was in Little Russell Street, near the corner of Bury Place, writes Nicolas Barker. When he set up, there were many booksellers round the British Museum - the McLeish Brothers, the Grafton Bookshop, George Harding, Raphael King. He outlived them all, and at one time seemed likely to be the last, if the Holford scheme to develop the area south of the museum for a library annexe had come off. Bondy was opposed to this, not just for selfish reasons, and was delighted when Lena Jeger's campaign against it, to which he gave useful support, succeeded. He was, on the whole, glad when competitors, Ben Weinreb and others, returned to the area.

His stock was always individual, as he was himself. It was strong on theatre and the performing arts - there were always some sequined prints of columbines, harlequins and Mr Punch in the window. There was also a wide range of London books and prints, and an eclectic selection of English and foreign literature. He dealt, more openly than most, in antiquarian pornography. But his chief enthusiasm was for miniature books, about which he knew a great deal. He did not, like most, simple regard them as matter for measurement, but had a scholarly interest in their authors and publishers, going back to the 16th century. This knowledge was recorded mainly in his catalogues, which will be carefully preserved by those who shared his interests, but also in a book, Miniature Books: their history from the beginnings to the present day, published in 1981.

(Photograph omitted)

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