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The Football Collection

[Football Collection]. An Outstanding Collection of Books About Football, Removed From the Library of Peter Fadanelli.

Various places, 1580-2014.

An ensemble of more than 100 volumes of books and nearly 200 autographs, prints and manuscripts, to be sold as a collection.

Born in Purkersdorf near Vienna shortly after the Second World War into a family of noble descent, Peter Fadanelli moved to Stockholm, Sweden as a young man immediately after finishing his university education. He soon became an avid collector of books and manuscripts from many fields, eventually forming the largest known collection of so-called 'Exilliteratur' - books published abroad by the German and Austrian cultural elite who had been forced into emigration worldwide by Nazi persecution. His library included the greatest rarities by the most eminent German authors, printed in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Shanghai, and the U.S. It was dispersed through our company in the early 1990s, and some of the books and the unique manuscript material found a new home in the German National Library, Frankfurt am Main, while the remainder went to the Österreichische Exilbibliothek im Literaturhaus, Vienna, where it still forms the nucleus of their collection.

A true football fan since his early youth (his favourite club is Rapid Wien, whose matches he still attends regularly when visiting his hometown) and himself an amateur player for most of his life, Peter Fadanelli was a regular buyer of books on football, as well. He maintains residences in Austria, Sweden, Spain and Italy and travels a good part of the year, which has presented him with some unique opportunities to acquire truly outstanding rarities, some of which are not to be found in any other private or institutional collection worldwide. To our knowledge the library of Peter Fadanelli is the only one of its kind to boast a complete collection of all editions of the earliest monograph on the game of football, the breathtakingly rare earliest manuscript record of an actual team lineup, and all important early depictions of the game, including Zocchi's monumental print of a 17th century football field. The Football League, published annually by the chief editor of FC Arsenal's programme in only 25 complete copies, is a veritable treasure trove of information, but is neither recorded in the British Library nor held in any other institution. Also, the Fadanelli Collection is home to virtually all the early standard reference works on the history of the game, the principal training manuals, some of the very rare annual programmes of English football clubs, and a few unique signed copies. Altogether the collection comprises a little more than 100 volumes of books, and nearly twice that figure in autographs, prints and manuscripts.

Due not only to the uniqueness of the collection and to the many rarities included, but also because of the fact that the owner divides his life between so many countries, it proved a difficult task to obtain all the export licenses necessary to dispose of this collection. With this issue resolved only recently (all licenses were finally granted in early 2017), we have been entrusted by the collector to find a new home for his library and are proud now to offer his collection for sale. For this purpose we have added but a small number of items so as to close a few minor gaps in the Fadanelli corpus (including some of the official World Cup publications, now forming a complete set from 1950 to 2014, an original photograph of Qatar's first football stadium, and a collection of more than 160 autographs by famous football players of the last decades.

A detailed catalogue is available upon request.