The Goldwater Library recently ordered and received a copy of African Sculpture by Warren Robbins, published by Schiffer Publishing of Atglen, Pa. The $49.95 (2005; ISBN 0764323326; hardcover) title promised to be a new work by the renowned scholar-collector of African art. To our chagrin it turns out to be a mediocre photomechanical reproduction of Robbins's African Art in American Collections originally published in 1966 -- a fact nowhere reflected in the publisher's web page for the work. This egregious oversight aside, Schiffer does offer in this edition a low-cost alternative to purchasing the 1966 version: A cursory search of Bookfinder finds that a copy of the 1966 edition will run you between $100 and $200. (It also shows the very same 2005 edition available from booksellers for as much as $155!)
Curiously Schiffer reissued the second edition of African Art in American Collections (1989) in 2004, under its original title.
This example of 'selling mutton as lamb' seems to have caught some of the cataloging community off guard as well. We have corrected our WATSONLINE cataloging record for African Sculpture to reflect the situation. Kudos to RALPH (The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities) for correctly identifying the most recent manifestation as a reissue of the original title -- too late to save our bacon, unfortunately.
UPDATE: I received the following reply to an email sent to the publisher:
Dear Mr. Day,
Thank you for taking the time to write. I will talk with the web site people about new wording or whatever the choice to try to be more informative. If the book des not suit you and you bought it from us, you may return it.
Peter B. Schiffer
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.