Who We Are
David Brass: President
David is an internationally renowned antiquarian bookseller who has been dealing in rare books and original artwork for over forty years. He learned the business from the ground up from his grandfather, Jack Joseph and great uncle, Sam Joseph, who traded as E. Joseph, the firm established by the family patriarch, Emmanuel Joseph, in 1876 on Holywell Street in the Strand. In 1900, E. Joseph moved to no. 48 on Charing Cross Road, the famed bookseller’s row in London. Another branch of the family traded as Marks & Co., the booksellers immortalized by Helene Hanff in her history of the shop down the street from E. Joseph, 84 Charing Cross Road.
David’s family traces its roots in the book business to an ancestor who had a bookstall in St. Paul’s churchyard in London in 1516.
Jack and Sam Joseph, the firm E. Joseph, and David are affectionately and respectfully discussed in rare book dealer O. F. Snelling’s Rare Books and Rarer People (Werner Shaw, 1982), as well as in David Low’s ‘With All Faults’ (Amate Press, 1973). After a sojourn at Bernard Quaritch to study the art of rare book cataloging, David returned to the family business, managing and ultimately assuming ownership of the firm 1973-1993. Moving to Los Angeles in 1993, he became Director of Acquisitions 1993-1997 and Vice President from 1997-2004 of Heritage Book Shop, Inc.
He was President of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association in England from 1990-1992, a member of the British Antique Dealers Association, and President of the Southern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America from 2001-2003. Over the years, David has built many great investment-quality collections of rare books and original artwork for collectors worldwide.
In addition to his stature as an antiquarian bookseller, David is one of the world’s most knowledgeable and respected dealers and historians of fine vintage electric guitars, trading though our sister firm, Fretted Americana. His interest in guitars kindled during his years as a touring bass guitar player during the Swingin’ Sixties in the U.K. when he got to know many of our generation’s top guitarists, David is now on the Advisory Board to Vintage Guitar’s annual Price Guide. In addition to his wife, Caroline, “Rare Books and Rock n’ Roll,” David enthuses, “are my great loves.”
Caroline Brass: Vice President
Caroline is charge of day to day operations, bringing energy, immense charm, and experience born of working at Heritage Book Shop, Inc. for many years. An avid collector of Victorian scent bottles, she keenly and empathically understands the passion for collecting that rare book enthusiasts possess, marrying that to a flair for organization and management that keeps the business running with efficiency and grace.
Stephen J. Gertz: Executive Director
Steve is a life-long book collector who began as a part-time book scout and private rare book dealer over twenty years ago, and later established his presence as head cataloguer and manager of William Dailey Rare Books of Los Angeles. Prior to devoting himself to the trade, he worked in the TV/film, advertising, and video industries in various creative and marketing capacities. A pop-culture historian and journalist as well, his writing has been published by Feral House, The Disinformation Company, the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Review, and online magazines.
Dustin Jack: Multi-Media Manager
Dustin is a respected and talented and creative fine arts photographer and graphic designer fluent in digital technology who produces all visual manifestations of our business. Prior to joining us, he handled all photography and catalogue design & production at Heritage Book Shop. Earlier, he was an in-demand free-lancer specializing in photographing large art and jewelry collections after a seven year stint as staff photographer at Butterfield & Butterfield (now Bobham’s & Butterfield) auction house. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines, on albums for Methods of Mayhem and Mix Master Mike, video production stills for Chris Daughtry, Tommy Lee, , No Doubt, George Clinton, Lil’Kim, etc.