Curriculum Vitae of Lee Raffaele Biondi
2005 to 2011
BIONDI Rare Books & Manuscripts.
Private dealer, no open shop. Located in Santa Barbara, Califonia, (formerly in Venice Beach, California).
Buying, selling, and brokering high-end rarities, especially early printed Bibles in all languages, and Ancient Biblical Manuscripts, including 4th Century Septuagint Fragments and 1st Century BC Dead Sea Scroll fragments.
I am one of only a handful of dealers ever to have bought and sold genuinely ancient Biblical manuscripts, that is from 700BC to AD 350, and one of the few ever to deal actively in ancient languages such as Bactrian, Ugaritic, Assyrian, Sumerian, Proto-Canaanitic, Paleo-Hebrew, Demotic and Hieratic Egyptian, Aramaic, pre-Islamic Arabic, Indus Valley Script, etc. whether on clay, linen, metal, parchment, bone, bark, or wood.
I am, I believe, the only dealer ever to purchase and sell actual Dead Sea Scroll Biblical fragments, early Homeric papyri, Dunhuang manuscripts (Chinese), and authentic Hayakumanto Dharani scrolls (Japanese).
Appraised well over $100,000,000 worth of individual Rare Books and Manuscripts in the last four years for various private individuals and institutions. Member, American Society of Appraisers, Personal Property Division, Los Angeles Chapter.
2003 to 2005
"Dead Sea Scrolls to the Bible in America"
Curator. Exhibition of Biblical artifacts, Biblical manuscripts (including authentic pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and early printed Bibles.
Author of the Exhibit Guide "Dead Sea Scrolls to the Bible in America" which sold over 37,000 units to the public.
Public lecturer during the tour with over a thousand public lectures during this period covering many different aspects of the history of the Bible. Over a hundred radio and television appearances on the topic of the history of the Bible. Tour cities included: Nashville (4 weeks); Dallas (16 weeks); Huntsville, AL (5 weeks); Cleveland (5 weeks); Pittsburgh (4 weeks); Indianapolis (5 weeks); Saginaw, MI (5 weeks); Elkhart, IN (5 weeks); High Point, NC (12 weeks); and Paducah, KY (5 weeks). The exhibition was re-created in 2009 in Singapore.
2001 to 2003
BIONDI Rare Books & Manuscripts.
Owner. Gallery located at 8450 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, California. Exhibitions at the Gallery included Illuminated Manuscripts (value of over $15,000,000), and American 20th Century Literature (over $1,000,000), and Eastern Manuscripts (value over $10,000,000).
Exhibited inventory of over $15,000,000 at: Palm Beach Fine Art Fair 2001; Madison Square Garden Fine Art Fair 2001; Maastricht European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) 2002; Tokyo Illuminated Manuscript and History of Writing Exhibition (Yushodo, 2002); Basel Antiquities Fair (CULTURA) 2002; Maastricht European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) 2003.
My Gallery and private transactions specialized in printed Bibles and Biblical manuscripts, ancient writing systems, medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, both religious and secular.
1990 to 2000
Heritage Book Shop, Inc. Los Angeles
Over ten years experience as manager of the largest and most successful antiquarian book shop in the United States: Heritage Book Shop, Inc. of Los Angeles, where I specialized in manuscript & early printed Bibles, and the 19th Century novel, especially Charles Dickens. Management duties at Heritage included staff management, but were mostly buying, selling, pricing antiquarian books, and writing and publishing catalogues (about four or five a year) describing and pricing rare books and manuscripts dating from the 13th Century to modern times.
As manager of Heritage Book Shop I exhibited rare books and manuscripts at the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America book fairs from 1990-2000 at New York, San Francisco, Boston, London, and Los Angeles.
For Heritage clients I built several of the finest private collections in America, England, Japan, and Mexico in the fields of: 19th and 20th Century British, French and American Literature; Fine Printing; Economics; Shakespeare; Homer and Homeric Studies; History of Science; Pacific Voyages; Children's Books and Color plate Books.
Member: Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America; International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.
1985 to 1990
Crown Books, California
Senior Manager and troubleshooter.
Reorganized staff at problem stores in the Greater Los Angeles area. Solved such problems as insufficient turn judged by inventory amount; insufficient turn judged by square footage; loss prevention excesses; etc. Opened their Pacific Palisades from scratch, overseeing construction, completion, original staffing, etc.
Paramount Studios and Showtime Television, etc.
Produced (and occasionally wrote) on a regular professional basis television and film projects directed by and/or starring: Danny DeVito; Rhea Perlman; Billy Crystal; Christopher Guest; Rob Reiner; Harry Shearer; Howard Hesseman; Michael Richards; Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Belzer; et al.
Wrote and directed various television projects for Showtime, Paramount, and lesser cable outlets such as ON-TV, the Z Channel, Electric Blue, Manhattan Cable, etc.
In 1994 National Lampoon produced my original screenplay Favorite Deadly Sins, starring Andrew Dice Clay.
Member emeritus: Writers Guild of America, West and Dramatists Guild of America, East.
Manager of their flagship Beverly Hills store at Rodeo Drive and Little Santa Monica.
1975 - 1980
Professional writer in Miami, Kingston and New York
College at University of Miami. Graduated at age 20 with 4.0 GPA, ranked #1 in the Class of '75. Summa cum laude. Bachelor's Degree with double major in Mass Communications (Film and Television Department) and Philosophy (Intellectual Development of Europe).
1970 - 1972
High School at Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Presidential Scholar; officially ranked as one of the top 104 graduating seniors in the United States of America in 1972.