Book Fairs

John Schulman shares his history with the Discovery Day program at the annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair. In 1996, after being asked to appraise books and manuscripts for PBS's first season of Antiques Roadshow, I discovered that I had a knack for quick and competent evaluations, and while I am not the most photogenic or well-spoken guy, the producers at WGBH in Boston liked me enough to invite me back year after year. For the first several years, the book tables at the Roadshow featured a healthy mix of auction house specialists and independent dealers, all of whom were ABAA members. Now in its 19th season, there are fewer indie dealer-appraisers at the book table, but they are still all ABAA members: me, Ken Gloss from Brattle Books, and Ken Sanders. All three of us are generalists (Sanders is also a specialist in Mormon and LDS material) who have about a hundred combined years in the trade and have handled tons of books. Literally. You can trust Ken Sanders to appraise your Palmyra 1830 Book of Mormon Since 2000, building on my experiences on the Roadshow, I've coordinated the Discovery Days at both the New York Antiquarian Book Fair and the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (held every November). Every year, we've had great ABAA dealers willing to freely evaluate books, autographs, manuscripts and ephemera, and every year we see wonderful items and give knowledgeable advice and estimates. Plate from an 18th Century German book on midwifery seen at a past Disc... [more]

Many ABAA members will be exhibiting at the 56th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City from April 7 through 10, 2016. We'll list their fair catalogs below as they are published. Check them out -- it's the next-best thing to actually attending the fair! You can also view some selected highlights from the items members are bringing to the fair. Come back often, as more catalogs will be published in the coming week... Antiquariat Botanicum (Booth A25) Athena Rare Books... (Booth D2) F.A. Bernett Books... (Booth B10) Eclectibles (Booth E27) Golden Legend... (Booth A15) Gosen Rare Books (Booth A44) Kaaterskill Books... (Booth D12) Michael Laird Rare Books... (Booth D23) The Lawbook Exchange... (Booth C9) (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3) David M. Lesser, Fine Antiquarian Books (Booth E43) Liber Antiquus, Early Books & Manuscripts (Booth A3) Manhattan Rare Book Company (Booth A34) Jeffrey D. Mancevice, Inc. (Booth E26) Priscilla Juvelis, Inc.... (Booth A1) B & L Rootenberg Rare Books... (Booth E20) Sanctuary Rare Books... (Booth D5) Seth Kaller, Inc. showcase a few of the items they will be exhibiting... (Booth D8) Triolet Rare Books will be exhibiting at the NYABF for the first time this year. View their catalog here... (Booth D6) John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller (Booth C30) For more details about the 2016 New York Antiquarian Book Fair, visit this page... [more]

ABAA members will be bringing their best items to the 56th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair during the second week of April, 2016. Below, we have a few highlights from our members (in no particular order): exceedingly rare books, unique records, and one-of-a-kind ephemera to give a brief flavor of the treasures that await discovery in New York. Members submitted so many featured items that we've had to split the list into two parts. This is part two, click here to view the first batch of featured items... William Blake, “The Ancient of Days” (Europe, pl. 1). Relief and white-line etching, 1794, printed in blue ink, probably in 1794 by Blake, image and platemark 23.4 x 16.8 cm. on a leaf of wove paper 24.4 x 17.7 cm. Mounted in a window cut into a backing leaf, pen and ink framing lines on the mount which is also inscribed in pencil by an unknown hand, “From Europe, Frontispiece.” Designated as copy D of “The Ancient of Days” in BB pp. 109, 339 (no. 100), 340 (no. F1). Provenance: Possibly inherited from Blake by his wife Catherine in 1827; possibly acquired by Frederick Tatham upon Catherine Blake's death in 1831; acquired “about 1853” (BB p. 337) by George A. Smith and mounted and bound by him with other works by Blake, including the “Order” of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience; the vol. sold by Smith, Christie's, 1 April 1880, #168 (66 to the dealer Bernard Quaritch); possibly sold, or more probably lent, by Quaritch to the facsimilists Will... [more]

More than 200 rare book dealers, including many ABAA members, from around the world are preparing to exhibit at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair in Pasadena, CA over the weekend of February 12-14, 2016. Below, we present -- in no particular order -- a selection of featured items that ABAA members are bringing to California. Carroll, Lewis (Dodgson, Charles). Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. London: William Heinemann & New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1907. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. First trade edition. Signed by Rackham with an original pen and ink drawing of a winged Gryphon and dated 23.3.08 on the half-title page. Original publisher's cloth, housed in a gilt-decorated custom brown half-morocco fleece-lined folding box. The deluxe limited issue of Rackham's "Alice" was not signed by Rackham because he was traveling at the time of the book's publication. (Offered by B. & B. Rare Books, Ltd.) Bain, R. Nisbet (Guild of Women Binders) RUSSIAN FAIRY TALES London, 1893, Lawrence and Bullen. Bound by the Guild of Women Binders. An exceptional example of the Guild's embossed bindings. (Offered by Green Gate Farm Antiquarian Books) Morris, William. The Tale of King Florus and the Fair Jehane Hammersmith: Pr. by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 1893. 12mo (15 cm, 5.9"). , 96, pp. Lovely example of a Kelmscott small-format press production: the first of a series of four medieval French romances both translated and printed by Morris, this one about the lov... [more]

There are many rare book fairs of varying size taking place around the country in January and February. Whether you are a beginning collector of an old hand, book fairs are a great opportunity to inspect the offerings of a great many dealers, hunt for elusive books and ephemera, and meet like-minded bibliophiles. Papermania Plus Antique Paper Show When: Saturday January 9, 10am-5pm and Sunday January 10, 10am-4pm Where: Hartford, CT Info: Note: Free Appraisal Day (Sunday, 11am-2pm) “Bring in an item related to the context of the show and we will be glad to have one of our many exhibitors assist you with finding out about your 'treasure'!” Greater Los Angeles Postcard and Paper Show When: Saturday January 9, 10am-5pm and Sunday January 10, 10am-4pm Where: Glendale, CA Info: Austin Book, Paper and Photo Show When: Friday, January 15, 6pm-9pm and Saturday, January 16, 10am-5pm Where: Austin, TX Info: Paper Town: The January Vintage Paper, Book & Advertising Collectibles Show When: January 23, 9am-3pm Where: Boxborough, MA Info: Note: “Antiques Appraisals 12-2pm by John Bruno, Star of Market Warriors” San Francisco Book, Print and Paper Fair When: Friday February 5, 11am-7pm and Saturday February 6, 10am-5pm... [more]

The 2015 Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair takes place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, over the weekend of November 13-15. Many ABAA members will be exhibiting. Here is a brief selection of the special items they're planning on bringing to Boston. Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius a.d.480-525 Small folio 11 ¼ x 7 inches. First illustrated edition. In this copy many of the seventy eight woodcuts have very nice original color, it is bound in full blind stamped calf over wooden boards. It is also rubicated throughout. (Offered by James Gray Bookseller) Cicarelli's rare treatise on the truffle, Opuscule sur les Truffes (1813). Ciccarelli believed he had identified the seed of the truffle and lays out a method for its propagation. Ciccarelli, Alfonso; . Opuscule sur les Truffes, trad. libre du Latin, d'Alphonse Ciccarellus, auteur du XVIe siècle ; avec des annotations sur le texte, et un préambule historique par Mr. P.-J. Amoreux. Montpellier: J.-G. Tournel,1813. Octavo, 180 pages. Pages uncut. Some light wear to wrapper edges, other wise very good. Rare. 9OCLC locates eight copies only, none in the US; not in Volbracht, Myko Libri) (Offered by Rabelais Fine Books on Food and Drink) LELAND, Charles F. (attributed to). ''F.A.T.'': HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT OF WEEKLY HUMOR PERIODICAL WITH COLOR DRAWINGS. A total of 6 issues, 12 pages each, bound with original wrappers in cloth (4-1/2" x 7"). Handwritten in ink throughout, with many watercolor drawin... [more]

The 39th annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair takes place in Boston, MA from November 13 to 15. The leaves are falling, Maine is experiencing its first snowfall, and the world series is upon us; It must be nearly time for the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. 2015 marks the 39th annual antiquarian book fair in Boston, MA, and more than 120 dealers from around the world will rendevous at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston's Back Bay over the November 13-15 weekend. Special Events Special events at this year's Boston Book Fair include a talk by Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster, about the 19th century dictionary wars; a behind-the-scenes look at Antiques Roadshow with the show's executive producer Marsha Bemko; the annual Ticknor Society Roundtable, a panel discussion of books collectors talking about their collections; and, the Boston debut of the Typewriter Rodeo, a group of poets who create custom poems on vintage typewriters -- you'll have to see it to believe it! Featured Items One of the oldest and most respected antiquarian book shows in the country, the Boston Book Fair is an event that offers the 'crème de la crème' of items that are available on the international literary market. This year's featured items includes rare and first editions of works by Erasmus, Ezra Pound, Winston Churchill, Aimé Césaire, Philip Levine, and J. M Barrie; an inscribed first-edition of Clement Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas; signe... [more]

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Brooklyn Book Fair

By John Schulman

Marvin Getman, a seasoned and affable fair promoter, is using the newly built Brooklyn Expo Center in the Greenpoint neighborhood for the second time, September 19-20, 2015, as a venue for a fall book and antiques show. Last year, Getman garnered considerable praise from ABAA exhibitors at the fair, which has encouraged many of us to either return this year or try it out for the first time. This time around, there are over 60 ABAA dealers among the 140 exhibitors. Because Getman was literally the first person to host a fair there last year, there were naturally a few problems with the building (kindly scrutinized in Greg Gibson's blog about the show, which you can read here), but this year, the show should run much more smoothly. Last year, many dealers commented on the youthful energy and hipster vibe of the show-goers. Ed Pollack wrote that Getman “put together a strong combination of nearly 100 Booksellers, and Art and Antiques dealers and presented a very good looking show in the well located new facility. All three days were well attended. Every 'usual suspect' ever seen was there, a very significant number of prominent non-exhibiting dealers attended, and, importantly, a large number of younger people who appeared to reflect the new Brooklyn demographic: couples w/ and w/o kids , artists, gays, foreign-born, etc. I think the book dealers were generally pleased, both with sales and with the obvious future potential of this venue. Even I did 'OK,'which for me is very go... [more]

Some brief history In 1824, land speculators John Allen and Elisha Rumsey founded Annarbour, Michigan. (They named the town after their wives, Ann Allen and Mary Ann Rumsey; history is silent on whether Mary angled for top billing.) In 1837, the University of Michigan was moved to Ann Arbor. And then in 1965 the proto-punk pioneer Iggy Pop graduated from Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School. Today, Ann Arbor still has its world-class university and punches above its weight when it comes to book shops and restaurants—it's a pretty good small city, even if the local Arbor Wiki project notes “here is no Iggy Pop museum.” But for bibliophiles of all stripes looking for something to do—even those at loose ends and nursing a grudge after a disappointed pilgrimage to the yet-unbuilt shrine to the genius of Jim Osterberg—the 37th Annual ANN ARBOR ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR celebrates its 39th anniversary in 2015, when it will be held from 11am to 5 pm on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at the Michigan Union on the campus of the University of Michigan. The $5 admission to the fair benefits the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan, one of the best Americana libraries going. Ann Arbor itself—a suitably arboreal college town in the Midwestern mold, with a strong local food scene and an anachronistic wide range of open, street-level antiquarian, used, and new bookstores—is always well worth a visit in the spring; should the prospect of visiting one of the longest-running ant... [more]

To mark UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day on April 23, 2015, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (an organization that encompasses twenty national associations representing antiquarian booksellers who sell books, manuscripts, prints, and maps in thirty countries around the world, including the ABAA) is sponsoring a series of Pop-Up Book Fairs around the world to raise awareness of their belief that "reading is a fundamental human right" and to raise money to support UNESCO's South Sudan Project. (link?) Why April 23rd? 23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors around the world, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. ILAB/ABAA members are organizing six Pop-Up Book Fairs in the US: Chicago, Illinois Location: Cliff Dwellers Club, 22nd Floor, 200 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago Time: 5:30-7pm Exhibitors: Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc.; Beasley Books; Bookleggers; Kurt Gippert Bookseller; Harlan J. Berk Ltd.; Jeff Hirsch Books; Powell's Bookstore; Garrett Scott, Bookseller; and Stick Figure Books. The event includes an array of hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Donation to UNESCO $25 RSVP to More information... New Castle, Delaware Location: New Castle's historic Opera House Time: 1pm to 5pm Exhibitors: Oak Knoll Bo... [more]