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The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Hynes Convention Center for its 41st year, November 10-12, 2017.


One of the largest rare book fairs in the country, the 2017 Boston Book Fair will host more than 120 dealers from Argentina, Australia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Russia, as well as from all over the United States, including many ABAA members!

Special events at this year’s Fair include a bookbinding demonstration by British book artist Mark Cockram; Ricky Jay, the world’s greatest sleight-of-hand artist discussing Magic, Cheaters & Remarkable Characters; the largest exhibition on American icon Henry David Thoreau ever mounted will be the subject of two talks by curators Christine Nelson (The Morgan Library & Museum) and David Wood (The Concord Museum) — the exhibition, "This Ever New Self," is currently on view at the Concord Museum in Concord MA (through January 21) and was on view at the Morgan this past summer; as well as the 16th annual Ticknor Society Roundtable discussion.



Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street
Boston, MA



Friday, November 10               5:00-9:00pm            Opening Night Tickets: $20.00  
Saturday, November 11          12:00-7:00pm          Free Admission 
Sunday, November 12             12:00-5:00pm         Free Admission



Among the highlighted items for sale at this year’s fair will be the David Powers Collection of John F. Kennedy speeches and manuscripts, spanning the statesman’s political career from his first race in 1946 to his 1960 nomination for president. Most of the material in this collection has never been published and is among the largest cache of original JFK documents remaining in private hands (Powers was a JFK confidant and longtime director of the JFK Library); a one-of-a-kind edition of Michel-Guillaume-Saint-Jean de Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer, which is justly famous for its vivid picture of a colonial world slipping into the chaos of war, revolution, and nationhood (this is the author’s own working copy from 1782); a rare complete portfolio of botanical flower prints by Japanese artist Murakami Sadao; Oliver Bryne’s 1847 vividly illustrated version of Euclid’s Geometry; the sole surviving example of the Santa Fe Capitulations, a printed pamphlet containing the transcription of the letter confirming the privileges accorded to Columbus by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1492; and rare and first editions of works by Albert Einstein, Edward Gorey, Edith Wharton, James Baldwin, William Blake, Cervantes, Elena Ferrante, Ansel Adams, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, Henri Matisse, and Maxfield Parrish.

Keep an eye on our Instagram feed for pictures of some of these featured items over the coming weeks…


For Beginning Collectors

For attendees wanting to start a collection without breaking the bank, there will be dealers offering “Discovery” items priced at $100 or less, including a selection of children's books and decorative cloth bindings.


Free Expert Appraisals! (Sunday, November 12, 1:00–3:00pm)

Get free expert appraisals from the best in the industry. Bring in your own books, maps, and ephemera and learn about details that determine the value of your item and whether or not it would interest collectors and dealers.

The Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable (Saturday, November 11, 1:00pm)

The Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable – Collectors talking about their own personal travel collections.


Of Books and Wild Beasts: Thoreau’s Wilderness Library (Saturday, November 11, 2:30pm)

Christine Nelson, Curator at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, marks the bicentenary of the birth of American icon Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) by exploring his lifelong journal and his fantasy of a library reachable “only after adventures in the wilderness, amid wild beasts and wild men.”


Ricky Jay: Magicians, Cheaters & Remarkable Characters (Saturday, November 11, 4:00pm)

Ricky Jay, the renowned sleight-of-hand artist, author, and actor is also a book collector. Jay will talk about his collection of books and images about magicians, cheaters, and remarkable characters. Limited capacity. Free admission. Note: Reservations required. Visit for details.


Bookbinding with Mark Cockram (Sunday, November 12, 1:00pm)  CANCELLED

Demonstration – Mark Cockram has been a professional bookbinder, book artist, and teacher for over 25 years all over the UK, Europe, and further afield. He combines techniques from his training in fine art, design, and bookbinding to create stunning, distinctly non-traditional books. Join him for a hands-on demonstration. (View examples of Mark Cockram's art here...)


Bookbinding with Peter Geraty (Sunday, November 12, 1:00pm)

As owner of Praxis Bindery, Peter Geraty has focused on conservation, fine binding and binding of editions and presentation materials for publishers and artists. Peter is intrigued by the challenge of combining design, structure, and materials to present text or art. 


This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal (Sunday, November 12, 2:30pm)

In part two of our discussion on Thoreau, David Wood, Concord Museum Curator, uses Thoreau’s journal to introduce the many facets of this extraordinary man—the student, reader, writer, worker, thinker, Concord neighbor, and keen observer of the world. Learn how Thoreau used his journal to cultivate “and constantly renew” his very self.  


For more information or to purchase tickets, visit




by Roger McGough (Binding by Mark Cockram)


London: Mark Cockram, 2017. Signed Limited Edition. Hardcover. Fine. Mark Cockram. Copy 1 of a proposed variant edition of 3. Each copy will use the same text, but each will comprise unique art by Mark Cockram in a unique art binding by Mark Cockram. Signed by both the author and artist/bookbinder. The text is a famous short poem by Roger McGough, the British poet, performer, children's book author, and playwright known for balancing his incisiveness with accessibility and lack of pretension. McGough came to prominence in Britain in 1967 upon the publication of The Mersey Sound, an anthology of the works of three Liverpool poets. His writing ranges from the humorous dialogue (uncredited) in The Beatles movie Yellow Submarine to translations of plays by the French playwright Molière. In italic, McGough uses nonstandard orthography and plays on words to indicate the complex layers of meaning and his natural sense of humor in a seemingly simple poem. Cockram uses collage to similar effect, layering letters in different typefaces, evoking images that hint at the multiple meanings and word play of McGough's text. The result is deceptive. On the surface, the art and design seem simple, but the more you look, the more you see. Full leather binding with mixed media onlays. Accordion fold structure with alphabetical character collage. Housed in a custom drop back box by the artist. Created and bound by Mark Cockram in 2017. Closed: 5.5cm x 6.2cm. Open: 65cm. (Offered by Abby Schoolman Books)



Punk! An A-Z

by Lazell Barry (Binding by Mark Cockram)

Punk! An A-Z, Mark Cockram

London: Bounty Books, 2005. Reprint. Hardcover. Fine. Punk coloured my teenage years with echoes still being felt to this day. I wanted the binding to capture the vibrancy and anarchistic nature of the Punk landscape. -Mark Cockram, London, 2016 . Forward by John Cale (b. 1942), a co-founder with Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground. He was a major figure in the proto-punk and punk scenes both in the United States and in Britain as a musician, producer, and talent-spotter. From the publisher: An encyclopedia of the bands, venues and trends that revolutionalized rock music and street style. Each entry lists recommended recordings available on CD, and special spreads focus on the top names of the punk genre. Bradel binding. Leather and mixed media. Hand sewn endbands. Full edge decoration. Leather jointed endpapers. Mixed media doublures and hand-printed, double-sided endpapers. Bound by Mark Cockram in 2016. 26cm x 35.5cm. (Offered by Abby Schoolman Books)