For another dealer-collector with an eye on an appealing item the process was very different. He logged into the AED Sunday morning to see its current value and confirm its rarity. Armed with this information he then approached the dealer for a negotiation.
Yet another dealer-collector, pursuing a fresh approach to collecting, is acquiring things that fit into what he hopes will become a new category. In approaching his collecting this way he is able to acquire material less expensively. In time he'll publish a catalogue or book that new collectors may use to pursue the field he is defining.
For myself I saw several items. One, a map of the Hudson River in the 1820s, seemed exceedingly rare if also possibly unimportant. Such maps are usually hand-colored, this one uncolored. Its appeal is that Rondout at Kingston [New York] is not shown and that's consistent with the emergence of Rondout, a now forgotten place, as the exit/entrance for the Delaware & Hudson Canal to the Hudson River in the late 1820s. What's strange is that Kingston, an already important place in New York state history and soon to be the alpha to Rondout's emerging omega, is also omitted. If the mapmaker was paying any attention Kingston would have been shown - thus leaving me wondering if Rondout was also an omission, not just the last gasp of New York State mapmaking before Rondout springs to life. In any event I may be the only person on the planet who cares.
Another item, a book of engravings, was also interesting. The book has no title page and I believe was simply the binding together of various woodcut drawings of New York. If so, its probably one of a kind and the images are pristine.
A third item, in fact a category, is a new catalogue of pocket maps issued by Donald Heald. I collect material relating to the Hudson Valley and Mr. Heald typically handles exceptional examples. I’m considering two items. This catalogue and two others recently issued will reward a careful reading.
As to exceptional items I ran across that are outside my collecting scope but I think of potential interest to very serious collectors the first is a keep-sake script of King Kong that is inscribed by the director. It is both absurdly rare and the very definition of 20th century iconic. One suspects someone will climb the Empire State Building to get it. In fact, it is easier than that. L. W. Currey of Elizabethtown, New York offers it. The price is $125,000.
The other item is more expensive, a Caxton printing of the Bible in latin. This copy is rebound but is among the rarest and most desirable of early printings. It's offered by Heritage Book Shop for $1.5 million. This book lives in the same neighborhood with the Columbus Letters and Audubon Birds. Most of us will never get there but its interesting to look in the windows.
In this fair three planets exerted their gravitational pull and knowledge was the invisible force. Dealers, casual and knowledgeable collectors mixed it up to great effect. For myself it was a rewarding experience, the weather was great and the flights were on time.