Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2014 Issue

New York: Antiquarian Book Fairs April 3-6


As you read this story many have already boarded planes or are driving to New York City.  48.8 million visitors will do so this year, some number measured in thousands will be heading for the American Vatican of rare books, the Armory on Park at No. 643 for the annual four-day affair New York Antiquarian Book Fair, jointly sponsored by the Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.  The majority of participating dealers will be from the United States but many European countries, Canada, South America and countries across the Pacific will also send emissaries.  As disparate as are their home locations they are united by their trade:  sellers of rare materials most of which are printed.


The show is on the Upper East Side on Park Avenue at 643, mid-block between 66th and 67th.  There are many hotels nearby and restaurants all over the city.  This is not news to any of the fair regulars, be they dealers, institutions or collectors.  Most have been coming every year for a decade or more.  The issue has never been old-timers; it’s been the new blood.  The various fair committees and the highly experienced show organizer, Sanford L. Smith, have been trying for years to build attendance – often finding success.


This year the fair will be busy for several reasons, the economy worldwide is recovering, the local economy robust, and fairs generally benefiting from the decline of local rare bookshops.  More and more this show and others are becoming the field’s adhoc main streets - as itinerant booksellers increasingly travel the globe in pursuit of audiences that once a year come out to meet them in Melbourne, Toronto, Paris, London, New York, San Francisco and Pasadena.  Among all these events the New York Book Fair is the most important.


This fair is also a catalyst.  On the same weekend there’s another New York book fair, the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera and Fine Press Book Fair in the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th, a two day Saturday-Sunday affair.  This event, unofficially called the “shadow fair,” lives off the always-interested audience that comes together for the ABAA fair.


And there is more.  There are auctions.  They too, like birds on a telephone wire are lined up for consideration, 89 worldwide in April, 23 of them in New York, 18 of them April 1st to the 10th. 


Auctions in New York in April 1st to the 10th:


Tuesday April 1st

Christies:  Rare Maps from Kenneth Nebenzahl, Inc.

Sothebys:  Gordon Waldorf Collection

Sothebys:  The John James Audubon Collection from the Indiana Historical Society

Sothebys:  The Inventive Eye:  Photographs from a Private Collection


Wednesday April 2nd

Heritage Auctions:  Rare Books

Sothebys:  Photographs


Thursday April 3rd

Christies:  The Range of Light:  Photographs by Ansel Adams

Swann Galleries:  Astronomy & Science Books from The Library of Martin C. Gutzwiller

Heritage Auctions:  Historical Manuscripts

Heritage Auctions:  Rare Books online segment


Friday April 4th

Christies:  Photographs


Saturday April 5th

Heritage Auctions:  Photographs


Monday April 7th

Heritage Auctions:  Rare Books

Bonhams:  Treasures from the Caren Archive


Tuesday April 8th

Swann Galleries:  Printed & Manuscript Americana

Bonhams:  Space History


Wednesday April 9th

Doyle New York:  Rare Books, Autographs and Maps

Doyle New York:  Photographs


New York Auctions April 11th to 30th


Thursday April 17th

Swann Galleries:  The Vernacular Eye:  Photographic Albums, Snapshots & Objects


Wednesday April 23rd

Christies:  Prints and Multiples


Thursday April 24th

Swann Galleries:  Modernist Posters


Tuesday April 29th

Doyle New York:  Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints

Swann Galleries:  Old Master Through Modern Prints


The extraordinary catalyst for the month is the New York Book Fair and every other event will owe some of their success to its reputation and power.  All events should do well; by rights the Antiquarian Book Fair should be your first stop and do best.  


April is an extraordinary opportunity.  If you can be, be there.  If you can’t, follow the events online.




The New York Antiquarian Book Fair


Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera and Fine Press Book Fair


The AE Global Auction Search with links to all houses and those sales posted


Friends and members of AE can reach me in New York if you would like to talk or to meet.  My number is 415.823.6678, my email address bmckinney@americanaexchange.com.  I have some passes I can share.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> George Washington, Letter Signed to General James Clinton, preparing for the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, 1778. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising to send reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Edison, Autograph Letter Signed, to Western Union President William Orton, 1878. $10,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> William, Bishop of Coventry, vellum charter granting the church of Rochdale to the Cistercian Abbey of Stanlaw, in Latin, 1222. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> FDR, Photograph Signed & Inscribed, framed with wood removed from the White House roof, 1927. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Dubuffet, archive including many letters written while painting in NYC, 1951-72. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autograph Letter Signed, describing the source of his patience, 1939. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Lithograph portrait of Albert Einstein by Hermann Struck, signed by both, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Charles The Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Letter Signed to Johann IV of Nassau, in French, 1470. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Cocteau, Autograph Letter Signed, in French, 1919. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Louis Armstrong, two Autograph Letters Signed to Erich Kauffmann, his lip salve purveyor, 1965-70. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Wernher von Braun, Autograph Letter Signed to Jonathan Cross, 1975. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

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