Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2015 Issue

The Boston Book Fairs: November 13-15

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Over the weekend of November 13-15 the Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to America’s cradle of democracy.  The venue is the Hines Convention Center.  Nearby Marvin Getman’s Boston Book, Print and Ephemera Show will set up at the Back Bay Events Center to host 63 dealers on Saturday the 14th.  The ABAA fair will include more than 100 dealers.  Outside of New York on the east coast the Boston fair is a big deal and has been for years.

The ABAA fair is both is both a traditional selling event and a call to arms for would-be collectors, dealers and institutions.  They come to trade but also to raise hope and interest in collecting the printed word and images.  Rare books are an extraordinary field confronting aging demographics and changing tastes and neither dealers nor collectors will “go gentle into that good night.”  So they will be back in beantown to renew their commitments and encourage newbies into the extraordinarily interesting world they long ago embraced.

The ABAA fair does a very good job providing opportunities for the interested to hear discussions on subjects relating to their field.  The collecting of old and rare material is and has long been the convergence of the esthetic and scholarly and book fairs strive to attract both audiences.  Serious collectors are often that special species of mankind that sees collectible print through both lenses.    With that perspective a collector develops ambition.  The ABAA works hard to illuminate these two views that is both obvious to the serious and initially obscure to the neophyte.

There are two book fairs in the same city over the same weekend because there are two separate communities that seek the same customers at different stages in their collecting lives.  The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America is the storied, long dominant association of many of the best-known and long established dealers.  The Satellite Fair, as it is colloquially called, offers the world of non-ABAA dealers the opportunity to exhibit and sell in a nearby venue.  The non-ABAA community is probably 7 or 8 times the size of the ABAA’s 450 members.  Both do well.  The ABAA dominates the sales and the non-ABAA dealers the growth.  Both are essential as the market shifts from a reliance on rare books to manuscripts, maps and printed-paper.  The Getman fair is less expensive for exhibitors, making it possible to offer the less costly material that increasingly looms large as the emerging class of intensive narrow collecting takes hold.  Institutions and collectors today grasp the scale of choices and are being transformed.

The ABAA fair dominates the important and exotic material that the premiere collectors pursue while the next generation of important collectors may be a few blocks away at the Satellite Fair sorting through the eclectic debris of future ABAA dealers who have spent months parsing possibilities looking for material they casually invested in that can, with glitter and splash, become incandescent sparks that pay bills and illuminate the path to at least the next show.  Bookselling is at its most basic level the sale of dreams that collectors come to buy.  At their best book fairs are intellectually complex, their public encounters evidence of what is for most collectors, mostly a private affair.

So at both fairs expect the rare and exceptional, both behind the counters and in front.  Knowledge, wealth and commitment will for a few hours make Boston the place to be.  It turns out book fairs are about hope.  So go there and be hopeful.

ABAA Events

Antiques Roadshow: 20 Seasons of Book Appraisals!

Saturday, November 14, 12:30pm

Executive Producer Marsha Bemko gives a behind-the-scenes look at PBS’s most-watched ongoing series, and reveals stories of rare books discovered—those that made it on camera and those that didn’t.

 

Typewriter Rodeo

Saturday, November 14, 2:00-5:00pm

The Typewriter Rodeo poets will be on hand to write an original poem for you on any topic you choose on their eclectic collection of vintage typewriters.

 

DISCOVERY: Starting Your Own Collection

Saturday, November 14, 2:30pm

Panel Discussion - A rare opportunity to ask the experts the best way to start your own collection. Afterwards, shop the Fair and visit our “Discovery” exhibitors for items $100 and under to help you begin your collection.

 

Political Americana: Ticknor Society Roundtable

Saturday, November 14, 4:00pm

This 14th annual collectors’ roundtable will focus on Political Americana: trends in collecting, how to shop for your collection, and you’ll also see two personal collections from top collectors! 

 

The Invention of the Modern Dictionary

Sunday, November 15, 12:30pm

Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large, Merriam-Webster - Commonly referred to as the Unabridged, and edited during the turmoil of the American Civil War, the 1864 edition was the first comprehensive revision of Noah Webster’s famous dictionary. Learn more about the real history of this traditional American brand.

 

FREE Expert Appraisals!

Sunday, November 15, 1:00 - 3:00pm

Bring your books & ephemera to get expert free appraisals. You might find you have a valuable treasure!

 

Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

Hynes Convention Center
900 Boyleston Street
Boston, Massachusetts

www.mccahome.com

Hours

Friday 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Saturday Noon to 7:00 pm
Sunday Noon to 5:00 pm

 

Boston Book Print and Ephemera Show

Back Bay Convention Center
180 Berkeley St. [at Stuart St.]
Boston, Massachusetts

http://www.antiqueandbookshows.com/

Saturday  8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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