Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2010 Issue

The 17th Annual Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair

Owner, Jeanette Stedifor and Children's Author, Dawn Lairamore on 2010 Book Fair Stage.


By Karen Wright

It was a gorgeous day in Sacramento for the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair; sunny and warm, but not too hot! Almost too nice to be inside all day. There was a more positive feeling in the air at this fall's fair than we have seen in a while at the fairs we have been to in Sacramento, San Francisco, Denver, and Grass Valley this year. We spoke with a number of booksellers and many said that their businesses have been slowly but surely picking up.

Speaking from my own point of view, my business has been much better this past three months after an abysmal early half of the year. I'm happy to say I did quite well at this fair. Some said they hadn't done too well, and that may have been a matter of what books they brought or whether their prices seemed too high to the buyers. I can testify that it is a crap shoot; what to take every time I do a fair?!

Customers and booksellers alike are, it seems to me, paying more attention to price. There were a lot of folks who come to every fair and if they have seen a book in a seller's stall that has been there for two or three fairs in a row and the price is still too high for them, they may be more aggressive about asking the dealer for his or her best possible price instead of just paying the asking price for the book. Of course, all dealers do that anyway, but I've noticed that the general public often doesn't ask.

Though I was plenty busy in my own booth, I did have a chance to chat with some of the booksellers that have been doing the fair for a long time thanks to my husband who minds the store for me as I traipse around chatting.

John Hardy from Hardy Books in Nevada City was the fearless leader for the Gold Rush Book Fair for many years. He has also been doing the Sacramento Fair for seven or eight years, he said. He was quite excited about one book he was offering; Maps of San Francisco Bay from the Spanish Discovery in 1769 to the American Occupation. It is a 1950 Grabhorn Press book and John thinks it is the most beautiful book Grabhorn ever made.

One new bookseller to the Sacramento Fair was Jeanette Stedifor from Blast from the Past Books in Carmichael, California. She got involved in bookselling when she was laid off from her job. Her father and uncle gave her books from their libraries as a start up. She wanted to become more familiar with the book market world and has designs to become a children's book author. She had a nice eclectic selection of Western Americana, Native Americana, and children's books. She also had a children's author at her booth, Dawn Lairamore, who was signing her book Ivy's Ever After, a fairy tale where the princess and the dragon are not exactly as they are expected to be.

Strolling along the aisles, my eye was caught by a booth containing only books on art and artists, and all were pretty reasonably priced. I stopped to talk to them as they had a book by a western artist I liked. Alice and Art Nauman are volunteers for the Sacramento SPCA. They don't normally do a booth, but they were given nearly 1000 art books by the heirs of a Sacramento physician who was also an avid book collector. The art books are priced, according to Mr. Nauman, at about 30-40 percent of what they saw as retail on the internet at ABE, Ebay, and the like. All the books are in pristine or near new condition – some still in shrink wrap. It was quite an impressive collection and the ones they had with them were just the tip of the iceberg. The Naumans said they would be having a big sale in November in Sacramento, and it's not just limited to art books. If you are interested contact the Sacramento SPCA or anauman@sbcglobal.net.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000

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