Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2011 Issue

On the Road to Damascus

The ABAA Book Fair Homepage

For someone who will visit a book fair it may be an act of premeditation or whim.  Plans will be made and unmade, commitments adjusted, weather and health considered.  Some collectors will fly across the country and others take a subway.  Once inside the Park Avenue Armory at 67th in New York they will become part of a sprawling mass of enthusiasms that leap to life as thousands of the faithful and addicted make their way in.  For collectors the New York Antiquarian Book Fair is a measure of their year.  Made money, sold some investments?  The fair is a place to reap tangible rewards converting money into satisfaction.  All the better if they find something long wanted.  For those who hope to acquire the fair is a long anticipated moment.

For participating dealers it is months of anticipation culminating in five days of intense set-up, watchful waiting, discussions and negotiations.  For some dealers, a quarter of their annual sales will occur at this and other fairs.  Shows for dealers are everything from interesting to important.

Exhibitors come from around the world although most at this show call the United States or Canada home.  They will treat the New York Fair with varying degrees of significance although most hope to do well and all have heard the long told stories of the rich and famous spending several hundred thousand dollars with noblesse oblige flair.  This fair has a lottery ticket feeling and many dealers are wont to say “you never know.”

Preparations for this year’s fair began last year as the 2010 event was ending.  Many said and thought sales were good, enthusiasm high and prospects for this year appealing.  “See you next year if not before.  Are you going to do Boston?”  New York is everyone’s one first choice, Boston a year-to-year uncertainty, and the west coast fair, be it LA or San Francisco, a calculation.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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
  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
    Gonnelli: Avienus, Opera. 1488. Starting price 1200€
    Gonnelli: Vimont, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France, en l'année 1642. Starting price 5000€
    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
    Gonnelli: Il Petrarcha con la spositione di M. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.
    Gonnelli: Poblacion, De usu astrolabi compendium.
  • Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: KUPKA, Frantisek (1871-1957) - Quatre histoires de blanc et noir. Paris: Marcel Baque, 1926. €5.000-€8.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: VASI, Giuseppe Agostino (1710-1782) - Raccolta delle più belle vedute antiche, e moderne di Roma disegnate ed incise secondo lo stato presente. Rome: A. Vasi, 1786. €4.000-€6.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: SALAMANCA, Antonio (1478-1562) - [First map depicting the bay of Naples]. [Rome: 1538]. €3.000-€5.000

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