Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2013 Issue

Shapero Rare Books – Exhibiting Books at an Art Fair

Shaptef

The Blaeu atlas.

Shapero Rare Books of London has revealed a few of the items they will be bringing to the annual TEFAF show in the Netherlands this year. TEFAF is an arts and antiques show, but Shapero Rare Books has found a welcome place there for over 20 years. It is an example of a bookseller expanding its market beyond the confines of the regular book trade. Such expansion was likely a bonus for a bookseller 20 years ago. Today, many may find it a necessity to move beyond the walls of the traditional book market if they are to thrive.

TEFAF describes itself as an “art fair, setting the standard for excellence in the art market.” It says it is presenting items from 260 of the “world's leading galleries.” It isn't until the end of a statement about offering various types of art along with jewelry and design that it finally mentions “works on paper.” This is clearly not a setting in which to display text. So, what would a bookseller offer in a place like this? Well, let's take a look at some of the items Shapero has announced they will display at the show.

Joannes Blaeu's world atlas published 1662-65. It is modestly known as “the greatest and finest atlas ever published.” The Dutch were the finest mapmakers of the 16th-17th centuries, and this was at their high point. It contains 600 hand-colored maps in nine volumes. This may not be a piece you hang on the wall like a painting, but is is certainly a very visual object.

A photo album of Tsarist palaces. This contains over 180 photographic views plus two watercolors by the noted Russian artists of the time, Sverchkov and Frentz. The photographs are from the 1860s, and the spectacular binding indicates this was once owned by someone of significance.

A manuscript album in a presentation binding containing 95 watercolor drawings of Russian artillery. It is likely to have been presented to Emperor Paul I and later belonged to Tsar Alexander II.

While what Shapero is offering is not artworks in the traditional sense of hanging a painting on the wall, they are all very visual objects. They are art as much as they are books, in some cases maybe more so. There is certainly a market for items that are primarily text, but the market for visual objects today is even broader. Shapero is tapping into this market by attending the TEFAF fair.

Along with Shapero Rare Books, several other booksellers will be attending this year's edition of the exhibition, including Daniel Crouch Rare Books of London and the Antiquariatt Forum of the Netherlands. The fair will take place in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from March 15-24. There will be an incredible selection of works of art on display, with some of them coming in book form. Bibliophiles are welcome.

For those interested in learning more about TEFAF, their website is found at www.tefaf.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.
  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions