Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2015 Issue

Do you believe in magic - in New York?

B3ca5068-7124-4983-80a2-048782ea5ee4

There is nothing quite so interesting as a book fair of the best dealers with their best material.  And each year that ‘best’ event is in New York in April, this year April 9 to 12, the New York Antiquarian Book Fair.  This year’s fair is one of three New York events over the same weekend, the ABAA fair the largest by every metric.  However, rigorous and time consuming requirements for ABAA membership create opportunities for others to organize events that cater to the thousands of dealers that live outside the ABAA and ILAB worlds.  For collectors and institutions these other fairs are more of a very good thing.  They are all worth seeing.

 

The ABAA event sets the table for the week – April 9 to 12th acting as catalyst for bibliographic events, auction previews and sales, as well as the “what’s my book worth” free appraisals on Sunday noon to 3:00 pm.   ABAA fair events are organized to entice and educate the public to the virtues of collecting books, manuscripts, maps, and ephemera.  Attendance for the serious is required, for the neophyte highly recommended.

 

Here is how the show describes itself; “Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The New York Antiquarian Book Fair, bringing a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera.”

Here are their location and hours for the visiting public:

 

643 Park Avenue at 67th Street

New York, New York 10065

 

Thursday 5-9 pm

Friday noon to 8:00 pm

Sat noon to 7:00 pm

Sun noon to 5:00 pm

 

Preview pass $50

Daily admission $25

Run of show:  $40

 

And on Sunday - Discovery Day April 12th from noon until 3 pm

 

Here is how the show’s promoters describe this event.

 

Each year on the Sunday of the fair, exhibitors offer their expertise to attendees. Discovery Day allows visitors to bring up to five items to discuss with experts. While formal appraisals are not given, dealers will discuss authenticity and condition, giving informal appraisals. Past Discovery Days have yielded some breathtaking discoveries including part of a Shakespeare second folio of Richard III! A first edition of Curious George with dust jacket was appraised at $3000. Also unearthed were original photographs of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s designs for stained glass. A first edition of the classic Beat novel, On the Road, was valued at $5000-$7000. Maritime history buffs were thrilled to discover their edition of Cook’s Voyages and Atlas were valued at $30,000. Exhibitors can examine items in most specialties, periods, and languages.

So if you have something in the attic you have always wondered about here is your chance.

 

And then there are the other two shows, between them a nice 20-minute walk or 5-minute taxi ride from the ABAA fair.

 

These shows are:

 

The New York City Book and Ephemera Fair

Wallace Hall at St. Ignatius Loyola

980 Park Avenue [at 83rd]

New York, New York 10028

Saturday Only 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

 

The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair / The Fine Press Book Fair

The Church of St. Vincent Ferrer

869 Lexington Avenue at 66th Street

New York, New York 10065

Saturday Only 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

 

The ABAA fair opens Thursday afternoon at 5:00 pm for 4 hours and on Friday at noon for eight hours.  The other fairs are Saturday only and open at 8:00 am.  Therefore the sweet spot for these alternative fairs is usually Saturday morning when they are the only game for the collectible paper enthusiast.

 

The ABAA fair continues on Saturday beginning at noon [for 7 hours] and then on Sunday from noon to 5:00 pm

 

The ABAA fair will be heavy on exceptional material, much of it expensive.  The alternative fairs will focus more on ephemera and other less expensive material.  Because the shadow fairs are a single day rapid negotiation is the norm.

 

What now follows are links to each of the show sites.  The ABAA link connects to a long scroll down page.  Everything you want to know is there.  It is very well laid out.

 

The other two fairs also have home pages and I have provided links to them as well.

 

As is often and increasingly said, with the epidemic of store and shop closures in the rare paper field the best and sometimes only answer to the questions how do I meet dealers and see their material, the best way increasingly is to attend shows when they occur nearby.  Only about one in a thousand people seriously collects.  If you find your heart though, as you read this article, skipping a few beats you may be one of the lucky ones, they who understand the world through its printed and manuscript history.  If so these fairs are exceptional, not to be missed, events.

 

On a sad, and hopefully not permanent note, the Professional Autograph Dealers Association [PADA] spring show, usually staged the same weekend as the ABAA fair, is not going to happen this year. We look forward to their return next year.

 

New York Antiquarian Book Fair

 

The New York City Book and Ephemera Fair

Free Pass for RBH readers [saves $15.00]

 

The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair / The Fine Press Book Fair

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions