Annual Labor Day Weekend Mark Twain Library Fair in Redding Connecticut, Boxborough Paper Fair Set This Month
- by Michael Stillman
Mark Twain in Redding in 1909, from film by visitor and friend Thomas Edison.
A pair of well-established book and paper fairs are scheduled for this month in New England. There is no better time to get out and travel New England than late summer when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold, and the kids are safely back in school.
First up, in its 55th year, is the Mark Twain Library's Annual Book Fair in Redding, Connecticut. It takes place Labor Day weekend. Twain built a large house in Redding in 1908, where he died two years later. He founded the Mark Twain Library Association, which operates the fair. Twain will welcome you if you attend, in spirit if not in person.
The Twain Library Fair works on a sliding scale – the longer you wait, the less you pay, but naturally, some of the most desirable items will likely be gone.
The fair opens at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 4, and for the first hour, the admission price is $15. This is evidently a bargain as the library notes some book dealers start holding places in line as early as three days in advance to get first shot at the books. It remains open until 6:00 p.m. There will be a special afterschool "children's event" that afternoon from 2:30 until closing. On Saturday, hours are from 10:00 – 4:00, and both days, book prices are as marked. On Sunday, the fair is also open 10:00 – 4:00, but this is "half price day." Finally, on Monday, hours are 9:00 – 4:00 and this is "boxing day," where you can buy a whole box of books for $10. Other than the first hour on Friday, admission is free and parking is free. Along with the books, you can buy refreshments and credit cards are accepted.
The fair will be held at the Redding Community Center on Lonetown Road. Library Fair co-chair Ginny Beasley noted, "We are proud to say our book fair has the reputation as one of the best. People travel from Maine to Maryland to find the bargains and the rare treasures that the Mark Twain Library Book Fair always has in abundance."
The fair committee issued a list of notable books from their "Collector's Corner," but with almost 60,000 items being offered (all organized and categorized for convenience), there will undoubtedly be many "sleepers." Here is their list.
Aragon, Luis; Cantique A Elsa; Editions de la Rue Fontaine, Algeria 1942; First edition, #66/600, green paper wraps. Good condition, with some wear and stains to paper wraps not affecting text, which is in fine condition. Aragon dedicated "Hymn to Elsa" to his wife, muse and fellow member of French Resistance, Elsa Triolet. $50
Blackmore, R.D.; Lorna Doone; Thomas Crowell, New York, 1893; green cloth with gilt-stamped decorative cover; 2 vols bound in one, very good; including heavy original brass plate used to gold-stamp cover artwork. $200
Bonnant, P. A.; Les Vignettes Parlantes; Bonnard, Geneva, 1855; paper covered boards; missing title page. French text, 46 proverbs illustrated with wood engravings. $50
Bingham, Hiram; Inca Land, Explorations in the Highlands of Peru; Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1922; Good condition, no dust jacket, moderate wear to head and tail of spine. Inscribed by author on ffep. Popular account of Bingham's work in Peru, which brought attention to spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu. $50
[Bradley, W. M.], Bradley's Atlas of the World; Wm. M Bradley & Co, Philadelphia, 1889.
Elephant folio, 14" x 19", bound in brown calf with marbled endpapers. Rebacked. All 75 maps present, many double-fold measuring 19" x 26", all maps in fine condition. Some foxing to endpapers, not affecting maps. $450
Buckley, William F.; God and Man At Yale, The Superstitions of Academic Freedom;
Regnery, Chicago, 1952; First edition, fifth printing; very good in a good dj. $50
Corso, Gregory; The Happy Birthday of Death; New Directions, 1960; first printing (no subsequent printing noted on copyright page); paperback, fine. $25
Dumas, Alexandre; The Three Musketeers; George Routledge & Sons, London, 1894; Edition du Luxe 181/750. 2 volumes, large quarto, full leather bound, brown morocco, leather doublures and silk endpapers. Very good condition. Translated by William Robson, 250 illustrations by Maurice Leloir.$400
Jullien, Adolphe; Hector Berlioz, Sa Vie Et Ses Ouevres; Paris: Librairie de L'Art; 1888; folio, fine, rebound in 3/4 red morocco over marbled boards. Includes 14 original lithographs by Fantin-Latour. French text, copiously illustrated. $300
Gaskell, Mrs. [Elizabeth]; Cranford; MacMillan & Co. London and New York, 1892; Deluxe large paper edition, bound in full crushed green morocco with leather doublures and silk moire endpapers by French Binders of Garden City, NY. Over 100 illustrations by Hugh Thomson, all expertly hand-colored by am unknown artist, which makes this copy unique. $1000
[with Victoria Chess], Fletcher and Zenobia; Meredith Press, 1967, first edition. $20
["Ogdred Weary"]; The Curious Sofa; Dodd, Mead 1980 2nd edition, signed. $50
The Blue Aspic; Hawthorne, 1968 4th printing, signed. $50
The Gilded Bat; Dodd Mead, 1979, 2nd edition, signed. $50
[with Beatrice Schenk De Regniers], Red Riding Hood, Atheneum, 1972, 1st ed. no dj. $20
Gurney, James; Dinotopia, A Land Apart from Time; Turner Publishing, Atlanta, 1992; first edition, second printing; fine in fine dj; signed by author with sketch of dinosaur on half title page. $50
Hecht, Anthony and Baskin, Leonard; The Seven Deadly Sins; Gehenna Press, Northampton, 1958; First printing, copy "E", of 300. Fine, no dj as issued, half-bound green cloth over paper covered boards, with gold stamped leather spine label. Signed by both author and illustrator, with seven wood engravings by Baskin. Per Gehenna Press, this is an "extra" copy, bound matching first 100 copies of the first edition. $1000
Irving, Washington; Rip Van Winkle; Elbert Hubbard, Roycroft Shop, East Aurora, 1905; bound in crimson suede, very good. $40
James, Henry; The Letters of Henry James to Walter Berry; Black Sun Press, Editions Narcisse, Rue Cardinale, Paris, 1928; First edition, paper wraps, in expertly made half-leather clamshell case. Fine condition throughout. $350
Lawrence, D.H.; Lady Chatterley's Lover; PIRATED EDITION, actual publisher unknown, circa 1929. An exemplar of the most widely pirated book of all time, this copy is an elaborate forgery. Use of better quality paper makes the text block 25% thicker than the true first edition. To cap it off, the book was professionally rebound in 3/4 leather. Note: This is a FAKE. $300
Powys, Llewelyn; illustrated by Ward, Lynd; Now That The Gods Are Dead; Equinox, New York, 1932; limited edition 311/400 signed by author and illustrator, hand bound in blue cloth, spine darkened, otherwise very good. No dj, as published. $100
Prosek, James; Trout, An Illustrated History; Knopf, New York, 1998; Tenth printing. Fine in fine dustjacket. Signed by author/illustrator on title page with sketch of trout fly. $40
Proulx, Annie; Close Range, Wyoming Stories; Scribner, New York, 1999; First printing. Fine in fine dj. Signed by author (and illustrator, William Matthews) on title page. First appearance of Brokeback Mountain. $50
Rabelais, Francois; The Complete Works of Doctor Francois Rabelais. Boni & Liveright, New York, 1927; two volumes, black cloth, in slip cases, very good. $75
Sharon, Ariel [with Chanoff, David]; Warrior, The Autobiography of Ariel Sharon; Simon and Schuster, 1989; first edition; fine in fine dj; signed by author on title page. $300
Steinbeck, John; Nothing So Monstrous; Pynson Printers, New York, 1936; limited edition of 350. marbled paper covered boards, cloth spine, fine, presentation copy to Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of N.Y.Times. $150
Thacker, John; The Art of Cookery; J. Thompson & Co.; Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1758; small octavo, 5" x 8.5" in original calf binding, rough unrestored condition, as befits a 267 year old cookbook. Missing several pages at end, including index. In clam-shell case. $250
Trump, Donald J. [with Schwarz, Tony]; Trump, The Art of the Deal; Random House, 1987, second printing; fine in fine dj; signed by Trump on ffep. $100
Walker, Alice; In Love and Trouble, Stories of Black Women; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1973; First edition "BCDE", probably 2nd printing. Near fine in very good dust jacket, Alice Walker's fourth book and first collection of short stories. $50
Wegman, William; ABC; Hyperion, New York, 1994; First edition, fine in fine dj, signed by author/photographer on half-title. Alphabet book featuring the Weimaraners. $30
Over 100 Heritage Press titles.
Large collection of vintage "Juvenile Series" books, especially Horatio Alger and baseball stories.
Much, much more.
The second event on tap this month is the annual Boxborough Paper Town – The Vintage Paper, Books & Advertising Collectibles Show. This will take place on Saturday, September 19, at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough, Massachusetts. Exhibitors from the Northeast and Canada will present a wide array of books and ephemeral items, including maps, postcards, autographs, prints, posters, advertising materials, board games, classic vinyl, and much more. The hours will be 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., with admission $7 for adults, $4 ages 12-21. Those under 12 are free with an adult. You can save $1 by printing out the coupon here. Free parking is available.
John Bruno, star of the PBS television series Market Warriors, and other appraisers will be available from 12:00 – 2:00 to provide appraisals at $5 per item.
What sort of material can you expect to find? Here is a partial list of specialties featured by the exhibitors: Advertising Covers, African American, Americana, Architecture, Art, Art Deco, Auctions, Autographs, Aviation, Baseball, Books, Bibles, Black History, Black Power, Calendars, Calling Cards, Christmas, Circus, Civil War, Cook Books, Charts, Children’s Books, Cocktails, Design, Dogs, Die Cuts, Documents, Engineering, Engraving, Ephemera, Erotica, Esoterica, Fantasy, Fashion, Fishing, Floridiana, Folklore, Folk Music, Foreign Language, Furniture, Games, Gardens & Horticulture, Graphics, Historic Documents, Horses, Hunting, Illustrated Books, Interior Design, Japan, Judaica, Letters, Logbooks, Manuscripts, Maps, Maritime, Medicine, Middle East, Military, Modernism, Music, Native American, Natural History, Nautical, Naval, New York City, New York State, New Jersey, Novelties, Olympic Games, Pacifica, Photographs, Photography, Pochoir, Polar, Pop-Ups & Moveable Books, Poetry, Postcards, Posters, Presentation Copies, Presidential Archives, Press Books, Prints, Pulitzer Prize Winners, Psychedelica, Puppetry, Puzzles, Railroad, Reference, Revolutionary War, Russia, Scholarly, Science, Science Fiction, Sports, Sporting, Technical, Theatre, Theology, Trade Cards, Trade Catalogues, Travel & Exploration, Travel Brochures, Typography, U.S. Coastal History, Vanity Fair Prints, Valentines, Voyages, Watercolors, Whaling, Wine, Yachting.