Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2015 Issue

The Boston Book Fairs: November 13-15

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Over the weekend of November 13-15 the Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to America’s cradle of democracy.  The venue is the Hines Convention Center.  Nearby Marvin Getman’s Boston Book, Print and Ephemera Show will set up at the Back Bay Events Center to host 63 dealers on Saturday the 14th.  The ABAA fair will include more than 100 dealers.  Outside of New York on the east coast the Boston fair is a big deal and has been for years.

The ABAA fair is both is both a traditional selling event and a call to arms for would-be collectors, dealers and institutions.  They come to trade but also to raise hope and interest in collecting the printed word and images.  Rare books are an extraordinary field confronting aging demographics and changing tastes and neither dealers nor collectors will “go gentle into that good night.”  So they will be back in beantown to renew their commitments and encourage newbies into the extraordinarily interesting world they long ago embraced.

The ABAA fair does a very good job providing opportunities for the interested to hear discussions on subjects relating to their field.  The collecting of old and rare material is and has long been the convergence of the esthetic and scholarly and book fairs strive to attract both audiences.  Serious collectors are often that special species of mankind that sees collectible print through both lenses.    With that perspective a collector develops ambition.  The ABAA works hard to illuminate these two views that is both obvious to the serious and initially obscure to the neophyte.

There are two book fairs in the same city over the same weekend because there are two separate communities that seek the same customers at different stages in their collecting lives.  The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America is the storied, long dominant association of many of the best-known and long established dealers.  The Satellite Fair, as it is colloquially called, offers the world of non-ABAA dealers the opportunity to exhibit and sell in a nearby venue.  The non-ABAA community is probably 7 or 8 times the size of the ABAA’s 450 members.  Both do well.  The ABAA dominates the sales and the non-ABAA dealers the growth.  Both are essential as the market shifts from a reliance on rare books to manuscripts, maps and printed-paper.  The Getman fair is less expensive for exhibitors, making it possible to offer the less costly material that increasingly looms large as the emerging class of intensive narrow collecting takes hold.  Institutions and collectors today grasp the scale of choices and are being transformed.

The ABAA fair dominates the important and exotic material that the premiere collectors pursue while the next generation of important collectors may be a few blocks away at the Satellite Fair sorting through the eclectic debris of future ABAA dealers who have spent months parsing possibilities looking for material they casually invested in that can, with glitter and splash, become incandescent sparks that pay bills and illuminate the path to at least the next show.  Bookselling is at its most basic level the sale of dreams that collectors come to buy.  At their best book fairs are intellectually complex, their public encounters evidence of what is for most collectors, mostly a private affair.

So at both fairs expect the rare and exceptional, both behind the counters and in front.  Knowledge, wealth and commitment will for a few hours make Boston the place to be.  It turns out book fairs are about hope.  So go there and be hopeful.

ABAA Events

Antiques Roadshow: 20 Seasons of Book Appraisals!

Saturday, November 14, 12:30pm

Executive Producer Marsha Bemko gives a behind-the-scenes look at PBS’s most-watched ongoing series, and reveals stories of rare books discovered—those that made it on camera and those that didn’t.

 

Typewriter Rodeo

Saturday, November 14, 2:00-5:00pm

The Typewriter Rodeo poets will be on hand to write an original poem for you on any topic you choose on their eclectic collection of vintage typewriters.

 

DISCOVERY: Starting Your Own Collection

Saturday, November 14, 2:30pm

Panel Discussion - A rare opportunity to ask the experts the best way to start your own collection. Afterwards, shop the Fair and visit our “Discovery” exhibitors for items $100 and under to help you begin your collection.

 

Political Americana: Ticknor Society Roundtable

Saturday, November 14, 4:00pm

This 14th annual collectors’ roundtable will focus on Political Americana: trends in collecting, how to shop for your collection, and you’ll also see two personal collections from top collectors! 

 

The Invention of the Modern Dictionary

Sunday, November 15, 12:30pm

Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large, Merriam-Webster - Commonly referred to as the Unabridged, and edited during the turmoil of the American Civil War, the 1864 edition was the first comprehensive revision of Noah Webster’s famous dictionary. Learn more about the real history of this traditional American brand.

 

FREE Expert Appraisals!

Sunday, November 15, 1:00 - 3:00pm

Bring your books & ephemera to get expert free appraisals. You might find you have a valuable treasure!

 

Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

Hynes Convention Center
900 Boyleston Street
Boston, Massachusetts

www.mccahome.com

Hours

Friday 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Saturday Noon to 7:00 pm
Sunday Noon to 5:00 pm

 

Boston Book Print and Ephemera Show

Back Bay Convention Center
180 Berkeley St. [at Stuart St.]
Boston, Massachusetts

http://www.antiqueandbookshows.com/

Saturday  8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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