Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2017 Issue

The ABAA Fair at Oakland has now come and gone

Smiles in Oakland

One hundred and seventy three dealers in the books, manuscript, maps and ephemera categories gathered at the recent 3 day ABAA Fair in Oakland to exhibit and offer material to collectors, institutions and other dealers.  It was a solid affair, it being the second time that the ABAA has exhibited at the Oakland Marriott.  The first was two years ago and the next, already scheduled, will be held in another two years.  Michael Hackenburg, Chairman of the ABAA in Northern California, expressed satisfaction with how the location is working out.

 

The fair itself is part of the larger world and that world is in flux.  Rare collectible material on paper generally falls outside of the concept of necessary.  Nevertheless, through thick and thin, such fairs prevail, in bad years survive and in good years prosper.  The Sturm und Drang of Washington this year may have been a negative factor and the aging of the collecting audience may also have played a part.  As well, many overseas dealers exhibit at the ABAA fairs in California and both BREXIT and travel restrictions may have reduced their enthusiasm.  Whatever the reasons, according to one member of the exhibition committee the show had about 10% fewer exhibitors and 5% fewer attendees.  Those who attended however were not disappointed.  The Oakland fair had very good material and the location was superb.

 

Dealers generally reported good sales, while among the 173 participants the specific outcomes ranged from great, to good, not-so-good and even a few disappointing.   The random chance connection of what is brought and who attends is always important.

 

The show also lost three exhibitors to a new California law that imposes on autograph dealers and other dealers selling autographed documents and books valued above $5.00, the requirement that they report to the buyer the name of the person or institution the dealer acquired the item from.  Mike Stillman wrote about this in the January issue of Rare Book Monthly [click here].

 

Timing was another problem. The New York Book Fair, this year March 9-12, is a month earlier than in the recent past thereby creating conflicts for participants who exhibit at other shows and faced either/or decisions. There were scattered reports that such conflicts reduced participation.

 

One observer described the Oakland Fair as more like a regional fair this year a la Seattle than the national fair this show had grown to be in the past decade.  This show is necessary, important, even vital to the field.  I and everyone else who is interested in the future of book collecting will be hoping that political braggadocio, visa restrictions and weak economy do not derail the current fragile success.  There are things bigger than books but their impact on the thinking and culture of the educated world requires that such events thrive. 

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
  • Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Closing Time, Advance Readers Copy of Uncorrected Proof with a letter from Heller on his personal stationary
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Gates, Bill, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, N Y: Knopf, 2021; first edition, with a handwritten note from Bill Gates
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, first edition, first printing, first issue dust jacket, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Something Happened, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, first edition, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, London: John Murray, 1818, in four volumes
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.

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