Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2019 Issue

398 Reasons to Go to the New York Book Fairs March 7-10

Three Rare Book, Manuscript, Map, Book Arts and Ephemera Fairs all over the same weekend in New York.  For those who love collectible paper and related materials this is your moment.


The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair and Fine Press Fair will take place in the exhibition space at St. Vincent Ferrer Church on Saturday March 9th for dealers to exhibit and sell their works on paper.  This show is a combination of traditional rare book and ephemera sellers with a strong contingent of book arts exhibitors, all members of the Fine Press Books Association of New York.  Most years, when I can be in New York for these fairs, I buy something in the book arts category at this fair and am always pleased.


This fair, now in its 10th year, was once the only ‘shadow’ fair over the ABAA’s New York Weekend but Marvin Getman of Impact Events brought his thinking to the ABAA weekend 5 years ago and he has slowly created a significant alternative event, his the New York City Book and Ephemera Fair.   Between these the number of this year will be 400.  Mr. Getman expects 118 exhibitors at his two day Saturday-Sunday event at the Sheraton at 811 7th Avenue, the ABAA 215 exhibitors for its 4 day event and the Saturday show at St. Vincent Ferrer 65.


These two shadow or auxiliary shows significantly increase the importance of this most important weekend for collectible paper in North America.


For those able, the best way to see these fairs is to attend the ABAA’s opening night gala on Thursday the 7th.  It opens at 5:00 pm at the Armory at 643 Park Avenue between 66th and 67th Streets on the east side.  The tickets are $60- but many collectors and institutions have access to free passes that exhibiting dealers will share.  For the shadow fairs there are various ways to get free or reduced price tickets that are cheap at twice the price.


On Saturday begin your day early and get to the Getman event at 8:00 am.  Allow 2 hours.  Material is priced and the clock is running.   Offers are encouraged and frequently accepted.  Then run, walk, bus or taxi over to the Manhattan Vintage Book Fair.  If you haven’t arranged a free or reduced price ticket, take out your wallet and take the plunge.  A good cup of coffee in the Big Apple can cost you more.


At noon on Saturday the ABAA fair opens for its third day.  If you didn’t scoop up the Gutenberg leaf on opening night, it may be that no one else has either and if not, seller optimism confronting third day reality may weaken pricing resolve just a little.  If you’re serious you can always ask.


The dealers on the floor in the ABAA show will be tougher with their very valuable and unique stock, while exhibitors at the shadow fairs will quickly negotiate if they can.  The shadow fairs last longer than 4 hours but most of the significant activity occurs before 1:00 pm on Saturday so experienced shadow exhibitors move quickly to close deals as they know the morning traffic will quickly disappear.


The Getman fair will have the benefit of Marvin’s gift for publicity and promotion so expect a good crowd there over its two day run.


Over the years I have bought at all three fairs.  Some material is reasonably and others fully priced.  You have to know the difference as well as how to say no to things you would love to have but that aren’t worth the price.  If you are a Rare Book Hub paid member you’ll have our 8.8 million record database in your pocket to check values if you have a cell phone.  From a phone the address is mobile.rarebookhub.com and remember to know your log-in ID and password.  If you aren’t sure we’ll provide it by phone at 877.323.7273.


Have a great time.  Find something or some things that resonate.   


The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair and Fine Press Fair                 

St. Vincent Ferrer Church

869 Lexington Avenue, New York City 10065


Marvin Getman’s New York City Book and Ephemera Fair

The Sheraton Times Square

811 7th Avenue, New York, New York 10019


The 59th Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair 

643 Park Avenue [between 66th and 67th Streets

New York, New York 10065

Link to a separate article in this issue about this event



Note:  a bus is running between the ABAA Fair and the Getman event at the Sheraton Times Square.

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
    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
    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.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions