The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair, October 12-13, 2019

- by Bruce E. McKinney


The Annual Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will take place over the weekend of October 12-13 in Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center, home of The Space Needle, and the site originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair.  The principal book fairs around the world continue to provide a respite for both dealers and collectors who prefer to see material in person.  After the “Big 3” ABAA sponsored fairs in New York, Boston and California, the SABF has long been Number 1 in the United States although the Marvin Getman fairs have been growing rapidly. Breaking the previous record for number of exhibitors registered back in June, this year’s Seattle fair is sure to be strong again, with more than a hundred exhibitors signed up to participate, and an expanded floor plan to accommodate.


Dealers in the western states, namely Washington with 35, Oregon with 21, and California with 29, will dominate the floor, but dealers from the east coast and beyond are represented as well, most notably including the dominant Peter Harrington Rare Books of London, England. Over half the floor will be ABAA/ILAB members.


Tickets are just $5, good for both days, and visitors are encouraged to bring interesting material to sell to exhibiting dealers.  Such items are to be held in the coat check area where specialists can, when asked, securely evaluate material.


Over the past twenty years, the role of shows has transformed from a component of dealer sales to an important aspect of collector and institutional acquisition.  Dealers that once had many cost efficient ways to move material are now seeing a shift from sales by category [in this case books] to intensifying online subject searches worldwide, that present a challenge to know what to bring.  Some exhibitors will display an entire van load of books, whereas others, just a suitcase full. From mediaeval illuminated manuscripts to maps, prints and pulp comics, there is something very special here for every collector at every budget level.


To help dealers help you, one may look at the linked list of exhibitors below and visit their websites to see what treasures they have.  Many will be open to bringing material specific to your request if they are aware of your interest before materials are shipped to the venue.


For those who bring an appetite for food as well, SABF has again invited a private catering company to do concessions, including both hot and cold dishes. Or if you’d prefer a walk while contemplating your new acquisitions, you’re in the bustling neighborhood of Queen Anne, well known for its culinary quality and diversity.


The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair

The Pacific Northwest’s Premier Book Event!

Saturday, October 12th, 10am-6pm
Sunday, October 13th, 11am-4pm

Phone: 206.323.3999 | Email:

Book Fair Producer: Bill Wolfe




2019 SABF Exhibitor List


Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair official site