Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2021 Issue

Old Books and Old Collectors shout Harrah!!

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The desire to browse and buy is strong!

Book fairs have been the early and consistent victims of COVID and it’s time to say The Empire Strikes Back!  In-person buying and selling in the collectible paper field has long been a vital component and COVID particularly damaged shows.  It is a wonderful sign that normalcy is breaking out. 

 

The United Kingdom has been particularly diligent to call for its population to be vaccinated and this recently has permitted government to relax the prohibition of larger gatherings.   The immediate outcome was to stage Firsts in London.

 

This said we’ll simply let the show’s PR department jump on the main table and dance a jig intoning, free at last, free at last.   Congratulations!

 

 Record visitor numbers and strong exhibitor sales mark a successful Firsts, London’s Rare Book Fair 2021 following move to Saatchi Gallery

 

Press Release: Exhibitors and fair organizers declared the 64th edition of Firsts, London’s Rare Book Fair a resounding success, with visitor numbers up almost 30% on the 2019 edition and strong early sales setting the tone for what proved to be a productive four-day event for exhibitors. 

 

The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association’s premier event, which took place from October 21- 24 at Saatchi Gallery, welcomed 4,500 attendees this year – a record number of visitors – despite having to overcome travel restrictions and other pandemic-related challenges to event attendance. 

 

“I think it is safe to say our expectations have been exceeded. We were frankly delighted with the footfall at the fair this year, which was close to 30% up from the 2019 edition despite having far fewer exhibitors participate. It was particularly exciting to see the fair attract a much younger and more diverse audience, a testament to the new venue’s more central location and wider appeal,” said Pom Harrington, Chairman of Firsts. 

 

“The fair’s move to Saatchi Gallery has undoubtedly proven successful in attracting museum and institutional buyers, existing and new private collectors, as well as rare book enthusiasts from across the UK. The vast majority of participating exhibitors across all three floors of the new venue recorded stronger sales than in previous years,” said Pom. 

 

The total reported sales were greater this year with 83 exhibitors than with 2019’s 130 exhibitors, with average sales as well as median sales up. Exhibitor sales were recorded across the 4-day event – with early sales at the private opening reception setting a positive pace for the rest of the fair. 

 

Guided tours and talks also saw enthusiastic sign-ups from new visitors keen to learn more about the fair highlights.  

 

“I’m pleased to confirm that Firsts London will return to Saatchi Gallery next year and has been secured as a venue until 2024. This was the very first year the ABA received a unanimously affirmative response from every participating exhibitor that they would either return or consider returning next year – an unprecedented result given the many challenges we’ve had to overcome in the past 18 months in bringing back the physical book fair,” added Pom.  

 

Looking ahead to next year, Pom continued “We can confidently say that we anticipate 2022 to be very popular. We normally have 50 to 60 overseas exhibitors and this year we had 12 – unsurprising really, given how challenging things have been. I am very confident, however, that next year will be very different and we look forward to welcoming back a much larger international contingent of exhibitors for an even stronger fair.”  

 

The 65th edition of Firsts, London’s Rare Book Fair is scheduled to take place 15-18 September 2022 at Saatchi Gallery, with Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association’s smaller Chelsea Rare Book Fair scheduled for 29-30 April 2022 at the Chelsea Old Town Hall.  Online editions of the rare book fairs will continue to take place quarterly, with the next ‘Firsts Online’ due to take place on 2-7 December 2021 at www.firsts-online.com.  

 

The Fair’s Chairman and Committee wish to extend their thanks to the fair partners and sponsors, Biblio.com, The London Library, Richard Thompson Insurance Brokers and The Antiques Trade Gazette for their continued support of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Associations fairs and events.  

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 817. Bellin's complete five-volume maritime atlas with 581 maps & plates (1764). $24,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 325. An early and important map of the Republic of Texas (1837). $11,000 to $14,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 45. De Bry's early map of North Pole depicting Willem Barentsz' expedition (1601). $3,500 to $4,250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 154. Poignant map of the United States documenting lynchings (1931). $250 to $325.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 457. Extremely rare matching set of pro-German propaganda from WWI (1914). $2,000 to $2,400.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 815. Homann's world atlas featuring 110 maps in contemporary color (1751). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 60. Miniature pocket globe based on Herman Moll (1785). $3,500 to $4,500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 8. Visscher's rare carte-a-figures world map (1652). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 158. Matching satirical maps of the US by McCandlish: "Ration Map" & "Bootlegger's Map" (1944). $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 820. One of the finest English atlases of the early 19th century (1808). $4,750 to $6,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 59. Important milestone in preparation for 1969 moon landing (1963). $750 to $900.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 805. Superb bible leaf with image of crucifixion of Jesus with gilt highlights (1518). $800 to $950.
  • <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>including Americana<br>February 16, 2023</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works…now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [EINSTEIN, Albert (1879–1955)]. –– ORLIK, Emil (1870–1932), artist. Lithograph signed (“Albert Einstein”). N.p., 1928. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. <i>[The Lord of the Rings trilogy:] The Fellowship of the Ring.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Two Towers.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Return of the King.</i> 1955. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain") and Charles Dudley WARNER. <i>The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.</i> Hartford and Chicago, 1873. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> LOVECRAFT, Howard Phillips. <i>Beyond the Wall of Sleep.</i> Collected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1943. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Gideon Welles, <i>Extensive archive of personal and family papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy,</i> 1791-1914. Sold September 29 — $281,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Rock Climbers,</i> cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> watercolor, ink and gouache, 1954. Sold December 15 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Brontë, <i>Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell,</i> three volumes, first edition, 1847. Sold June 16, 2022 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, <i>The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed,</i> London, 1542. Sold October 13 — $106,250.
    <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age 32),</i> silver print, 1936. Sold October 20 — $305,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> George Washington, Autograph Document Signed, with two manuscript plat maps in holograph, 1751. Sold October 27 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Winfred Rembert, <i>Winfred Rembert and Class of 1959,</i> dye on carved & tooled leather, 1999. Sold October 6 — $233,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> M.C. Escher, <i>Relativity,</i> lithograph, 1953. Sold November 3 — $81,250.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Original Film Posters<br>27 January - 10 February 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Vertigo (1958), poster, US. The ultimate poster on this classic Hitchcock title, one of three known examples. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Lawrence of Arabia (1962), roadshow poster, US. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Star Wars (1977), style C poster, printer's proof, US. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> The Navigator/ La Croisiere du Navigator (1924), re-release poster (1931), French. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Bullitt (1968), special test poster, US. £3,000 to £5,000.

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