Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2023 Issue

Pasadena: The California Antiquarian Book Fair Returns

The California International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to Pasadena February 10-12 and many are grateful that the collectible paper field is returning to form.  Collectors and institutions and, not to mention dealers themselves, have been getting by joining electronic bookfairs, but were always wistful for their great experiences in person and now everyone is elated.  Close to 200 dealers will be exhibiting fresh material.


Beyond Covid, structural changes have been making the field challenging for many years and the ABAA’s decision to prioritize health and safety over business has been the past three years particularly difficult.  But, when it has all been said and done, they saved lives and the field, and by all reports, have seen their sales restored to their previous robust levels by relying on online sales.


While the numbers are adding up, because nothing stays the same, ephemera and images have seen their profiles rising.  Twenty years ago the field was called rare books for a reason.  Today collectible paper is almost a new game and this fair will show this transition.


For those who are committed to the field, how else better can acquirers take the pulse of the field than by slowly, methodically, stopping by each booth to hear about what dealers value.  During those discussions, you’ll better understand the underlying logic of the field and they’ll better understand your collecting ambitions.  These dealers are the mavens and stand ready to assist.


To prepare, click on the show’s website.  Then look for the list of exhibitors and spend some time to plan your visit.  You may have thought an hour or two will be enough but think about it this way.  Yes there are some California dealers but the majority hail from other states and countries.  By coming together here you can find them.


If you are going to do the soup to nuts approach, expect to spend a full day.  Dealers are going to want to know you.  Collections are endlessly complex and when they understand what logically fits into your ambitions they can immeasurably enhance your efficiency and satisfaction.


Net-net, your show experience will be a success even if you don’t complete an immediate transaction BUT don’t be surprised if you bring home some gems.  When you acquire something that matters to it’s very satisfying.


Links to the show https://www.abaa.org/cabookfair


Link to list of exhibitors https://www.abaa.org/pages/exhibitor-list


Show Details:

FEBRUARY 10 - 12, 2023

at the Pasadena Convention Center


Friday, February 10, 2023 • 3 pm to 8 pm / VIP Ticket $25
Saturday, February 11, 2023 • 11 am to 7 pm / $15
Sunday, February 12, 2023 • 11 am to 4 pm / $10

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.

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