Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2008 Issue

Book Fairs In June

Bf.chicago

The Chicago Printers Row Book Fair


By Bruce McKinney

Planning your June trips Around Book Fairs

As happens every summer Book Fairs spring to life as dealers come together at interesting times in interesting places to attract a book buying audience, swap inventory and catch up with comrades and collectors. June kicks off the summer sojourns. There are five events in England and four in the United States. Here is some encouragement for attending.

I asked Julian MacKenzie of Bernard J. Shapero of London for a perspective on the importance of book fairs for the book collector -

"With the dwindling away of book shops in major population centres, book fairs provide the best opportunity for collectors and would-be collectors to view and handle rare books. A book is after all an object and its appeal partly resides in its look, feel, and not least, its scent. Also, this gathering together of dealers enables the collector to compare offerings, prices, and style of various companies which can help select those booksellers with whom a collector feels most comfortable.

There are drawbacks to fairs but overall book fairs are a wonderful celebration of the book and a unique opportunity for like-minded people to join together."

Clare Van Norman of Wantagh Books in upstate New York, who is participating in the Cooperstown Antiquarian Book Fair, offered -

"The logic of the book fair is to provide concentration and exception: a concentration of booksellers offering difficult to describe and sometimes exceptional material. Both the highly experienced and the neophyte collector find appealing material, the dealer meets new customers and the field goes home renewed. Book fairs are the life blood of the field."

John Kuenzig of Topsfield, Massachusetts and a book dealer for almost ten years is active on the show circuit and participating in the Cooperstown fair for the first time. He explained the power of fairs this way.

"You can't buy what you don't know exists. You go to fairs to learn and sometimes find something perfect to buy."

Jim Presgraves of Bookworm & Silverfish, a veteran of 490 fairs since 1975, had this to say of the Cooperstown Fair specifically and book fairs in general-

"It's a very friendly event with easy access and good attendance. Expect anything, even everything. Dealers participate to sell, shop, learn, and/or talk. Collectors come for many of the same reasons and of course for the possibility of a great buy."

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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