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News & Updates Verband Deutscher Antiquare e.V.

Books & Art in Stuttgart

Germany's leading international fair for the rare book and graphic arts trade returns to Stuttgart
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It might be bitterly cold but what is a January without its annual start of the ILAB fair calendar in Stuttgart? We no longer run for books in Germany but we would not want to miss the famous lottery for books when more than one buyer has set an eye on a certain object?
Booksellers from Germany, Europe and further away will finally gather again at the much anticipated, traditional January fair - the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair.
Germany's leading international fair for the rare book and print trade, will return to the Württembergischer Kunstverein from 26 to 28 January 2024 after a longer break, due to the pandemic and renovation works at its traditional venue in 2023.

Having been held continuously in Stuttgart since it was founded in 1962, the fair has been a permanent fixture as an international and German trade event but also in the region's cultural calendar and will once again be held under the patronage of the First Mayor of the City of Stuttgart, Dr Fabian Mayer, in 2024: "As patron of one of the most renowned and traditional international fairs for the rare book and print trade worldwide, I wholeheartedly support this event. Bookshops, publishers, libraries and events such as the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair occupy an important place in our cultural landscape. I look forward to January 2024, when people who are all passionate about books, their content, but also their creation and their history, will meet in Stuttgart."

First editions and bibliophile editions, fine press, manuscripts, graphic art, photographs, maps, manuscripts and autographs - the fair offers the entire spectrum of the rare book and graphic art trade. Every January, collectors, libraries and art enthusiasts from all over Germany and Europe travel to the fair, which has been the annual kick-off in the international rare book calender for decades.

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„We are excited to be returning to the Kunstverein in 2024, to celebrate books and manuscripts with colleagues from around Europe right in the cultural heart of Stuttgart.” Writes Alfred Pasternack of Quaritch, London, long-standing Stuttgart exhibitor, founded by the German Bernard Quaritch, who still trained in Nordhausen and Berlin, before moving at only 23 years old in 1842 to England and building one of today’s most renowned international rare bookselling firms.

Laurens Hesselink of Forum Rare Books in the Netherlands, another long-standing international exhibitor writes: "Hopefully, the makeover of the building and the efforts by the Stuttgart organisers will bring visitors and dealers back from all over Europe and beyond."

Around 60 German and international rare bookshops and galleries will once again present valuable and bibliophile books, manuscripts, prints, autographs and illustrated works in the newly renovated rooms of the Württembergischer Kunstverein on Stuttgart's Schlossplatz. International firms from Switzerland, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Denmark will make this fair a truly international event in Germany.

Catalogue 2024

As every year, the association has published a richly illustrated catalogue for the 2024 fair, a printed copy can be ordered from the German association's head office or downloaded on the website: >> DOWNLOAD THE CATALOGUE HERE

Provenances or: The Lives of Books

This year, the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair is focussing in particular on the subject of provenances, as:
Provenance research has always played an important role in the antiquarian book trade, and not just since it became a topic in the press and politics.

Who were the people behind the books? What is the biography of a work? Why do some objects still fascinate us to this day precisely because of their origin? What traces have collectors, scholars, famous bibliophiles or even ordinary citizens left behind in their books? What path has a book taken in its life through many epochs?
Where does provenance research start?
A special exhibition and a panel discussion as part of the "Das Rote Sofa" event series will take up this topic and take a look at the current requirements in antiquarian bookshops and libraries.

Special exhibition 2024: „Bücherleben – Bücher erzählen ihre Geschichte“ ("The lives of books - Books tell their story")

Books have always been companions, an expression of passion and a wide variety of collecting interests, characterised by political and cultural contexts, quietly kept in private or displayed as status symbols.
Collections were created with dedication and expertise, passed down through generations, fell victim to wars, social upheavals and fashions. Books have accompanied people in all walks of life.
Inscriptions, notes, annotations, coats of arms, bookplates and bindings tell the story of their owners. Often only the provenance of an individual item reveals its true collecting value.
In co-operation with the Württemberg State Library in Stuttgart, the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair presents the special exhibition "Bücherleben -Books tell their story". Selected exhibits show vividly the relationships between ideas, books, owners and readers across time and places

Provenance research in antiquarian bookshops, auction houses and libraries: Sharing experiences

Saturday, 27 January 2024, 4 pm - Red Sofa Talks (The event will take place in German language)

Provenance research is part of the daily work in antiquarian bookshops. Collector and library stamps, entries and bookplates
bookplates are analysed, books are examined page by page during collation. Blind or security stamps in the centre of the copies stand out, even if a title page or the page with the colophon or imprint is missing. Provenance research is laborious and requires many years of expertise. Where are the
Where do collectors, dealers and libraries liaise? What opportunities, but also difficulties are there in the everyday life of antiquarian bookshops and auction houses?
Dr Markus Brandis (Chairman of the German Association of Antiquarian Booksellers and Managing Director of Bassenge Kunst, Buch- und Fotoauktionen) introduces the important and topical subject of provenance research for antiquarian booksellers, auction houses and libraries alike and welcomes two panellists to share their experiences: Ms Michaela Scheibe and Dr Stephanie Jacobs.

Ms Michaela Scheibe (Department of Manuscripts and Historical Prints at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz) will present the work of the dbv commission "Provenance Research and Provenance Cataloguing" and Dr Stephanie Jacobs (Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum / German National Library) will present the 2022 publication "Tiefenbohrung. Eine andere Provenienzgeschichte“. To raise awareness of provenance research among antiquarian booksellers and collectors, to enter into dialogue with libraries and institutions and to clarify provenances together is an important task for all those involved.

26 - 28 January 2024 Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart - Germany

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