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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Fairs

London International Antiquarian Book Fair, 28th to 30th May 2015

Published on 21 July 2018
From May 28th to 30th the halls of Olympia will once again present an unparalleled array of literary material at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. Now in its 58th year, this major three-day event is one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world, showcasing rare, unique and unusual items from 180 leading UK and international dealers. From medieval manuscripts to modern signed first editions, visitors hold history in their hands as they view and buy museum-quality books, maps, prints, photographs, manuscripts, letters, ephemera and original artwork. With prices ranging from a few pounds to many, thousands there is something for everyone here.
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Book Fairs

Glub

Published on 21 July 2018
In the week leading up to this year's New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, and its two "shadow" fairs, I'd been in a state of preternatural excitement. Two promoters - Marvin Getman of Impact Events Group and John and Tina Bruno of Flamingo Eventz – were going head to head for supremacy in the satellite book fair market. First Getman crashed the Bruno's turf by scheduling a rival New York shadow show, then the Brunos trumped Getman by moving their shadow show to a new location just across Lexington Ave. from the big show at the Park Avenue Armory. Cold war ensued. It began to get nasty, and I became increasingly excited by the steady stream of blog fodder. There could not be two more different promoters – in terms of personality, management style, and business practices – than Getman and the Brunos. By last Friday night I'd half convinced myself that their collision would result in a black hole of such magnitude that the entire trade would be sucked behind an unbreachable event horizon, allowing us all to go home and rake our lawns. But something else happened. Or maybe I should say nothing happened.
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Book Fairs

That's Why I Love My Job ... – New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, 9-12 April 2015

Published on 21 July 2018
Okay. Hang on to your hats. Here comes the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, presented by the ABAA. This is the Big Leagues, baby. The World Series of Book. From Thursday night through Sunday afternoon at the Park Avenue Armory, we'll be keeping company with some of the world's finest books and manuscripts – mind-bogglingly rare and valuable items - sought by collectors of inestimable wealth (those unspeakably rich folks obvious to all but known by name only to Bill Reese, Don Heald, and their Continental cohorts); representatives of Institutions of Higher Learning whose annual budgets exceed those of many African nations; young men and women of good breeding who've attended the right schools and have decided to invest family millions in ruinous antiquarian ecstasy; smiling auctioneers and avaricious dealers cruising the floor like so many leopards, attended by their pimps and minions; suave counter monkeys contentedly grooming themselves, waiting for their chance; bloated industrialists, technocrats, and financial guys for whom "to want" = "to have," and their pimps and minions.
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Book Fairs

3rd Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair, 27-29 March 2015

Published on 21 July 2018
For the third time antiquarian booksellers and collectors will meet at the Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan from Friday 27 March to Sunday 29 March to celebrate the Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will be officially opened on Friday 5.30 pm in the presence of the great bibliophile, author and scholar Umberto Eco. Organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Italy (ALAI) and supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) this high class event will attract bibliophiles, traders, journalists, collectors, intellectuals and many curious to come to Milan and to enjoy three wonderful days of browsing the shelves and exploring the fascinating world of the rare book. All the variety which has been brought up through five centuries of printing will be showcased: from incunabula and milestones of 16th and 17th century printing to modern artists books, from mediaval manuscripts to handwritten letters and documents by famous authors, artists and scientists, from children's books to natural history works to modern first editions to avant-garde.
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Book Fairs

New York Rare Book Week – 7-15 April 2015

Published on 21 July 2018
It is the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the world. Now for the second time antiquarian book dealers, collectors, and the intellectually curious will gather in New York City for Rare Book Week from 7 to 15 April 2015. Rare Book Week - a coordinated effort to focus attention on the antiquarian book fairs, auctions, exhibitions, and bookish browsing available in New York City – is headlined by the 55th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair.
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Book Fairs

50th Anniversary of ABAJ - Tokyo International Antiquarian Book Fair 2015

Published on 21 July 2018
It's time to celebrate! On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan (ABAJ) will be hosting an International Antiquarian Book Fair in Tokyo from 5 to 7 March 2015 at the Grand Palace Hotel in Tokyo. Some 20 dealers from Europe and the United States and around 25 dealers from Japan will show rare and beautiful books, maps and manuscripts highlighting the amazing history of printing in Asia and the Western world. A 350 page, richly illustrated book fair catalogue gives an overview over the most exciting items for sale.
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Book Fairs

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - San Francisco on the Soviet Stage

Published on 21 July 2018
Next week Simon Beattie will be exhibiting at the 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair from 6-8 February, 2015, in Oakland. This week he shows us a most extraordinary books from his main field of interest: the cultural relations between the English-speaking world and Europe, especially Germany and Russia. This item - for sale at the California fair - shows a very special relation between Russia, Europa and California.
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Book Fairs

Jimi Hendrix’s Delinquent Bar Tab – 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 6-8 February 2015

Published on 21 July 2018
The world's preeminent celebration of the written and printed word returns to Northern California at a new venue in downtown Oakland. The 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair will run from Friday, February 6 through Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the three-day event is the world's largest antiquarian book fair with 200 booksellers from the United States and around the globe. The annual fair features a rich selection of books, manuscripts, maps and other printed materials, including incunabula, literature from all centuries and nationalities, fine bindings, children's and illustrated books, ephemera, and antiquarian books on dozens of topics – from Jimi Hendrix's delinquent bar tab to the first English-Language Sex Manual, a 19th Century 3-D children's book, a lock of Franz Liszt's hair from 1884 and handwritten letters by Charles Bukowski.
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Book Fairs

Archives of the Paris Prefecture of Police – Guest Library of the Paris International Rare Book & Autograph Fair 2015

Published on 21 July 2018
The International Rare Book & Autograph Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris is one of the most prestigious fairs in the world, attracting nearly 200 exhibitors and thousands of visitors each year. And each year a French library, archive or museum of worldwide renown introduces itself at the fair by presenting bibliophile treasures from its rich collections of rare and valuable books and historical documents. For its 27th edition from 23 to 26 April 2015, the International Rare Book and Autograph Fair is honoured to welcome as guest library the Archives of the Paris Prefecture of Police.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Stamped with a National Character: Nineteenth Century American Color Plate Books - An Exhibition

Historical events seldom create neat time periods, but in this case the century fairly defines an era. The first American color plate book, William Birch's The City of Philadelphia...As It Appeared in the Year 1800, was published in parts in 1799-1800. At the end of the century, the mid-1890s saw the dawn of the widespread use of the trichromatic half-tone process, which quickly replaced the various mediums for producing color plate book illustrations that had been in use throughout the preceding century.
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Booksellers

Heinrich Eisemann (1890-1972) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

He was one of the great antiquarian booksellers and widely known as “Mister Ten Per Cent”.
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Article

Collecting - J. & F. Harwood of Fenchurch Street

I have long admired those occasionally found sheets of decorative Victorian notepaper – a handsomely engraved view of your place of resort at the head of a folded sheet of letter-paper: enough space to write a full four-page letter – the more leisurely and elegant precursor of the picture-postcard. While they enjoyed their brief spell of fashion in the mid-nineteenth century there were a number of specialist London (as well as local) manufacturers, but the most appealing of them to my mind – a little larger, a little more artistic – employing decent artists like Thomas Abiel Prior and Edward John Roberts, and certainly better engraved – were those produced by the Harwoods of Fenchurch Street, who also produced bound selections of these views printed on heavier paper under a multitude of titles, such as "Harwood's Scenery of Great Britain", "Harwood's Views of Guernsey", "Harwood's Views of Derbyshire", etc.
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Article

“Books NOT Books” – An Exhibition at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in June 2013

The ABA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association) will be hosting what is thought to be the first ever "Books NOT Books" exhibition at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in June 2013. The oldest, and with 180 exhibitors one of the biggest antiquarian book fairs worldwide, will open on Thursday June 13th and run until Saturday June 15th, 2013, at the National Exhibition Hall at Olympia, West London.
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