From the Wonderful to the Weird – The 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair brings thousands of books, manuscripts and other treasures and collections to Oakland's Marriott City Center.
The 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair, one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, returns to Northern California, Friday, February 8 through Sunday, February 10, 2019 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. The Book Fair is known for its vast collection of rare books, treasures and curiosities that tell fascinating stories. Notable items this year include a $40,000 crayon drawing by Picasso, a first edition of Ansel Adams’ first book, an 1835 caricature of women’s fashion, a 130 year-old German pop-up book, the 1515 first use of Greek typography in Rome, and more.
Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and featuring the collections and rare treasures of nearly 200 booksellers from over 20 countries around the world, the three-day Book Fair offers a rich selection of manuscripts, early American and European literature, modern first editions, children’s books, maps and autographs, as well as antiquarian books on history, science, law, architecture, cooking, wine and a wide range of other topics.
The Book Fair will also highlight Matthew Wills, the winner of the first-ever California Young Book Collector’s Prize from the Northern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America (ABAA). The competition was open to California collectors aged 35 and under, and their works. Wills’ collection “Anti-Confucian Propaganda in Mao’s China” will be on display in the exhibits area.
This year’s Book Fair will also include a special exhibit by the Book Club of California, an active association of over 800 major California collectors with interests in rare books and manuscripts of all types. Founded in 1912, the Club’s library is dedicated to collecting and sharing works of California fine printers; resources on book making, book design, and book history; and books of historical significance. One side of this bi-faceted exhibit will display a selection of materials by California women printers and book artists, with a spotlight on Jane Grabhorn’s test prints for the illustrations of the Grabhorn Press’ Shakespeare plays.
Joel Harris, a local member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, will be loaning a portion of his collection for a curated exhibit of first edition books by L. Frank Baum and the subsequent authors of the “Wizard of Oz” series. The theme of a Saturday lecture jointly sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the Bibliographical Society of America will be Cyclone on the Prairies: The Magic of the Land of Oz.
Designed with the budding collector in mind, "Book Fair Finds" is a program in which dealers spotlight items priced at $100 or less. Visitors can look for the Book Fair Finds sign in participating booths.
Other highlights of the Book Fair include an interactive and entertaining exhibition that showcases local artists and organizations specializing in book arts. Calligraphers, bookbinders and a small press operator will once again be creating unique souvenirs for attendees to take home.