Aller au contenu principal
Article |
| Book Fairs

A PARADISE FOR BOOKLOVERS - 53rd Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 24th to 26th January 2014

For Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the biggest values in life were neither the state finances nor his immense private property, but the books of his personal library. Heinrich Heine regarded the world of books as the most powerful universe mankind ever created. And for Jorge Luis Borges the library simply was his paradise. Some of the most beautiful items of this "capital", "universe" or "paradise" will be presented at the 53rd Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 24th to 26th January 2014 in the elegant rooms of the Württemberg Art Museum, opposite to the Palace, next to the Palace Garden and directly in the city centre of Stuttgart.
Publié le 14 Jan. 2014

„… man fühlt sich wie in der Gegenwart eines großen Capitals, das geräuschlos unberechenbare Zinsen spendet …“

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the biggest values in life were neither the state finances nor his immense private property, but the books of his personal library. Heinrich Heine regarded the world of books as the most powerful universe mankind ever created. And for Jorge Luis Borges the library simply was his paradise. Some of the most beautiful items of this “capital”, “universe” or “paradise” will be presented at the 53rd Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 24th to 26th January 2014 in the elegant rooms of the Württemberg Art Museum, opposite to the Palace, next to the Palace Garden and directly in the city centre of Stuttgart.

82 leading rare book dealers from Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States will showcase bibliophile treasures from the Middle Ages to avant-garde and contemporary artists’ books. Magnificently illuminated manuscripts, milestones of science, autographs by famous artists, scientists, philosophers, and authors, first editions, children’s books, press books, musical scores, photographies, prints, and Japanese woodcuts along with beautifully illustrated accounts of adventurous voyages to the “edge of the world” (and beyond): The fascination of book collecting lies in its unlimited variety, and there is no better place to explore this unlimited variety than an antiquarian book fair.

Founded in 1962, the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair is the second oldest book fair in Europe and the biggest event for bibliophiles in Germany - organized by the German Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (VDA), under the auspices of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and loyally supported the ILAB Patrons of Honour Dr. Michael Knoche (Anna Amalia Library Weimar) and Professor Dr. Reiner Speck (President of the Marcel Proust Society).

For the first time exhibitng in Stuttgart are Bibliopathos (Italy), Plantijn (Netherlands), Moorthamers (France), Libraire Monsieur-le-Prince (France), as well as from Germany Reinhold Berg, Christian Strobel and Dieter Zipprich. Other rare book dealers like EOS Buchantiquariat Benz (Switzerland), Michael Steinbach (Austria) and Daniel Thierstein (Switzerland) join the impressive list of exhibitors again after some years absence together with leading antiquarian booksellers from Hungary (Adam Bosze), the United States (Botanicum), Austria (Burgverlag, Löcker, Dr. Paul Kainbacher, Johannes Müller), the Netherlands (Antiquariaat Forum, Die Schmiede), Switzerland (Heribert Tenschert, August Laube, Helmut Schumann), Italy (Lex Antiqua, Libreria Editrice Goriziana, Guiseppe Solmi), United Kingdom (Tusculum, Meda Riquier) and other internationally renowned experts such as Reiss & Sohn, C.G. Boerner, Norbert Haas, Michael Banzhaf, Manfred Nosbüsch, Max Neidhardt, Ralf Eigl, J.A. Stargardt, Brockhaus/Antiquarium and Eberhard Köstler.

Some highlights:

Worth a million

Heribert Tenschert (Antiquariat Bibermühle) offers an exceptional edition of Martin Luther’s “Die gantze heilige Schrifft: Deudsch” printed by Hans Lufft in Wittenberg 1561. This copy is not only one of the first editions of Luther’s groundbreaking German translation, but, with brilliant woodcuts by Lucas Cranach and over 170 woodcuts by Lemberger and Brosamer, the most beautiful 16th century illustrated book. It is printed on vellum and dedicated by the Prince of Saxony to his secretary Johann Pyrner. This treasure is priced at 980.000 euros.

Movable type

Johann Gutenberg’s invention of printing with movable type was a revolution. The years from 1450 to 1500 are considered to be the beginning of modern book production. In those years around 27.000 incunables were printed all over the world - a negligible number in view of the millions of printed (and digital) books nowadays. The Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair shows a stunning selection of early printed books, among them Bonaventura’s “Meditationes passionis Christi” printed with magnificent woodcuts in Venice 1491 (Meda Riquier 60.000 €), the “Breviarium Romanum” printed by Nicolas Jenson in Venice 1478 (Hellmut Schumann (45.000 €) and Jacob Locher’s “Theologica emphasis” with a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer (Stuttgarter Antiquariat 22.000 €).

The first “digital” book

And how old is the first digital book? No: It was not published at the end of the 20th century. It is not a product from Silicon Valley, it cannot be read with a Kindle and it is not among the recent Amazon offers. The first “digital” book was produced in Lyon in the late 19th century and it is titled “Livres de Prières”. The book was woven in silver and black silk on a special loom constructed by Jacquard. This machine is regarded as the forerunner to Hermann Hollerith’ punched cards and his “Art of Compiling Statistics” – the main step towards the invention of computer programming. 60 copies of this extraordinarily modern book were produced in the years 1886 and 1887, one of them belongs to the highlights of the Stuttgart Fair 2014 (Hellmut Schumann 32.500 €).

The whole world in one book

Gutenberg’s invention opened the gates to new thoughts, Christopher Columbus paved the way to unknown places. The writers and compilers of the Renaissance strove to unite the whole new knowledge of the great new world in one book. Hartmann Schedel’s “Buch der Chroniken und Geschichten”, published in Nuremberg in 1493, is a shining example of early printing. With over 1.800 woodcut views and maps it is a brilliant masterpiece of book illustration. (Peter Kiefer 120.000 €).

Terra incognita

Exploring new worlds: Over centuries adventurers, geographers and cartographers speculated on a mighty, rich and fertile continent in the far south. Among them was Pedro Fernandez de Quirós who undertook several voyages southwards without discovering what he hoped to see: terra Australis incognita. His letter to the Spanish king, dated 1723, is one of the treasures offered by Ralf Eigl (23.000 €) along with Libay’s “Reisebilder aus dem Orient” (52.000 €) and Edward Dodwell’s “Views from Greece” (22.000 €). Antiquariaat Forum has Karl Krazeisen’s “Bildnisse ausgezeichneter Griechen und Philhellenen” (45.000 €), the Libreria Editrice Goriziana shows Gianjacopo Fontana’s “Venezia monumentale pittoresca” (28.000 €), Max Neidhardt presents Johann Baptist Spix’ amazing work on the birds of Brasil with 222 coloured lithographs from the year 1817 (13.000 €), while Helmut Schwarzfischer brings Maximilian Prinz zu Wied’s account of his travels to Brasil in the same year in an exceptionally well preserved copy (7.500 €). The handwritten logbook of a journey around the world on the ship Princess Louise was lost for a century. Now it is offered by Dr. Paul Kainbacher (35.000 €). Another long-time mystery was the moon: it took hundreds of years from the Arabic manuscripts which inspired Copernicus (Guiseppe Solmi 12.000 €) and Johannes Hevelius’ excellent study “Selenographia sive luna description” (Johannes Müller 30.000 €) until the first men landed on the planet in 1969.


An absolute beauty is Jakob Trew’s “Hortus Nitidissimis” from the years 1768 and 1773, with magnificently coloured copper engravings of the most beautiful flowers – to be admired in the showcases of Reinhold Berg (65.000 €).


A masterpiece of modern art is the highlight among the 20th century books and prints on show during the Stuttgart Fair: 19 original etchings signed by Max Beckmann and titled “Gesichter”. They can be seen at the stand of Schmidt & Günther (85.000 €). Galerie Valentien, a renowned art specialist, dedicates this year’s book fair offers to two anniversaries: the centenary of the beginning of World War I and the attempt to assassinate Hitler 70 years ago in June 1944. Under the motto “War and Art” the gallery presents masterpieces by Otto Dix and Alfred Hrdlicka (32.000 €). The New York and Düsseldorf based gallery C.G. Boerner enriches the fair with wonderful lithographs by Henri Fantin-Latour (2.000 €), H. W. Fichter delights the collectors’ eye with Max Rabe’s watercolours on “Damaskus” (2.800 €), while Plantijn shows an outstanding series of the twelve months in watercolours (12.000 €). Hans Lindner has a marvelous copy of Georg Heym’s “Umbra vitae” with woodcuts by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (8.500 €), to which Schmidt & Günther provide the perfect addition: one of 200 copies of Grohmann’s book about Kirchner’s works with Kirchner’s original and signed woodcut “Weiblicher Akt” (12.000 €).


The art of the avant-garde provides most fascinating collectors’ items, presented in Stuttgart by the Berlin based expert Günter Linke. In 2014 he shows the avant-garde magazine “291” which owes its title to the street number 291 of the flat of its editor Alfred Stieglitz in New York’s Fifth Avenue (28.000 €). Other brilliant illustrated books from the same period on show in Stuttgart are: the Rumanian avant-garde journal “Integral” (Linke 28.000 €), Alexander Rodchenko’s “Pervaia Konnaia” (Schmidt & Günther 8.000) as well as exceedingly rare and fine copies of works by Max Ernst (14.000 €), Hans Arp (12.000 €) and Fernand Léger (9.800 €) all offered for sale by Günter Linke. Daniel Thierstein shows Robert Motherwell’s adaptation of James Joyce’s “Ulysees” with 40 original etchings (9.400 €).

For children only?

The artists of avant-garde and modern art have also produced marvelous children’s books. In Stuttgart superb examples can be admired at Sabine Keune’s stand who shows children’s books by Dieter Roth and the very rare picture book “Die Scheuche”, edited and illustrated by Kurt Schwitters, Käte Steinitz and Theo van Doesburg (7.800 €). A children’s classic is offered by Winfried Geisenheyner: “Der Struwwelpeter” in one of the very rare copies of the second edition from the year 1845, which are almost never seen on the market (38.000 €).


Collected in friendship – The so-called „album amicorum“ is an attractive item for collectors of autographs and manuscripts. Filled with handwritten dedications and poems, drawings and sketches by artists, authors, aristocrats, politicians and other most important people from the Renaissance up to the 19th century, they are well sought after on the rare book market. In Stuttgart the Antiquariaat Forum, Günter Trauzettel, Tresor am Römer and Christian Strobel show magnificent examples in a price ranged from 35.000 € to 650 €. Peter Kiefer offers the original manuscripts of Egon Friedell’s “Reise mit der Zeitmaschine” and Luise Rinser’s novel “Daniela” (each 20.000 €), while J.A. Stargardts presents a handwritten letter by Friedrich von Schiller (18.000 €) and a manuscript by the composer Gustav Mahler (12.000 €). A real gem for music lovers is shown by Eberhard Köstler: the original photography of Antonin Dvorak with a handwritten dedication to the Hungarian musician Andor Merkler (17.500 €).

Book fair catalogue

The Stuttgart Book Fair Catalogue is available in the internet and as a printed catalogue. Please visit the official website

Lectures – exhibitions – guided tours

Why visit one book fair, if you can have two? Only 10 minutes away from the Stuttgart Fair the Antiquaria / Ludwigsburg will open its doors to visitors from 23th to 25th January 2014. Tickets are valid for both fairs so that bibliophiles have the chance to browse the exceptional offers nearly 150 rare booksellers at the same weekend. This is unique in Germany. The organizers of both fairs invite all colleagues and collectors to celebrate the beginning of the book fair week on 20th January 2014 with a lecture:

A stable full of books - A lost continent of literary history, rediscovered by Ulrich Raulff

An evening dedicated to nothing less than horses and the beautifully illustrated books on hippology published from the 16th to 19th century.

Literaturhaus / Stuttgart at 8 pm on January 20, 2014

"Dem heitern Himmel ew'ger Kunst entstiegen ..." The Eduard Mörike collection of Klaus Berge

The work and life of the 19th century German poet Eduard Mörike and the numerous collections of his works are honoured with a special exhibition during the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair. Treasures from the famous Berge Library are shown during the fair and documented in a catalogue published by the German Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (VDA).

Exhibition: Württembergischer Kunstverein / Stuttgart from 24th to 26th January 2014

Vernissage: Württembergischer Kunstverein / Stuttgart at 6.30 pm on January 25, 2014. With a lecture and music by Lorenzo Petrocca and Eberhard Köstler

Catalogue: "Dem heitern Himmel ew'ger Kunst entstiegen …“ Die Mörike-Sammlung Klaus Berge. Beschrieben von Edgar Harwardt. Preface: Hans-Ulrich Simon. Stuttgart, Verband Deutscher Antiquare e.V., 2014. 238 pp. With illustrations.

Appraisal days

For the first time during the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair invites visitors to bring their books, auto-graphs, prints and manuscripts for free appraisal.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the fair hours

Guided tours

The perfect entry to the bibliophile world for beginners: Frieder Weitbrecht will show the most valuable, the most exciting and the most amazing collectors‘ items on his daily guided tours for book fair visitors.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 pm

The German bibliophile societies

Special guests at the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair 2014: Come and meet the German bibliophile soci-eties and learn more about their work and publications.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the fair hours

>>> For more information, the book fair catalogue, the highlights and a calendar of book-related events visit the official website

  • partage