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Chelsea 2016

Publié le 10 Nov. 2016



With a record-breaking 89 exhibitors Chelsea 2016 achieved a 50% increase in turnover on 2015, with the sales to private buyers up a whopping 83% on last year!

The visitor numbers on Friday were very slightly down, but Saturday's were up 44% against the same day last year. Rainfall obviously has an impact on the Kings Road shoppers, but there is a year-on-year increase of Saturday visitors.

The guided tours were a huge success, with the final one "A Beginner's Guide to Collecting Books" having to be split into two groups after 24 people signed up.

86% of exhibitors have already stated their intention to exhibit next year, and the only one to declare zero sales was extremely happy with the "great fair, good traffic and terrific buying" and fully intends to exhibit next year.

Unloading and packing up seemed to go reasonably smoothly given the difficulties of the venue's access and the (understandable) irritation of the residents, but most exhibitors now seem to be prepared for this.

As usual my thanks go to the office staff - Camilla, Marianne, Ped and Laura, and the generous help of the committee - Deb Clark (Francis Edwards), Giles Lyon (Worlds End Bookshop) and Geoff Tyson (High Street Books). We could not do it without you.

Graham York,
Book Fair Chairman 


Whether you are an experienced collector or simply curious about old and rare books, the Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair is not to be missed.

Held each autumn in the beautiful and historic Chelsea Old Town Hall, the Fair brings together more than 80 exhibitors specialising in antique books, first editions, maps, prints, and manuscripts from all over the world. Prices begin at just a few pounds and dealers are happy to guide you, making this an accessible and exciting venue for beginning collectors or those simply looking for an extra special Christmas gift.


Is there a subject, author or period of history that especially attracts you? Perhaps you have been thinking of collecting books but are unsure of where to start, what to look for, who to approach or what on earth booksellers mean by yapp edges, pochoir plates or slightly foxed ...

If so, then Chelsea is the place to meet and talk to antiquarian booksellers and experts who will be more than happy to take time for all your questions.




To view a list of exhibitors, please go here

You can also download an updated list of exhibitors here

For all information about the fair, please visit the website


Philip Curtis of The Map House will be signing copies of his exciting new book, War Map, at Chelsea on Friday, November 4th from 5pm to 7pm.

Global conflict in the first half of the 20th century is vividly illuminated in this book, presenting pictorial maps from the Boer War right up to the Korean War. The accompanying text explores the fascinating and often forgotten stories behind these iconic images.

Gloriously illustrated, the maps range from the straightforwardly patriotic pieces of the 1900s, through the hate-filled effusions of the Nazis to the hope inspired maps by the likes of Max Gill and Ernest Dudley Chase as World War Two drew to a close.

The immediacy of the images still resonates with us today and captures these pivotal moments of the past. Together they form an extraordinary graphic record and offer a unique look at the art of persuasion and propaganda.



The free guided tours at the Chelsea Book Fair are a fantastic way to learn more about rare and collectible books, maps, prints, and ephemera giving you valuable insight into the world of collecting.

All tours will take place on Saturday the 5th of November, visitors are asked to register on the day at the ABA desk on the stage in the main hall.

12.00 Rock 'n Roll

12.30 Royalty: Valerie Jackson-Harris of Quadrille Ephemera will reveal fair treasures associated with the reigning families of Britain and Europe, from beautiful commemoratives to postcards, photographs, and books. Valerie has been dealing in ephemera for nearly fifty years years and is Chairman of the Ephemera Society.

13.00 Economics

13.30 Art

14.00 Dickens: Brian Lake will introduce visitors to Charles Dickens collecting, including first editions, signed copies, and finely bound sets of his novels. Brian is a partner in JarndyceAntiquarian Booksellers and a leading specialist in 19th-century literature, as well as former President of the Antiquarian Bookseller's Association.

14.30 Politics: On Leo Cadogan's tour visitors will learn about the wide variety of political books, prints, and manuscripts available at the Fair and get tips on how to begin collecting in this area. Leo is a long-time member of the trade who founded his own business in 2007. He specialises in unusual and iconic items from the Renaissance and Early Modern Period.

15.00 Bond: Get the inside story on collecting classic James Bond novels with Jon Gilbert of Adrian Harrington Rare Books. Jon is an expert on Bond, having penned the award-winning bibliography of Ian Fleming's books and often appearing on radio and television to comment on agent 007 and his creator.

15.30 Beginners Guide to Collecting Books: The perfect tour for those interested in rare booksbut unsure of where to start. Guide Greg Coombes is the Chief Executive of Francis Edwards, founded in 1855 and one of London's most famous bookshops. 


The Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair is directed and managed by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA).

Chelsea is a very popular fair. Three quarters of the stands sold within the first 24 hours of the application going live and the fair was over subscribed again this year. The fair has a waiting list of exhibitors and booksellers are advised to contact the ABA office well in advance if planning to exhibit. 

Marianne Harwood
Events Manager 

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