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NY Antiquarian Book Fair 2020 Highlights

As Rare Book Week draws near, I find myself scrolling through booksellers’ preview catalogues and lists for the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, which opens on Thursday, March 5, and runs through Sunday, March 8.
Rebecca Rego Barry
Published on 02 March 2020
NY Armory 2019

From the looks of it, an amazing selection awaits collectors.

Dickens NY 2020
A locket associated with Charles Dickens. Credit: Jarndyce Booksellers, UK

So far, my favorite item heading to the fair is the one pictured above. London’s Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers will cross the pond with this endearing oval memorial locket inscribed “Papa d. June 9 1870.” That Papa was Charles Dickens; the decorative metal locket was once owned by his daughter-in-law Elizabeth “Bessie” Matilda Evans. Price: $2,000

Another fun find comes from Inlibris Gilhofer Nfg., an Austrian rare book and manuscript dealer that plans to display Beethoven’s manuscript shopping list. Written in the maestro’s hand circa 1817, the list includes a mousetrap and a metronome. Price: €95,000 (approx. $103,000)

Tom Goldwasser Rare Books of San Francisco plans to show some of the Willa Cather collection he has just announced, the bulk of which belonged to Cather scholar and former president of Skidmore College David H. Porter. The collection ranges from the author’s own signed copy of The Borzoi, a history of Knopf published in 1920 for $500, to a 1913 first edition of Cather’s O Pioneers! in its extremely rare (virtually extinct) dust jacket, priced at $50,000.

Further highlights can be found in our spring issue’s Rare Book Week printed supplement, including:

PH Graham Greene NY 2020
Credit: Peter Harrington, UK

London’s Peter Harrington will showcase a first edition of Graham Greene’s 1938 thriller, Brighton Rock, in its lurid pink “exceedingly rare dust jacket,” which might just be enough to peel your eyes away from their Third Folio. Price for the Greene: £87,500 (approx. $115,000); Shakespeare: £500,000 ($655,000)

Triolet Rare Books of Ohio, which specializes in “idiosyncratic and uncommon literary revenants,” puts the spotlight on this understated gem: Jean Cocteau’s L’Ode à Picasso (Paris, 1919) in the original printed wrappers and inscribed by the author. Price: $7,500

New York International Antiquarian Book Fair

Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the NYIABF opens with a preview Thursday evening, March 5, and runs through Sunday, March 8, at the Park Avenue Armory at 643 Park Ave. Over 200 American and international dealers will display an astonishing array of rare books, fine art, maps, manuscripts, and ephemera. "Discovery Day" appraisal event on Sunday, 1–3 p. m. Admission: $60 for preview pass, $45 run of show, $25 daily, $10 for students carrying a valid school ID. For more information, visit

The New York City Book & Ephemera Fair

The New York City Book & Ephemera Fair—In its sixth year, this Rare Book Week "Satellite fair" will run two days: Friday, March 6 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Saturday, March 7 from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Sixty exhibitors will showcase antiquarian books, manuscripts, ephemera, book art, and works on paper. Located at Wallace Hall, Church of St. Ignatius, 980 Park Avenue at 83rd St., with free round-trip shuttle bus service to the Armory available. Admission: $15 for adults, free for students with ID. For more information, and to purchase a VIP discounted ticket, visit

The Manhattan Vintage Book, Ephemera & Fine Press Book Fair

The Manhattan Vintage Book, Ephemera & Fine Press Book Fair, aka "The Shadow Show," will be held on Saturday, March 7 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Avenue at 66th Street—just across the street from the Armory. Appraisals by John Bruno and guest appraisers from 1–3 p.m. Admission: $15 for adults, $7 for youths aged 13–21, and free for those under 13 with paid adult. For more information, visit


This article first appeared on the Fine Books & Collections blog and is reposted here with the permission of the author. 
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