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The 63rd Annual Antiquarian Book Fair will feature rare books, precious first editions, maps and drawings, providing a maze of stalls through the Armory’s Upper East Site in New York. The fair is known as the world’s best book fair for antiques and boasts nearly 200 exhibitors from around the world, including UK, Denmark, Belgium and Japan. Exhibitors will showcase historic artefacts covering art, science, medicine, literature, history, gastronomy, fashion, first editions, philosophy and children’s books. Item prices range from $50 to millions of dollars, with the event ending on Sunday, April 30th.
10 items worth checking out
Historical books, precious first editions, massive maps and stunning drawings will hit Park Avenue this weekend at the 63rd Annual Antiquarian Book Fair. More information about the event was told by TimeOut.
This festival for book collectors is known as the world’s best book fair for antiques, and this year’s exhibition is captivating.
Approximately 200 exhibitors participate this time forming a maze of stalls that runs through the Armory’s Upper East Site. Exhibitors came from all over the world, including Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. The main areas of the fair cover art, science, medicine, literature, history, gastronomy, fashion, first editions, philosophy, children’s books and more.
Item prices range from $50 to millions of dollars. You can buy tickets for just one day or for the whole show, which runs until Sunday, April 30th. Entry for one day costs $32.
1. Letters from Charles Darwin
A Danish bookseller named Sophia Rare Books (booth E24) displays a collection of letters that Charles Darwin wrote to Professor Henslow. This incredibly rare book contains excerpts from 10 letters written by Darwin during his five year journey. But the famous scientist expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that the letters were handed over. He was “horrified” that the professor had made public “what had been written without care or precision.” The collection is priced at $450,000.
2. Stunning atlas of the late 1600s
In an era where we can easily access detailed digital maps at the touch of a button, it’s hard to imagine a world where maps have been revolutionary. But viewing Hubert Jaillot’s Atlas Nouveau, dating from the late 1600s, takes viewers back to that moment. This massive atlas, executed in a stunning palette of gems and pastel colors, was published in Amsterdam by Pieter Mortier around 1692-1696.
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Its price is $165,000, but you can see this work only for the price of an entrance ticket. You can view it at the Daniel Crouch Rare Book Store (booth E17).
3. The Cuban Constitution of 1901
Check out this rare 122-year-old document on the Földvári Books stand (E15). The bookseller describes it as “an extremely rare first edition of the first version of the Constitution of Cuba as an independent state”. The constitution of José de Jesus Monteagudo Consuegra was signed by 31 people. The edition is up for sale for $132,000.
4. Original drawings by Karl Lagerfeld
Admire drawings by designer Karl Lagerfeld at the French bookseller Autographes des Siècles (C18) booth. Three of them feature drawings by Lagerfeld for Maison Chloé. The skirt and top combination is in black and white with a red fabric swatch pinned to the page, while the other two designs feature shades of pink and purple. Prices for these items range from $2500 to $3500.
Source 5The book that depicted a caesarean section for the first time
This text, dating from 1506, is the first description of a surgical operation known as a caesarean section. A drawing in the book shows a woman in labor surrounded by more than half a dozen attendants, one of whom holds a knife or sword. Although the origin of the caesarean section itself is unclear, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there is an accurate depiction in their records, which you can see in this book fair edition. During this era, caesarean sections were performed only when the mother was dead or dying, as a way to save the child at a time when the state wanted to increase the population.
Find this edition at James Gray’s bookseller’s kiosk (D29).
6. Bill of lading from an early American deal
In the early days of the American bookselling business, Henry Knox’s bookstore received a shipment of books from London. This bill of lading (a kind of receipt) confirming the purchase is signed by Knox. Knox was the Founding Father of the United States, and this sepia-toned document from 1772 reveals connections between Knox, Thomas Longman, John Hancock, and Captain John Scott (an eyewitness to the Boston Tea Party).
You can see this fascinating piece of early American history at Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints’ booth E6.
7. Vintage movie posters
California company Walter Reuben, Inc. sells vintage movie posters, original scripts and photographs. Some of the posters include advertisements for Andy Warhol’s films Flesh and The Godfather, which you can see in booth B22.
8 Rare Passover Haggadah From The 1700s
The Shapero Rare Books (booth E5) display what they call the “extremely rare Ashkenazi Passover Haggadah” printed in 1770 by William Tooke in London. Its price is $15,500.
9. Early botanical drawings
These colorful designs from the mid-1700s, done in vibrant greens and bright yellows, have retained their splendor over the years. They are included in a thick book which is the first edition of one of the great 18th century color books on botany. Check out these drawings from the Riverrun Books & Manuscripts (E10) collection – and if you want to take the book home, make sure you have $60,000 in your bank account.
10. A Few More Modern Wonders
Check out some more recent classics like special editions of Ulysses, Catch-22 and To Kill a Mockingbird. You’ll find them on display at the Oregon publishing house Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Manuscripts (E1).
The 1927 edition of Ulysses was signed by James Joyce on his first meeting with H. G. Wells, who played a key role in establishing the author’s reputation. Its cost is $85,000. As for the copy of Catch-22, this first edition of 1961 is signed by the author Joseph Heller and costs $11,000. And finally, a rare copy of Harper Lee’s 1960 book To Kill a Mockingbird. It has a bookplate written by Lee. On the cover you can read: “This first novel hit the jackpot!” To put it mildly, it sells for $16,000.
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