April 7 Rare Book Week Kicks Off in New York City
April 7 through April 15th is designated as Rare Book Week in New York City.The week’s centerpiece, the 55th Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair, which takes place in the Park Avenue Armory, features over 200 exhibitors selling rare books, first editions, maps, manuscripts and ephemera. It is the largest and most important rare book event in the world and promises to be the most exciting in years.
In addition to the ABAA’s New York Antiquarian Book Fair two “shadow shows” will take place on Saturday, April 11: the New York City Book & Ephemera Fair and the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair, both of which will include books as well as letters, magazines, and literary rarities.
Events, exhibitions and auctions related to books will be taking place throughout New York during the week. Some of the highlights include:
Bonhams will be auctioning a manuscript, written by British codebreaker Alan Turing. The 56-page notebook “is almost certainly the only extensive autograph manuscript by Turing in existence, and has never been seen in public,” according to Bonhams, and it dates from 1942 when Turing was working at Bletchley Park to break the German Enigma Code. It is estimated to sell “for at least seven figures.”
Through April 25, the ground floor gallery of The Grolier Club hosts Aldus Manutius: A Legacy More Lasting Than Bronze, curated by Grolier president G. Scott Clemons. The second floor gallery offers At Home With Victorian Authors and Artists: William and Helen Allingham through May 23. Both are open to the public free of charge Monday-Saturday10 am-5 pm.
In 2014, Glenn Horowitz opened RARE, a mid-town gallery to showcase “first editions, manuscripts, letters, archival material, fine art, photography, and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present.” Through April 18, it will host the archive and artwork of Hungarian-born abstract artist Sari Dienes.
Larry McMurtry’s collection of H. G. Wells will be auctioned at Heritage Auctions on April 8. Highlights include a true first edition of The Time Machine and a first edition of The Invisible Man, signed by the author. Seen here is a first edition of Tales of Space and Time(London and New York: Harper & Brothers, 1900), inscribed by Wells to Henry James with an original drawing of Ugh-lomi, protagonist of “A Story of the Stone Age.”
Each year on the Sunday of the fair, exhibitors offer their expertise to attendees. Discovery Day allows visitors to bring up to five items to discuss with experts. While formal appraisals are not given, dealers will discuss authenticity and condition, giving informal appraisals. Past Discovery Days have yielded been some breathtaking discoveries including part of a Shakespeare second folio of Richard III! A first edition of Curious George with dust jacket was appraised at $3000. Also unearthed were original photographs of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s designs for stained glass. A first edition of the classic Beat novel, On the Road, was valued at $5000-$7000. Maritime history buffs were thrilled to discover that their edition of Cooke’s Voyages and Atlas were valued at $30,000. Exhibitors can examine items in most specialties, periods, and languages. For more information, see the Discovery Day Page.
A sampling of exhibitors at the Antiquarian Fair Include:
Brian Cassidy Rare Books – Specialties: American Literature, The Beat Movement, Mimeo Magazines, Edward Gorey, Andy Warhol, Modern Firsts, Outsider.Modern Firsts, Modern Art, Music, Performing Arts, Photography, Poetry.
Click image for more information/larger view.
Lucius Books – Children’s & Juvenile, Detective/ Mystery, English Literature, First Editions, Illustrated Books, Inscribed Books, Manuscripts, Modern First
Paul Foster Books – Bindings, Children’s & Juvenile, Winston Churchill, English Literature, First Editions, Illustrated Books, Modern Firsts
Readers+Writers Journal will be at most of the fairs and some of the events, taking photos and posting.
If you’re going to be in New York, let us know. Or if you can’t make it but there’s a particular item you’re dying to see, leave a comment and we’ll see if we can find it for you.