AE Monthly

Articles - April - 2014 Issue

New York: Antiquarian Book Fairs April 3-6

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As you read this story many have already boarded planes or are driving to New York City.  48.8 million visitors will do so this year, some number measured in thousands will be heading for the American Vatican of rare books, the Armory on Park at No. 643 for the annual four-day affair New York Antiquarian Book Fair, jointly sponsored by the Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.  The majority of participating dealers will be from the United States but many European countries, Canada, South America and countries across the Pacific will also send emissaries.  As disparate as are their home locations they are united by their trade:  sellers of rare materials most of which are printed.

 

The show is on the Upper East Side on Park Avenue at 643, mid-block between 66th and 67th.  There are many hotels nearby and restaurants all over the city.  This is not news to any of the fair regulars, be they dealers, institutions or collectors.  Most have been coming every year for a decade or more.  The issue has never been old-timers; it’s been the new blood.  The various fair committees and the highly experienced show organizer, Sanford L. Smith, have been trying for years to build attendance – often finding success.

 

This year the fair will be busy for several reasons, the economy worldwide is recovering, the local economy robust, and fairs generally benefiting from the decline of local rare bookshops.  More and more this show and others are becoming the field’s adhoc main streets - as itinerant booksellers increasingly travel the globe in pursuit of audiences that once a year come out to meet them in Melbourne, Toronto, Paris, London, New York, San Francisco and Pasadena.  Among all these events the New York Book Fair is the most important.

 

This fair is also a catalyst.  On the same weekend there’s another New York book fair, the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera and Fine Press Book Fair in the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th, a two day Saturday-Sunday affair.  This event, unofficially called the “shadow fair,” lives off the always-interested audience that comes together for the ABAA fair.

 

And there is more.  There are auctions.  They too, like birds on a telephone wire are lined up for consideration, 89 worldwide in April, 23 of them in New York, 18 of them April 1st to the 10th. 

 

Auctions in New York in April 1st to the 10th:

 

Tuesday April 1st

Christies:  Rare Maps from Kenneth Nebenzahl, Inc.

Sothebys:  Gordon Waldorf Collection

Sothebys:  The John James Audubon Collection from the Indiana Historical Society

Sothebys:  The Inventive Eye:  Photographs from a Private Collection

 

Wednesday April 2nd

Heritage Auctions:  Rare Books

Sothebys:  Photographs

 

Thursday April 3rd

Christies:  The Range of Light:  Photographs by Ansel Adams

Swann Galleries:  Astronomy & Science Books from The Library of Martin C. Gutzwiller

Heritage Auctions:  Historical Manuscripts

Heritage Auctions:  Rare Books online segment

 

Friday April 4th

Christies:  Photographs

 

Saturday April 5th

Heritage Auctions:  Photographs

 

Monday April 7th

Heritage Auctions:  Rare Books

Bonhams:  Treasures from the Caren Archive

 

Tuesday April 8th

Swann Galleries:  Printed & Manuscript Americana

Bonhams:  Space History

 

Wednesday April 9th

Doyle New York:  Rare Books, Autographs and Maps

Doyle New York:  Photographs

 

New York Auctions April 11th to 30th

 

Thursday April 17th

Swann Galleries:  The Vernacular Eye:  Photographic Albums, Snapshots & Objects

 

Wednesday April 23rd

Christies:  Prints and Multiples

 

Thursday April 24th

Swann Galleries:  Modernist Posters

 

Tuesday April 29th

Doyle New York:  Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints

Swann Galleries:  Old Master Through Modern Prints

 

The extraordinary catalyst for the month is the New York Book Fair and every other event will owe some of their success to its reputation and power.  All events should do well; by rights the Antiquarian Book Fair should be your first stop and do best.  

 

April is an extraordinary opportunity.  If you can be, be there.  If you can’t, follow the events online.

 

Links:

 

The New York Antiquarian Book Fair

 

Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera and Fine Press Book Fair

 

The AE Global Auction Search with links to all houses and those sales posted

 

Friends and members of AE can reach me in New York if you would like to talk or to meet.  My number is 415.823.6678, my email address bmckinney@americanaexchange.com.  I have some passes I can share.

 

AE Monthly


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