Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2017 Issue

The New York Book Fairs: opportunities for the committed

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The ABAA New York Book Fair has come and gone and left lingering feelings of excitement and satisfaction in its wake.  It was a very good fair both for exhibitors and guests.  There had been some suspense in the run-up that was reflected in lighter than usual dealer-to-dealer transactions before the show opened.  This year it was a bit quiet, reflecting the uncertainties of March [versus April] dates that were initially viewed as a negative.  But lo and behold the dates proved to be golden.  The institutional and collector audiences attended on opening night [Thursday] and set the tone for four days of satisfaction on both sides of the counter.

 

Bill Reese explained it this way.  “The cold and vaguely threatening weather kept people in the city and here we were:  exciting, warm and nearby.”

 

Well, it certainly worked out as evidenced by the bonhomie and good cheer that radiated like holiday greetings in December.  And it was contagious.

 

There were two other paper fairs in New York the same weekend, - Marvin Getman‘s New York City Book and Ephemera Fair on Park Avenue between East 83rd and 84th Street on Friday and the Manhattan Vintage Book, Ephemera & Fine Press Fair across from the ABAA fair at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer on Lexington on Saturday.  At the Getman fair I purchased from Jim Arsenault, an early New York State map [1826] of toll roads that preceded the development of the public highway system.  It’s a gem.

 

At the ABAA fair I purchased two items from Antipodean Books, [1] a broadside steamboat poster “For Peekskill, Verplank, Grassy Point, Sing-Sing, Terry-town, Dobb’s Ferry, Hastings and Yonkers – The new and splendid Steamboat, COLUMBUS; and [2] a silk broadside for the New-York, Albany and Troy Steam Boat Line that dates to the 1840’s. 

 

From Donald Heald I purchased a large format Currier & Ives print of the Hudson, from High Ridge Books, three maps of the Hudson Valley, from Kaaterskill Books for $50 an ephemera, and from DeWolfe and Wood four items:

 

[1] Address to the Members of Solomon’s Lodge, No. 6, on the anniversary of St. John the Baptist . . . by James G. Brooks.  Printed at Poughkeepsie by Charles P. Barnum [1823], a rare example. 

 

[2] Exercises Connected with the Inauguration of Rev. Charles A. Aiken, D. D., President of Union College, Schenectady, New York.  Tuesday, June 28, 1870.  Printed at Albany by [and signed by him], Joel Munsell.

 

[3] Hunter’s Panoramic Guide from Niagara Falls to Quebec by William S. Hunter, Jr.  A 66 page book with a 12 foot folding map and a four page addenda of other printed materials available from the publisher.

 

And

 

[4] A Brief Description of the Property belonging to the Lycoming Coal Company, with some general remarks on the subject of the Coal and Iron Business.  Printed at Poughkeepsie by Paraclete Potter, Dec. 1828.  With two fold out maps including one showing that a principal route by which to ship coal is along the then recently opened Hudson & Delaware Canal that discharges at Kingston, soon after to be divided into two communities, Kingston and the then forming Rondout.

 

The atmosphere was upbeat.  Altogether I spent $12,807 and had a marvelous time.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> <i>[Sutro Baths] / On the Shore of the Pacific Ocean,</i> designer unknown, 1896. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Osvaldo Ballerio, <i>Biscottini e Amaretti Delser,</i> circa 1900. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Maxfield Parrish, <i>Harper’s Weekly,</i> 1896. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Les Parfums de J. Daver Paris,</i> 1903. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Jacob Lawrence, <i>Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture,</i> 1968. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Charles Loupot, <i>Lion Noir, Cirage – Crème,</i> 1949. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On,</i> designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Walter L. Greene, <i>Adirondack Mountains / Lake Placid,</i> 1930. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Laura Brey, <i>Enlist / On Which Side of the Window Are You?</i> 1917. $1,500 to $2,000.

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