Book Fairs | October 19, 2017

The 41st Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, Nov. 10-12

Euclid (John Windle).jpgBOSTON, MA--The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s beautiful Back Bay for its 41st year, November 10-12, 2017. More than 120 dealers from the United States, Argentina, Australia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Russia will exhibit and sell a vast selection of rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, modern first editions, photographs, and fine and decorative prints.  

Special events at this year’s Fair include Ricky Jay, the world’s greatest sleight-of-hand artist discussing Magic, Cheaters & Remarkable Characters; a hands-on bookbinding demonstration by British book artist Mark Cockram; curators Christine Nelson of the The Morgan Library & Museum in New York and David Wood, curator of the Concord Museum, on the largest exhibition on American icon Henry David Thoreau ever mounted; and the 16th annual Ticknor Society Roundtable panel discussion. Visit for complete event listings.

One of the oldest and most respected antiquarian book shows in the country, the event offers the ‘crème de la crème’ of items that are available on the international literary market. Whether just browsing or buying, the Fair offers something for every taste and budget—books on art, politics, travel, gastronomy, and science to sport, natural history, literature, music, and children’s books—that will appeal to the serious collector and the curious browser.

Among the highlighted items for sale at this year’s fair will be the David Powers Collection of John F. Kennedy speeches and manuscripts, spanning the statesman’s political career from his first race in 1946 to his 1960 nomination for president. Most of the material in this collection has never been published and is among the largest cache of original JFK documents remaining in private hands (Powers was a JFK confidant and longtime director of the JFK Library); a one-of-a-kind edition of Michel-Guillaume-Saint-Jean de Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer, which is justly famous for its vivid picture of a colonial world slipping into the chaos of war, revolution, and nationhood (this is the author’s own working copy from 1782); a rare complete portfolio of botanical flower prints by Japanese artist Murakami Sadao; Oliver Bryne’s 1847 vividly illustrated version of Euclid’s Geometry; the sole surviving example of the Santa Fe Capitulations, a printed pamphlet containing the transcription of the letter confirming the privileges accorded to Columbus by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1492; and rare and first editions of works by Albert Einstein, Edward Gorey, Edith Wharton, James Baldwin, William Blake, Cervantes, Elena Ferrante, Ansel Adams, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, Henri Matisse, and Maxfield Parrish.

The Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about, and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books and ephemera. For attendees wanting to start a collection without breaking the bank, there will be dealers offering “Discovery” items priced at $100 or less, including a selection of children's books and decorative cloth bindings. On Sunday from 1:00-3:00pm, attendees are invited to bring in their own books for free appraisal.

Tickets are $20 for Friday night’s exclusive Opening Night preview event, an opportunity for the public to get a first look at items for sale at the Fair; admission is free on Saturday and Sunday. 

“We were so thrilled with last year’s attendance that we’ve decided to continue to offer free weekend admission at this year’s event,” said show producer Betty Fulton. “We especially saw an increase in younger audiences, who find that holding a book in their hands with an amazing history is a uniquely satisfying experience.”

Friday, November 10              5:00-9:00pm           Tickets: $20.00 - Opening Night (valid all weekend)   

Saturday, November 11          12:00-7:00pm          Free Admission 

Sunday, November 12             12:00-5:00pm         Free Admission

Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street
Boston, MA

The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is sponsored by the New England Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Boston Public Library and the American Antiquarian Society. Tickets are for sale at and at the show’s box office during Friday evening show hours. For more information, please visit or call 617-266-6540.

The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is produced by CommPromo, Inc.


The Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable

Saturday, November 11, 1:00pm

The Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable - Collectors talking about their own personal travel collections: Laura Davis, travel books; Robert Stephenson, books on Antarctica; and Mary Warnement, travel guides from the 1950s. 

Of Books and Wild Beasts: Thoreau’s Wilderness Library

Saturday, November 11, 2:30pm

Christine Nelson, Curator at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, marks the bicentenary of the birth of American icon Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) by exploring his lifelong journal and his fantasy of a library reachable “only after adventures in the wilderness, amid wild beasts and wild men.”

Ricky Jay: Magicians, Cheaters & Remarkable Characters

Saturday, November 11, 4:00pm

Ricky Jay, the renowned sleight-of-hand artist, author, and actor speaks about his esteemed collection of books and images of magicians, cheaters, and remarkable characters. Limited capacity. Free admission. Reservations required. Visit for details.

Bookbinding with Mark Cockram

Sunday, November 12, 1:00pm

Demonstration - Mark Cockram has been a professional bookbinder, book artist, and teacher for over 25 years all over the UK, Europe, and further afield. He combines techniques from his training in fine art, design, and bookbinding to create stunning, distinctly non-traditional books. Join him for a hands-on demonstration.

This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal

Sunday, November 12, 2:30pm

In part two of our discussion on Thoreau, David Wood, Concord Museum Curator, uses Thoreau’s journal to introduce the many facets of this extraordinary man—the student, reader, writer, worker, thinker, Concord neighbor, and keen observer of the world. Learn how Thoreau used his journal to cultivate “and constantly renew” his very self.  

FREE Expert Appraisals!

Sunday, November 12, 1:00-3:00pm

Bring in your own books, maps, and ephemera and discover what they’re worth. Get free expert appraisals from the best in the industry. Learn about details that determine the value of your item and whether or not it would interest collectors and dealers. You might find you have a valuable treasure!