Fairs | May 2018 | A. N. Devers

The ABA Rare Book Fair London: Part Two

Rare Books London is now underway, and there's an audible hum of activity in the rare book trade about ABA's 61st annual London fair running from May 24-26. 


Here is our second brief round-up of dealers' particular favorites offered with hope for warmer, less rainy weather and a great turnout for the fair's debut in a new venue. See you at Battersea!



Deborah Coltham Rare Books has sent this 1802 broadside advertising a range of waterproof clothing designed, manufactured and patented by Ackermann, Suardy & Co of Chelsea, who invented a method for rendering materials impenetrable to water. Enticingly, Maria Hadfield Cosway, a close friend of Thomas Jefferson, did the enchanting stipple engraving. Price £1,800



There is a rare, dramatic, and important, if unnerving, entry from Alembic Rare Books in a ring-bound official photo album of the United States Air Force's "Operation Greenhouse" documenting thermonuclear weapon use in 1951. The 89 original photographs in this album were taken by a crew of thirty professional photographers from the Air Force's Lookout Mountain Laboratory in Hollywood, California, who also filmed two documentaries, one for public consumption and the other for the government. Price £6500



And to calm our now stirred nerves, here is Simon Beattie's meditative offering in Susan Maria Ffarington's illustrated panorama of The 104th Psalm. Lithographed by Vincent Brooks Day & Son, London, c.1870, it measures twelve feet in length, and illustrates all thirty-five verses of Psalm 104. Ffarington was the author of several devotional books for children and designed windows for parish churches near her estate. Sounds heavenly. Price £600



It's a nice easy step from Psalms to Shakespeare, and we're finishing up our preview with Sophie Schneideman's offering of Cranach Press's The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke, of which she writes: "Hamlet was 17 years in gestation from when [Count Kessler] had seen Gordon Craig's black figures for his Moscow Hamlet and decided that spectacular woodcuts could be printed from them. The result is one of the most important and spectacular works of the private press movement." Price £14,000


Our first ABA fair round-up, posted last week, is here.


Images courtesy of the booksellers