Fairs | August 2010 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Booked in Baltimore

Running from Sept. 2-5 at the Baltimore Convention Center, the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show is widely recognized as the largest indoor antiques show in the U.S. It includes a 70-dealer antiquarian book fair within the show. A few of those dealers booked for Baltimore shared some highlights with us.

The rare book department at Arader Galleries is bringing some treasures from its travel and natural history libraries at 72nd Street in New York (seen above). According to Arader's Kate Hunter, "Some of the highlights of [Arader's] collections that we will be bringing to Baltimore include Audubon's iconic The Birds of America, from Drawings made in the United States and America, published in seven volumes in Philadelphia between 1839 and 1844, this is the first octavo edition with 500 hand-colored lithographed plates after originals by Audubon, and including 65 images not found in the earlier celebrated Elephant folio edition of 1827-1838. In recording the birds of America and imbuing each image with natural grace and scientific accuracy Audubon established himself as the premier bird artist of his age and since." She said they've also packed a fine copy of Elizabeth Blackwell's A Curious Herbal, from the famous library of Beriah Botfield, and including 500 superbly hand-colored copper engravings. She called it "one of the most comprehensive and most beautiful records of English and exotic flora." Arader will also offer the first major work of Sir Hans Sloane, A Voyage to the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica, with the Natural History of the Herbs and Trees... Kate Hunter invites readers to stop by stand 808 to see these (and other) rare treasures from Arader.

Griffon's Medieval Manuscripts of St. Petersburg, Florida, will have a medieval leaf and a Piranesi print among its offerings. The leaf, seen here at left, is from an illuminated Antiphoner manuscript, Bologna, circa 1300, with a $30,000 price tag. There are seven lines of text, in a gothic liturgical hand and of music on a four line red stave. The Giovanni Battista Piranesi print titled "Veduta dell' Atrio del Portico di Ottavia" dates to 1760 and is in very good to excellent condition. Griffon's also
has a rare map of early America by Henri Abraham Chatelain, as well a pristine miniature leaf from a finely illuminated Dewan, early 19th century, seen here at right. At $475, it speaks to the company's mission of introducing people to affordable art. As Dr. Anthony Griffon has written of his company, "Our goal is to attract the average person to experience a different and exciting arena of art collecting."

Ian J. Kahn of Lux Mentis Booksellers in Maine shared some stunning images of the material he's bringing to
Baltimore this year. At left, Portraits of the Children of Nobility (1838) is uncommon in its full burgundy leather binding and has what Kahn called "a wonderful collection of images, each with supporting prose and poetry" for $425. A fine press book guaranteed to turn heads at Kahn's booth is Mokomaki: Thirteen Etchings of Shrunken & Tattooed Maori Heads, illustrated by Leonard Baskin and published in a numbered limited edition by the Eremite Press, 1985. Wrote Kahn about this interesting item seen below, which he is selling for $12,500: "This is one of four copies created within the 'Deluxe' first 10 copies. The 'Super Deluxe' copies were created in response to Baskin's friend (and vellum dealer) asking him if he would consider printing some of the images onto vellum. The result is inexplicably wonderful." Also at Kahn's booth will be an 1806 pamphlet titled Horrid massacre!!! that is said to be the first example of engraving for a printed book in the state of Maine, very scarce at $2,500.

For those who are also interested in art and antiques, more than 550 international dealers will be exhibiting in Baltimore, in areas such as fine art, furniture, jewelry, porcelain, textiles, and folk art. Check out the website for hours, prices, and a list of vendors.