Book Fairs | October 17, 2013

Events and Highlights of the 37th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, Nov. 15-17

BOSTON, MA — The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, will return to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s beautiful Back Bay, November 15-17, 2013.  The offerings are wide and diverse from over 120 dealers from the United States, England, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and The Netherlands who will exhibit and sell rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, modern first editions, photographs, and fine and decorative prints.

One of the oldest and most respected antiquarian book shows in the country, the Fair is an event that offers the ‘crème de la crème’ of items that are available on the international literary market. Whether just browsing, buying or poking, 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.

Among the highlights of this year’s event are rare and first editions of works by Jane Austen, J.M. Barrie, Ian Fleming, George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, Percy Shelley; a hand-colored print of William Blake’s beloved poem The Tyger, a dollar bill inscribed by John Lennon; the first issue of Playboy with Marilyn Monroe on the cover (and centerfold); and several pages from the original recording manuscript of The Kingston Trio’s Boston Anthem - Charlie on the MBTA. Attendees are invited to bring in their own books for a free appraisal on Sunday, November 17 from 1-3pm.   

Seminars and events punctuate the weekend, including Saturday afternoon’s talks by New England Sports Museum curator/collector Richard A. Johnson on building a sports library and by curator Anne-Marie Eze on Isabella Stewart Gardner’s book collection and Sunday’s talk by B.U. archivist Ryan Hendrickson on the history of espionage. 


Friday, November 15      5:00-9:00pm Tickets: $15.00 - Opening Night

(tickets valid throughout the weekend)
Saturday, November 16     12:00-7:00pm          Tickets: $8.00 
Sunday, November 17       12:00-5:00pm          Tickets: $8.00; free with a valid student I.D.

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 will be sold online at and at the show’s box office during show hours. \

For more information, call 617-266-6540 or visit

EVENTs at the Fair

Building a Sports Library 

Saturday, November 16, 2012 12:30pm

Richard A. Johnson, who has one of the largest sports book collection in private hands, on the five-decade journey of a collector/curator. Johnson has served as curator of The New England Sports Museum since 1982 and has authored or co-authored 21 books. 

Intro to Scrimshaw & Collecting Scrimshaw Books

Saturday, November 16, 2013 2:00pm

Dr. Stuart M. Frank, Senior Curator Emeritus at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and founding Director of the Scrimshaw Forensics® Laboratory, Dr. Frank will discuss collecting books instead of scrimshaw.  

The Ticknor Society - Collectors’ Roundtable

Saturday, November 16, 2013 3:30pm

Women in the Book Trade & Their Collections - Panelists include Susan Krinsky (science fiction collection), Teri Osborn (Indiana-ana collection), and Heather O’Donnell (unique literary classics).  

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Book Collection

Saturday, November 16, 2013 5:00pm

Dr. Anne-Marie Eze, an associate curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, researches and promotes the Gardner’s little known book collection.  Her 2011 exhibition Illuminating the Serenissima: Books of the Republic of Venice (2011), reflected not only Gardner’s passion for Venice—as seen in her Venetian-style palace and its art from the Serenissima—but also her love of books.

Secrets, Covert Ops, and Spies

Sunday, November 17, 2013 1:00pm

Investigate the history of espionage with BU archivist Ryan Hendrickson. Examine America’s first spy satellite; go behind WWII enemy lines with an OSS agent; and uncover the truth behind Operation Neptune.

Bring in Your Books for a FREE Appraisal by the Experts

Sunday, November 17, 2013 1:00 - 3:00pm

Expert appraisers will be available to Fair attendees who wish to bring their own books and manuscripts for appraisal.



Hand-colored print of William Blake’s ‘The Tyger,’ perhaps the most famous of his lyric poems. First published in 1794 in the collection Songs of Innocence and Experience, it has thrilled children and has had academics arguing for over 200 years as to its meaning.  The book is regarded by many as the first color-printed children’s book.

An original copy of the front page of the first edition of the November 3, 1948 Chicago Tribune, that ran the world's most famous newspaper error, “Dewey Defeats Truman" a famously incorrect banner headline - signed by Truman, “It was a mistake!”

 A first edition of Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Servicewith an inscription from the author “To Aubrey/who wrote some of it!/From Ian.” Aubrey Forshaw was the managing director of Pan Books, publisher of James Bond novels in paperback and Fleming’s expert for technical information concerning James Bond’s cars.

 A 1969 U.S. dollar bill, signed by Lennon, John.  Inscribed “thanks for legs / John Lennon.”  The original owner received the bill when he did a walk-on part in Mr. Lennon's 1970 underground film “Legs for Peace.”

 A first edition, first impression, of all three volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1954/55 masterpiece The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring -- The Two Towers -- The Return of the King.  Of these sets, many have been read, and re-read, so many times that finding them in a clean and collectable condition is rare indeed.  

A exceptionally rare uncorrected proof of the first edition of George Orwell’s 1935 novel A Clergyman’s Daughter.  This is the earliest extant version of the novel, which underwent significant changes before the manuscript was printed, since the publisher, Victor Gollancz, was unwilling to risk legal action for libel. 

An original 1953, 1st edition of the first Playboy, with Marilyn Monroe on the cover (and centerfold), inscribed by Hugh Hefner.   For the literary purists who read Playboy for the articles and fiction, extracts from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sign of Four and Boccaccio’s Decameron are among the latter in this rare periodical.

One of only 225 copies of the first edition of William Morris’s The Order of Chivalry. Reprinted in 1893 from Caxton's Edition of 1484, with an engraved frontispiece by artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones. From the original L’Ordene de Chevalierie, a french poem of the 13th century.   

An 1894 first edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, with original drawings by Hugh Thomson and a preface by George Saintsbury.  Printed in London by George Allen.  

A folio of all issues of the 1970s counter-culture magazine Horseshit, The Offensive Review, (vols. 1-4) with a leather binding by the very famous British bookbinder Arthur Johnson in an “American Flag” design which incorporates an erotic image within wavy red and ecru stripes topped by white stars on a blue background. 

The original 1959 recording session manuscript, handwritten by Dave Guard, founder and leader of The Kingston Trio, for the Boston Anthem - Charlie on the MBTA.  

A wonderful gilt and inlay leather-bound three-volume set of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s 1847 The Poetical Works, with an introduction by his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. An example of the fine bookbinders art at its best!

The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is produced by CommPromo.