Fairs | April 2012 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Eye Candy from the New York Antiquarian Book Fair

Preparing for my visit to the New York Antiquarian Book Fair later this week, I've perused many booksellers' lists of 'what they're bringing' to the fair. (Other highlights, published in our spring issue, are here.) These are a few that caught my eye--of personal interest or just "intrinsically interesting."

yKIF.jpgFrom Lux Mentis, this (above) very recently published limited edition of Bartleby the Scrivener is incredibly cool. The artist, Wolfgang Buchta, describes his process: "In 2009 July, the graphic structure of the newspaper gave me the impulse to draw over it. Then I thought this background was the ideal way for Bartleby. After this decision, I wrote the text by hand. August-December 2009. Drawings on the newspaper, 70 pieces, used 57, January-May 2010. Mounted text and drawings together, June 2010. Gerie Reumiller did the scans and filtered the grey tone of the newspaper, 59 pieces, July 2010. Prepared for the computer to plate process, July 2010. Started printing the aluminum plates by hand on the lithopress, August-November 2010. Started preparing and printing the second color on stone, December-April 2011. Coloring the prints with watercolor, May-August 2011. Bound the first 10 copies in September 2011." $10,000

As a lover of all things Thoreau, I will certainly visit the booth of James Cummins to glimpse the first printing of the first and only issue of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody's journal Aesthetic Papers from 1849, featuring Thoreau's Resistance to Civil Government, the first appearance in print of his (now famous) lecture on civil disobedience. $22,000

Jackiephoto.jpgGordon Hollis is offering a collection of fourteen autograph letters and cards and photographs from former First Lady Jackie Kennedy to ballerina Margot Fonteyn -- a wonderful opportunity for a collector of dance! One of the photographs seen above. $25,000

Gaskell.jpgAt least two books from Blackwell's Rare Books made me covetous: this first edition (at left) of a novel I love, Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, an Austen family association copy, no less. $1,920. And the three-volume set of Siegfried Sassoon's Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, and Sherston's Progress might find a buyer among all the new Downton Abbey fans (myself included). $3,120

Bookseller Kevin Kelly has a rare playbill broadside for one of Nicolo Paganini's final performances in Birmingham, 1832. The catalogue entry intrigues: "Among Paganini's notorious showmanship gimmicks was to break all but one string and play a piece, thus handicapped, with surprising dexterity. Such a performance is promised in the program here." $2,500

Happy browsing and shopping, all! I'll be walking the floor on Friday and much of Saturday--if you see me (with my lanyard/nametag), stop and say hello!