MARIAB Boston Fair Preview

Having just returned from a long weekend in Cambridge and Boston, I realize I should have planned better when I booked months ago and scheduled my visit to coincide with the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers Association's annual book and paper exposition which happens NEXT weekend on Saturday, May 7, in Wilmington, MA (just outside Boston). Here is sampling of some of items you can see (and buy) next weekend.

Ten Pound Island Books of Gloucester, MA, a specialist in nautical books and maps, has this rare example of a folio for the Merchants' Express Line of Clipper Ships printed in two colors in 1855.

From bookseller Peter L. Stern of Boston, a children's classic: a first edition of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat.

Rabelais Books of Portland, Maine, known for its vintage food and beverage books, offers a selection of special cookbooks, just in time for Mother's Day. They're bringing an early edition of American Cookery, the first American cookbook, as well as an early edition of the Joy of Cooking. War rationing inspired a Wartime Edition (1944) of the popular The American Woman's Cook Book, pictured here.

In addition to the seventy-plus dealers, there will be several talks, demonstrations, and exhibits to enjoy. John B. Hench, a retired curator from the American Antiquarian Society will be there to present a talk and sign copies of his Books as Weapons: Propaganda, Publishing, and the Battle for Global Markets. Boston book artist Laura Davidson (whose 'tunnel books' we admired recently in NY) will be there with her artistic decks of cards, pop-ups, and accordion books. With talks on counterfeiting, postage stamp design, the origin of paper, historic photography, and bookbinding, it seems you could easily spend an entire busy day at the fair.

Dealer Greg French will  present Women of the Civil War, a collection of photographs of female participants in the war. The one seen below is of  Frances Clayton, a woman who fought in the Union and served in the cavalry and artillery units as a man named Jack Williams. She and Elmer L. Clayton, her husband, enlisted together in a Missouri regiment the fall of 1861.

Show hours are: Saturday May 7, 10-5pm, and admission is $7 for adults. The Shriner's auditorium is located at 99 Fordham Road in Wilmington, MA. More information can be found at Enjoy!