Book Fairs | January 30, 2013

Notable Items at the 46th California International Antiquarian Book Fair

San Francisco, CA (January 29, 2013) — The annual celebration of the printed word, the 46th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, returns to San Francisco on Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17, 2013 at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco.  

Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the three-day event is the world’s largest antiquarian book fair, with a wide range of material appealing to a variety of collectors and sellers.  About 220 booksellers from the United States and around the globe will share their collections and treasures including books, manuscripts, maps and other types of printed materials such as incunabula, fine bindings, children’s and illustrated books and ephemera.  Fascinating antiquarian books covering a variety of subjects such as law, architecture, cookery, history, nature, science and many more will be available to peruse and purchase.

In addition to a special focus on Asian books, manuscripts and artifacts, thousands of interesting items will be available at this year’s Book Fair.  Ranging from snippets of modern day pop culture to valuable first editions from centuries past, the Book Fair offers something for book lovers and collectors of all different backgrounds.  A few of this year’s more interesting items include:

John Lennon Bag One Portfolio

When John Lennon and Yoko Ono wed in 1969, they devoted their honeymoon to a “bed-in for peace” lasting several days at the Amsterdam Hotel.  Inspired by the experience, the Bag One collection was drawn by Lennon, who sketched out the public and private events of their marriage and honeymoon.  Originally distributed privately, lithographs were made of the sketches and displayed in London.  Because of the erotic content, the exhibit was quickly shut down.  Subsequent exhibitions occurred without incident in New York and Europe. (Peter Harrington, London; Value: $134,000 USD)

The Early Rolling Stones Performing, Gus Coral Photographer

Before they were the world’s greatest rock and roll band, the Rolling Stones played in small halls and bars throughout England. In 1964, the Stones played their first UK tour, performing 30 dates on a bill with Bo Diddley, Little Richard and the Everly Brothers. The group of photos includes concert footage from Cardiff, along with a recording session.  Highlights include Jerome Green, Bo Diddley’s maracas player, lighting Mick’s cigarette; Little Richard preaching to the band; and the band minus their chi-chi houndstooth band jackets.  The photos also depict the first Stones groupies - a bedraggled group of fans waiting hopefully at the stage door.  (Peter Harrington, London; Value: $43,000 USD)

The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay 

One of the Book Fair’s most valuable items, this is an extremely rare uncut set of the first edition of the most famous and influential American political work.  Written in 1788, The Federalist Papers are 85 essays written in support of the new Constitution, which contributed greatly to the theory of the new American government.  The new Constitution needed to be ratified by each state, so Hamilton conceived of the Federalist Papers as propaganda to garner public support within New York State.  This rare set is from the collection of Stephen Van Rensselaer, a New York politician and member of one of New York’s wealthy elite.  (Peter Harrington, London; Value: $362,000 USD)

An Autographed Manuscript of Chapter XX of A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain

An early copy of the original manuscript written in pen and pencil, complete with scratched-out edits, of “My Collection of Bric-A-Brac” - Chapter XX of A Tramp Abroad, published in 1880.  The chapter outlines Twain’s peculiar passion for collecting ceramics, especially ones that have been damaged or are unusual.  The manuscript also comes with a first edition copy of the book. (Peter Harrington, London; Value: $79,000 USD)

Bob Dylan’s album “Bringing it All Back Home,” signed by Jimi Hendrix

Ultra-rare signed Bob Dylan album, “Bringing It All Back Home,” signed on the cover "I dig it too. Jimi Hendrix." Together with a published account from the original owner for whom this was signed in 1967, musician and author CP Lee, who discusses meeting Hendrix and being told about his time with Dylan a few weeks before and about his first hearing Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" which Hendrix covered and made famous. (Schubertiade Music & Arts LLC)

Birds of America, John James Audubon

The scarce final octavo edition of The Birds of America, the definitive book on ornithology.  After this printing, most of the plates were lost in a fire at the print shop. This is an extremely beautiful set. All plates and leaves remain in fine condition. (Nudelman Rare Books and Roy Young Bookseller; Value: $32,000)

¡Libertad o muerte! Episodios de la Revolucion

The story of the Cuban Revolution from 1933 through 1959 told through 320 colored estampas that school children were to paste into blank printed spaces in the textbook.  The collection is notable for its unbiased objectivity that dispenses with cheap sensationalism. (Simon Beattie; Value: $3,000)

Sea Journal of Captain Alexander Winsor

Long before “binders full of women,” in 1850 - 1854 Captain Alexander Winsor, the captain of the clipper ship Audubon, made the journey to San Francisco with a ship full of women.  In the early days of the Gold Rush, San Francisco was brimming with promise.  Winsor’s journal chronicles women sewing their bonnets, cleaning mildew off their dresses and the general arrangements for when they arrive in San Francisco.  His journal also contains twenty ink and watercolor illustrations of ships sighted and landfalls. (Ten Pound Island Book Co.; Value: $15,000)

Miniature Qur’an 

One of the smallest books at the Fair, this miniature Qur’an was used by many Muslim soldiers during WWI.  The size of a nickel, the miniature Qur’an is written entirely in Arabic with a metal locket and magnifying glass set into the lid. (Simon Beattie; Value: $1,800)

Smith Family Copies of the Nauvoo Mormon Newspaper

Edited by Ebenezer Robinson, Don Carlos Smith and Joseph Smith, the set includes the entire run of the influential Nauvoo Mormon Newspaper Times and Seasons, published from 1839 through 1846.  Times and Seasons was the official newspaper of the L.D.S. Church, and their contents included the first appearance of the Wentworth Letter, the Book of Abraham, as well as the personal history of Joseph Smith.  (Ken Sanders Rare Books, Salt Lake City; Value: $125,000)

Wilbur Wright’s “Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight”

A rare pamphlet from one of the pioneers of flight, 1903. (Michael S. Hollander, San Rafael; Value $12,500)

First Edition of The Complete Angler or the Contemplative Man's Recreation, Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing

A first edition of the most famous work in angling literature.  Introduces and defends the art of fishing.  This edition contains various typesetting errors, which were corrected in later editions. (Peter Harrington; Value: $118,000)

First Edition of Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith

First edition of "the first and greatest classic of modern economic thought.” The Wealth of Nations had no rival in scope or depth when published and is still one of the few works in its field to have achieved classic status, sustaining and surviving repeated reading and interpretation. (Peter Harrington; Value: $150,000)

Original Paper and Stick Puppets Used in an Animated Production of Dante’s Inferno

In 2007, Dante’s Inferno was produced as an animated feature film. Artists Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet created paper and stick puppets used in the animation of the film. (Book Hunter’s Holiday, San Mateo)

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