Fairs | March 2022 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Rare Book Week New York Preview Part I

Credit: Adobe Stock

New York’s Rare Book Week is revving back up after last year’s Covid break. This two-part series will preview book fairs (part I) and auctions and exhibitions (part II) taking place in NYC between April 19-26.

First off, the main event: The New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (NYIABF) makes its much-anticipated return to the Park Avenue Armory from April 21-24. Keep an eye out for these highlights:

Courtesy of The First Edition Rare Books

From The First Edition Rare Books, a classic of film history: A first edition of A Million and One Nights: A History of the Motion Picture by Terry Ramsaye, two volumes with scarce dust jackets. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1926. Octavo, [2 volumes], lxx, [2], 400pp; 401-868pp. Blue cloth, title stamped in gilt on spines with decorative gilt image on front covers. Date on title and copyright pages is the same with no additional printings mentioned. Top edges gilt, untrimmed fore edges. Both volumes have frontispiece portraits with tissue covers and all illustrative plates are present. Bindings are solid, and the text of both volumes is clean. Price: $1,500

Courtesy of Les Enluminures

From Les Enluminures, an illuminated manuscript: Psalter of François de Dinteville. In Latin, Illuminated manuscript on parchment. 9 large miniatures, by the Workshop of Étienne Colaud. France (Auxerre or Paris), c. 1525. This extremely refined and sophisticated manuscript was made at the height of the French Renaissance for bishop François de Dinteville, uncle of the ambassador Jean de Dinteville famously depicted in Hans Holbein’s portrait The Ambassadors. Price on request

Courtesy of RiverRun Books & Manuscripts

From RiverRun Books & Manuscripts, an unusual artist’s book: Keith A. Smith’s Book 91 ["String Book"]. Barrytown, New York: Space Heater Multiples, 1982.  Embossed title on first leaf. 24 unnumbered leaves, thick Fabriano Rosaspina Avorio paper, with linen cords strung through holes in paper. Bound by the artist in cloth boards, and with the original plastic printed bag. In fine, well-preserved condition. One of only 50 copies, signed in pencil and dated "Autumn 1982" at end. “Since I was making many one-of-a-kind images with no text or pictures, [Phil Zimmermann] and I decided upon a sequence created by thread piercing the pages of an otherwise blank book. Turning the pages creates a sound, and several threads piercing pages varies the tension of turning pages. Viewed with a single light source there are cast shadows that vary in focus. I consider Book 91, Sting Book a photographic book" – the artist. Price: $30,000

Courtesy of Evening Star Books

From Evening Star Books, an Egyptian set: Budge, E.A. Wallis. The Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Ani in the British Museum; Book of the Dead: Facsimile of the Papyrus of Ani in the British Museum The Egyptian Text with Interlinear Transliteration and Translation, a Running Translation, Introduction, Etc.; Printed by the Order of the Trustees. London: Sold at the British Museum; and by Longmans & Co. ... and Henry Frowde, 1895; 1894. First edition; Second Edition. The text volume is illustrated with the hieroglyphs throughout. The plate volume is illustrated with 37 chromolithographs, bright and beautiful, showing the images of the Papyrus of Ani. The text volume is the first edition of Budge's Book of the Dead (the Papyrus of Ani portion), and was issued as a companion to the second edition of the facsimile of the Papyrus of Ani (known as the plate volume). The facsimile of the Papyrus of Ani was first issued in 1893. This set is extraordinarily difficult to find together, and in collectible condition. A fascinating work of classical scholarship, one that made ancient Egyptian religious traditions accessible to English scholars and readers. Price: $2,500

Additionally, we should note that ABAA Connect makes its return to the fair as well. This program allows local institutions, including the New York Public Library and Columbia University, to request items at the fair from exhibitors, and have those items purchased for the institutions by various donors. Curators will browse a list of items exhibitors will be bringing to the fair, and choose items they are interested in acquiring. Curators and donors will attend the fair and discover these items together in person, and donors can purchase them for the institutions requesting them.

Next: Getman’s Virtual Satellite Show. Whether you’re traveling to NYC or not, this fair will be open for browsing April 19-22. Preview tickets for April 19 are $10, to benefit CABS scholarships; free general admission April 20-22.

Don’t forget: the Manhattan Antique Book, Ephemera & Fine Press Fair, aka the Shadow Fair, will be located at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, just across from the Armory. Open Saturday, April 23, 10am-5pm. Admission: Adults: $17, Young collectors 12-21: $8, under 12: free with adult.