Gearing Up for the Boston Book Fair

Boston-small.jpgBooksellers (and book collectors) are getting ready for this weekend’s book fairs in Beantown. The ABAA’s International Antiquarian Book Fair will be held Nov. 16-18 at the Hynes Auditorium.

Priscilla-Laura D.jpgI have enjoyed the work of book artist Laura Davidson at a few past fairs and am glad to see her work among the highlights that Priscilla Juvelis has packed for Boston. Every Nib, an artist’s book made in a limited edition of 18, is a new work from Davidson (seen above). “The five pages each of five pen nibs are woodblock prints, each on a different colored ground, all in shades of buff, each nib with the catalogue information about the nib written in ink. On each of the five pages there is a silverpoint drawing with ink wash of a different pen.” $1,850

AntiquariaatForum.jpgOutline history of an expedition to California, a satirical comic book on the California Gold Rush of 1848/9, is one of the items that Laurens Hesselink of Antiquariaat FORUM BV promises to bring to the fair. This one looks very cool -- anonymously written by someone calling himself XOX, it features swindlers, Indians, pirates, and others on their way to the gold fields. “In its graphic form this curious work is clearly a very early predecessor of the modern comic book.” (€6,500; $8,250).

Jeff Hirsch Books will offer a selection of signed first editions, including Gwendolyn Brooks’ In The Mecca ($150), Don Delillo’s Underworld ($100), and Arthur Miller’s After the Fall ($250). Quill & Brush will have the first edition of the first American textbook of gynecology, William Dewees’ 1826 Treatise on the Disease of Females ($1,250). And speaking of females, Brian Cassidy says he’ll bring “binders full of women,” -- you can’t miss that!

If you go, don’t forget that the Boston, Book, Print & Ephemera Show (a.k.a the ‘shadow show’) will be open on Saturday at the nearby Back Bay Events Center. More than seventy dealers will be there -- including B&B Rare Books, Peter Masi, and James Arsenault & Company.

Images courtesy of (top) Commonwealth Promotion, Inc.; (middle) Priscilla Juvelis; (bottom) Antiquariaat Forum BV.

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