Book Collectors Week in NYC, April 9-16

Where: Manhattan. When: Next Week. What: Three antiquarian book, fine book, and manuscript fairs, plus three major auctions. Here’s the lowdown on the week of events that book collectors look forward to all year long. 


New York Antiquarian Book Fair--Called “The Best Book Fair in the World,” the NYABF goes on for three days at the Park Avenue Armory, beginning with a preview Thursday evening, April 11th, and running through Sunday, April 14th. Over 200 dealers will display an astonishing array of rare books, fine art, maps, manuscripts, and ephemera. To read what three long-time dealers told us about the NYABF, see our article, “The New York Antiquarian Book Fair, Past and Present.


The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair, a.k.a., the “Shadow Show”--This one is held downtown at the Altman Building on W. 18th St. It’s open on Friday night and all day Saturday. My advice: go early. It’s an open secret that the “uptown dealers” scout the Shadow Show and leave with bags full of new acquisitions. Antiques appraisals by John Bruno, star of the hit PBS series “Market Warriors,” will be held on Saturday from 1-3 pm at $5/item. 


The Professional Autograph Dealers Association Show (PADA)--This annual and highly anticipated show for historic autograph collectors has been revamped. The location (and dress code) has changed; it will be held at the Lotos Club on E. 66th Street on Sunday, April 14th from 9-5, and asks visitors to dress business casual. Top dealers will bring guaranteed authentic manuscript material in all areas and at all price levels. 


Christie’s Auction(s)--With its auction on the evening of Tuesday, April 9th, Christie’s kicks off the NY book collectors’ week with the collection of Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow. The evening session features 75 highlights, followed the next day by a second auction of the Vershbows’ illustrated books and manuscripts from the Renaissance and Middle Ages. (In our current issue, Jeremy Dibbell offers an extended look at this outstanding collection.) Also on the 10th, Christie’s offers the Francis Crick “Secret of Life” Letter


Heritage Auctions--On April 10th, Heritage holds its Rare Books Signature Auction at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion on E. 79th St., featuring the largest selection of Harry Potter first editions offered at one time! Plus, some great Ian Fleming books. On the 11th, it offers Manuscripts at the same location, AND Francis Crick’s Nobel Prize Medal


Swann Galleries--On April 11th, there will be an auction of Fine Books, including a Gutenberg leaf, incunabula, and Audubon’s Quadrupeds. On the other side of the book fairs, an auction of Printed and Manuscript Americana, featuring NY-related manuscripts, rare Mormon documents, and the Peter Scanlan collection of Theodore Roosevelt material happens on April 16th.


It’s going to be a busy week for bibliophiles in New York City. Stay tuned to the FB&C blog next week for previews and reporting from the floor. See you there! 


Auction Guide