A View from Europe: Maastricht MABP & TEFAF

After the joy of the Colmar fair, it was time that we prepared our new stock and set off for the Maastricht Antiquarian Book & Print (MABP) fair. Maastricht is in the very south of the Netherlands, in South Limburg, a thin strand between Germany and Belgium. The MABP is a lovely little fair. In St Jan’s church, in the centre of the old town, overlooking the market square. 

   

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There was a wealth of fabulous items at the fair, on entering the church, one of the first things I saw (it was hard not to) was a large lithograph by Picasso, “Femme au corsage à fleurs” offered by De Vries & De Vries. Produced in 1957, it is simple yet striking.  

   

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Equally striking, but in a very different way, was on the stand of Paul Bremmers. The theme of the Maastricht fair this year was cartography, and if you are going to have a map, then one of those on Paul Bremmers’ stand would certainly fit the bill. At 2.4 metres by 1.7 metres the Nova Tabula Dioeceseos Traiectinae (Nieuwe Kaart van den Lande van Utrecht) is a lot of map!  

   

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At the end of the second evening, the hall was slightly rearranged, and we gathered together to have an excellent meal, put on by the fair organisers. The English contingent, including our colleagues from Graham York Books, in Honiton and Marrin’s Bookshop in Folkestone, joined us at the table, if only to keep Marcia under control! 

   

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Of course, whilst in Maastricht, it was essential to go and visit The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF). Naturally, the emphasis here is on art and antiques--the entrance and corridors are fabulous themselves. Japanese suits of armour guide you down the corridors to the exhibits. On our way around we managed to sniff out a few of our colleagues offering books and maps. At the Bernard Shapero stand, I was very excited to see a set of the Andy Warhol Shoes. I have seen the book of these, but never the full sized lithographs.

   

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It was good to see some of the new-comers to TEFAF, such as Librairie Camille Sourget who were exhibiting for the first time. Something to aspire to one day! Finally, we went off to find our friends at Daniel Crouch Rare Books who had a fabulous display of globes and maps.

   

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After all of this excitement, we retreated to our apartment, and packed up for the long (long) drive to Sweden for the Stockholm ILAB fair, where we shall next report from. 

   

--Marc Harrison and his wife Marcia run Harrison-Hiett Rare Books in The Netherlands. Images courtesy of the author. 

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