The ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair 2023. Credit: Courtesy of Meredith Nierman
The ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (NYIABF) – officially sanctioned by Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and produced and managed by Sanford L. Smith + Associates – returned to the Park Avenue Armory for its 63rd edition in New York City.
Over 1,500 visitors flowed into the Park Avenue Armory throughout the evening to enjoy unparalleled offerings from nearly 200 exhibitors from around the world, continuing to live up to its reputation as a highly international fair.
The fair organizers cited an 15% increase in attendance compared to 2022 numbers, making the 63rd edition of the NYIABF the most successful iteration of the fair in at least the past decade, both in terms of sales and attendance.
There was also a noted uptick in younger collectors and visitors.
The NYIABF cited major sales from various dealers during opening night:
- Ursus Books, Ltd. sold a whimsical children’s book signed El Pintor that was a success in the Netherlands during World War II, created by a Jewish couple who used the proceeds to help the resistance. The Dutch collector plans to donate the piece to the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam.
- Peter Harrington Rare Books had strong sales so far, including the transaction of a six-figure item. There has also been interest in Williams Shakespeare’s Folios, in particular the 3rd Folio.
- James Gray Booksellers sold three pieces, including Albertus Magnus Secretis mulierum et Viroru(m), “one of the most influential documents in the history of medieval scientific attitudes toward women”.
- B&B Rare Books sold an original drawing by E.H. Shepard of Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows and a first edition of Mary Poppins Opens the Door by P.L. Travers.
- Honey & Wax Booksellers sold a copy of Andy Warhol’s 1962 artist book “25 Cats Named Sam and a Blue Pussy,” from the library of George Balanchine.
- Kate Mitas sold an archive of a civil rights activist who worked with CORE in Mississippi in the mid-1960s, who then became involved in the women’s and gay liberation movements in San Francisco.
- Henry Sotheran, Ltd. sold about $9,000 to trade, $2,000 to private clients and received interest for the $67,000 set of Winnie The Pooh books.
- Autographes des Siècles sold an assortment of French literature letters and received strong interest in two offerings: a set of drawings by late designer Karl Lagerfeld and his letter of René Descartes, priced at $200.000.
- Adrian Harrington Rare Books sold several of their Agatha Christie collection of books.
- Imperial Fine Books sold items with prices ranging from $4,500-$20,000, including a signed and illustrated copy by Kay Nielsen of Hansel And Gretel and a set of Nicholay and Hay’s Abraham Lincoln Works and Benjamin Franklin’s work.
- Eric Chaim Kline, Ltd. received an order last night for Theresienstadt (concentration camp) currency.
- Tamino Autographs, Inc. sold around $72,000, including an original photo of John Lennon taken the day of his assassination.
- Schubertiade Music & Arts (At “B” Dry Goods”) sold an important musical manuscript from the library of Marie Antoinette and the double signed score from Fiddler on the Roof.
- Fine Art & Rare Books sold Iliazd’s Poésie des mots inconnus, a rare Czech poster and a unique Soviet industrial product catalog, among other pieces.
- Walter Reuben, Inc. reported great fortune with interest in their offerings of Women in Film, Black film History and classic Hollywood.
Notable guests including Manhattan Borough President Mark D. Levine, John Derian, Gherardo Guarducci, Guillaume Kientz, David Hamond, Alexander Cunningham Cameron, Jill Krementz, Dalia Oberlander, Caroline Nation and Antonio Pio Saracino joined Sanford Smith, owner of Sanford L. Smith + Associates, for the exclusive preview on April 27th.
Bibliophiles everywhere are invited to continue the hunt for rare books and all manner of fine works on paper as the NYIABF continues April 28 – 30.
If interested in learning more about the NYIABF, please visit their website and follow the fair on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Preview: $65 (Includes one daily re-admission)
Single-Day Admission: $32
Students: $10 (with valid ID – at the door only)
Run of Show: $62
ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair
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Produced by Sanford L. Smith + Associates | www.sanfordsmith.com | (212) 777-5218
About Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA)
The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America was founded in 1949 to promote interest in rare and antiquarian books and book collecting, and to foster collegial relations. We strive to maintain the highest standards in the trade. All members agree to abide by the ABAA’s Code of Ethics. While our members sell, buy, and appraise books and printed matter, our staff can assist you with finding a bookseller and with other trade-related matters.
About International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)
Established in 1949, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) is a global network of 22 national antiquarian booksellers’ associations, representing over 1600 affiliated rare booksellers based in 37 countries worldwide. ILAB affiliated businesses share a worldwide reputation for high quality, knowledge, expertise, and experience and adhere to ILAB’s Code of Usages and Customs. All exhibitors at an ILAB-sanctioned fair are affiliated to the League. ILAB strives to uphold and improve professional standards in the trade, to promote honorable conduct in business, and to contribute in various ways to a broader appreciation of the history and art of the book. ILAB, whose official languages are English and French, is a registered Company Limited by Guarantee in the United Kingdom.
About Sanford L. Smith + Associates
For more than 40 years, Sanford L. Smith + Associates has been known for managing internationally renowned art fairs. Sanford L. Smith + Associates was founded by Sanford Smith who is known for initiating innovative niche art and design fairs that have generated international collecting categories. His most recent venture, Salon Art + Design, which was an outgrowth of the original Modernism show, was hailed by The New York Times as “a museum in the making at the Park Avenue Armory.” In addition to the shows that Sanford L. Smith + Associates has created and owned, Smith has long managed prestigious association fairs. Over the years he has managed many shows including the Outsider Art Fair, which he founded 25 years ago. Today, he still manages The Art Dealers of America’s Art Fair and The New York Antiquarian Book Fair; relationships that have been fostered for more than 25 years.
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