Searching The New York Book Shows For Collectibles

A Weekend For The Books

Two Additional Manhattan Book Shows Draw Collectors

St. Vincent Ferrer book show

St. Vincent Ferrer book show

Besides the ABAA Antiquarian Book Fair there were two other shows taking place in New York on Saturday April 9, 2016.

One show across the street from the ABAA Armory show was the The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair & Fine Press Book Fair at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer (Lexington Avenue and 66th Street) produced by Flamingo Eventz from 10 a.m.  – 6 p.m..

Wallace Hall book show attendees and booths

Wallace Hall book show attendees and booths

The other show further uptown was the New York City Book and Ephemera Fair held at Wallace Hall at St. Ignatius Loyola Church (Park Avenue & 84th Street) produced by Impact Events Group, Inc. and from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Each show offered quality items at prices within the budget of most book collectors. These shows had bargains, you just had to be sharp, look carefully and be decisive. If you hesitate and walk away, the item you were just looking at can be sold a second later. I’ve seen it happen many times when someone puts down an item, another person is standing right near them and they pick it up and buy it!

You can be sure that a majority of the dealers at the high end ABAA came to both of these shows to peruse the wares of their fellow booksellers.

The Wallace Hall show accommodated 60+ dealers. With an early 8 a.m. opening time, a nice crowd was on hand and the dealers seemed happy with the brisk pace of business.

171 Jonathan Kearns Rare booksJonathan Kearns of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books, London, England was displaying eclectic items besides books. Jonathan was exhibiting at this show for the first time. His stock reflected his careful choosing of unique offerings.

171 Jonathan Kearns Rare books Peter Pan magic lantern slidesAmong Jonathan’s treasures was this unusual complete set of Peter Pan magic lantern slides from around 1912. How many of these could still exist? Asking price – $300.

173 Weegee Naked City Blue Mountain BooksBlue Mountain Books and Manuscripts of Cadyville, NY, in its photography section had a very reasonably priced first edition copy of Weegee’s Naked City for $150. I think Weegee is still one of the more affordable photography authors.

174 Wizard of Oz Read Em Again BooksA first edition, second state of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was offered by Read’Em Again Books of Montclair, VA. for $5,750. I was generously informed that installment terms could be made if I was interested. This is one of the reasons I like book shows so much: the type of people you are dealing with are in a class by themselves.

176 Food related sheet music Lizz Young Bookslizzyoung bookseller, Red Bank, NJ,  had this delightful display of food related sheet music for sale. My two favorites: Under the Anheuser Bush and There’s a Little Bit of Scotch in Mary.

Immediately upon leaving the Wallace Show, I headed toward St. Vincent Ferrer after its doors had opened.

Things were hopping at this show, as booths were crowded with collectors scanning the shelves for rarities and bargains. With 29 book and ephemera dealers and 43 fine book exhibitors there was a lot to look at.  The smell of old books filled the air and there was a steady flow of foot traffic in the booths.

185 Doyles Books Michael Brophy and his booth186 Naked and DeadMichael Brophy of Doyle’s Books, Annandale, NJ, doesn’t have an open shop, but brought with him a number of fine books.  Michael had a beautiful display of Steinbeck first editions in his display case. In addition there was this first edition signed copy of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead for $850.

My grandfather worked on the lithographic printing of the dust jacket for this book.

180 Worlds Heaviest Binding Rodger Friedman Rare Book StudioRodger Friedman Rare Book Studio, Tuxedo, NY, had the proclaimed “world’s heaviest binding” for sale. It was an art deco designed book entitled L’Oiseau noir dans le soleil levant. Eaux-fortes de Foujita by Paul Claudel; Léonard Tsugouharu Foujita. Paris, 1927.

I lifted the cover open and was like lifting a piece of lead!

183 Custodians of history boothThe genial Peter Forman of Custodians of History, Plymouth MA had a wide selection of documents and autographs for sale.

182 Supreme Court autographs 1955 Custodians of HistoryAmong his items was this 1955-56 photograph of the Supreme Court with signatures. The asking price was $2,250.

Something I learned while talking with Peter was that Plymouth Rock used to be much larger than it is now. Before being protected, people chipped away at the rock and kept pieces as souvenirs. Peter says he knows people who have a piece of the rock being used as a doorstop!

Overall it was a good week for the book shows of New York. Hopefully they will continue to flourish in the ensuing years.

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