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In Praise of the Printed Word - 36th Boston Annual International Antiquarian Book Fair 2012

In Praise of the Printed Word - 36th Boston Annual International Antiquarian Book Fair 2012

"An antiquarian book is a book that is valued as a unique physical object. The value might derive from the edition, the quality of the printing, binding, or illustrations, the provenance, etc., but the book is not valued strictly as a vessel of the content inside. You could buy a hardcover reprint of Gone with the Wind for less than a dollar and get the same text as a first edition. So why would you pay thousands of dollars for a beautiful, unrestored copy of a first edition, signed by Margaret Mitchell? Because that’s an antiquarian book."

The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, will return to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s beautiful Back Bay, November 16-18, 2012.  

The offerings are wide and diverse from over 120 dealers located in the United States, England, Canada, France, Hungary, The Netherlands, and Argentina who will exhibit and sell rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, photographs, modern first editions, and a plethora of other literary ephemera.  Fine and decorative prints will also be featured.

One of the oldest and most respected antiquarian book shows in the country, the Fair is an event that offers the ‘crème de la crème’ of items that are available on the international literary market. Whether just browsing, buying or poking, the Fair offers something for every taste and budget - books on art, politics, travel, gastronomy and science to sport, natural history, literature, music and children’s books.  

Among the highlights of this year’s event are rare and first editions of works by William Faulkner, Jane Austen, J.M. Barrie, Edith Wharton and H.G. Wells; the FBI’s wire-tapping equipment used to capture Whitey Bulger; President John F. Kennedy’s personalized humidor (intact with two of his unopened cigars); a rare engraving of the Declaration of Independence printed in 1848; an autographed photo of Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp; and an extremely rare portfolio of Civil War photographs.

In Praise of the Printed Word - 36th Boston Annual International Antiquarian Book Fair 2012


• Wire-tapping equipment used by the FBI to tap phone conversations, gathering evidence against South Boston gangster Whitey Bulger.

• President Kennedy’s personalized hinged wooden humidor, a gift from the Philippine Ambassador, with two of his unopened cigars in the original wrappers printed in gold: “SPECIALLY MADE FOR / PRESIDENT KENNEDY.”

• An 1894 limited edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, with a preface by George Saintsbury, illustrated by Hugh Thomson, and printed in London by George Allen.

• A first edition, with the author’s signature tipped in, of Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1920 novel The Age of Innocence.

• A very rare complete copy of  George Barnard's 1866 masterpiece, Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, embracing scenes of the occupation of Nashville, the great battles around Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain, the campaign of Atlanta, March to the Sea, and the Great Raid through the Carolinas, one of the greatest monuments to the Civil War and a landmark in the history of photography: Considered to be the first great landscape photobook, the folio is beautifully bound in Moroccan leather embellished with gilt decoration.

• A first edition of William Faulkner’s 1929 classic The Sound and the Fury, printed by Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith in New York

• A first edition of J. M. Barrie’s 1912 Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, with illustrations by Arthur Rackham interspersed throughout the text.  Housed in the very rare original box.

• Rare hand-painted vellum copy of the Holy Bible and Book of Common Prayer dating from 1835 and 1836, and printed in Oxford, England.

• 1784 handwritten letter from John Hancock to Brig. General McCobb referring to Provisional Government Actions Regarding the Retreating British after the end of the American Revolution.

In Praise of the Printed Word - 36th Boston Annual International Antiquarian Book Fair 2012

Lectures & Events

Some Things You Need to Know About Books

November 17th, 12.30 pm

D. Sidney Berger - Everything you need to know about rare books! Determining the value of a book, bindings, watermarks, shadowmarks and countermarks, issues with auctions, book formats, legal issues, and much more.

The American Antiquarian Society’s First Two Centuries

Saturday, November 17th, 2 pm

Elizabeth Pope - Through their vision and generosity, collectors and dealers have shaped the collections of the American Antiquarian Society since its founding in 1812. Elizabeth Pope tells the stories behind the collections and how they have arrived at American Antiquarian Society.

Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable

November 17th, 3.30 pm

Bob Frishman, Patrick Olson and Michael Blake share the process and pleasure of collecting in areas of antique clocks and restoration, bibliography and the history of the book, and 19th-century books on fly fishing.

The Art of the Book in Wales

November 17th, 5 pm

Rare book librarians Martin Antonetti and Ron Patkus offer an illustrated presentation on the history and work of the press.

What’s For Dinner?

November 18th, 1 pm

Richard Gutman, Erin Williams will recount the products, packaging, cooking schools, restaurants, food companies and celebrity chefs that influenced the way we ate throughout the 20th Century.

Bring in Your Books for FREE Appraisal

November 18th, 1 pm

Expert appraisers will be available to customers who wish to bring their own books and manuscripts for appraisal.

In Praise of the Printed Word - 36th Boston Annual International Antiquarian Book Fair 2012

36th Annual International Antiquarian Book Fair

November 16-18, 2012

Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

Opening hours:

Friday 16th, 5 - 9 pm

Saturday 17th, noon - 7 pm

Sunday 18th, noon - 5 pm

More information

>>> Visit the offical website

Published since 14 Nov 2012