One Weekend, Two Antiquarian Book Fairs in New York City

53rd Annual Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America - New york Antiquarian Book Fair - Park Avenue Armory

53rd Annual Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America – New York Antiquarian Book Fair – Park Avenue Armory

New York City was a happening place for book collectors and book sellers this past weekend.  We made the trip to the Big Apple to combine a visit with our son and to take in the 53rd Annual New York ABAA Book Fair and the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair (AKA “The Shadow Show”).

Entrance to the New York Antiquarian Book Fair

The ABAA Antiquarian Book Fair was held again at the beautiful Park Avenue Armory at 643 Park Avenue.   Although you enter the fair through an atmosphere of dark wood paneling, chandeliers and stained glass…

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it’s all bright lights and glass cases in the exhibition area…

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  This is one of the few places you will see booksellers dressed to the nines (we are generally a casual lot – sometimes downright scruffy, even).  Security is tight.  Your coat and any bags must be checked at the door.  Much of the best that is available and collectible in the whole wide world of books is on display here, everything from signed modern first editions to ancient maps and manuscripts.  Prices ranged from around $50.00 to rarities running into five and six figures.

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We attended on Friday at noon, the first general opening of the show (there is a preview night on Thursday evening, with a $50.00 entry fee for the privilege).  There is a vibe of tension and excitement in the air – booksellers pay a premium to exhibit here — they are all hoping to “crack the nut,”  and there are collectors roaming the aisles who are willing to drop serious cash.  The attendance seemed high — the crowds grew as the afternoon progressed.

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 It is always worthwhile to attend this fair, to see what is being offered, some of which you may never see again anyplace else.  It should be considered a learning experience as well an opportunity to buy.

Michael Manz and Earl Manz of Babylon Revisited / Yesterday’s Gallery Rare Books (my husband Ron is on the right).

We were happy to see Earl and Michael Manz, father and son team of Yesterday’s Gallery and Babylon Revisited Rare Books  at their booth, where I purchased a lovely first edition of Twenty-Four Hours for my Louis Bromfield collection.  (Thanks for bringing it to the Fair, Michael!)

First trade edition of Twenty-Four Hours (NY: Frederick A. Stokes, 1930)

First trade edition of Twenty-Four Hours (NY: Frederick A. Stokes, 1930)

They specialize in books from the jazz age and depression era in beautiful old dustjackets. We share their area of interest, and it is always a joy to roam their booth or website.

Nearby we found another favorite bookseller, Robert Dagg, of Robert Dagg Rare Books, San Francisco, California, whose specialty areas are Modern First Editions and Mystery and Detective Fiction. 

Robert Dagg, Robert Dagg Rare Books, San Francisco, CA

Robert Dagg, Robert Dagg Rare Books, San Francisco, CA

The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Show, or “Shadow Show” is held in a lovely building at 135 West 18th Street, and is a much more relaxed atmosphere.  This show ran Friday, April 12 from 5-9 p.m. through Saturday, April 13 from 8am – 4pm.  We were waiting at the door on Saturday at 8am.

Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair at the Altman Building (The Carriage House) 135 W. 18th St., New York, NY

Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair at the Altman Building (The Carriage House) 135 W. 18th St., New York, NY

The quality is very good, and prices are within the reach of more book lovers and collectors.   This fair opened on Friday April 12 from 5-9pm and ran through Saturday April 13 (4am-4pm).

Tina Bruno, President of Flamingo Eventz, LLC (Organizer of "The Shadow Show"

Tina Bruno, President of Flamingo Eventz, LLC (Organizer of “The Shadow Show”)

We purchased a lovely decorated American trade binding here from Ben Koenig of The Country Bookshop (Plainfield, Vermont).

A Daughter of New France, by Mary atherine Crowley.  Signed decorated binding (Amy Sacker)

A Daughter of New France, by Mary Catherine Crowley. Signed decorated binding (Amy Sacker)

Many fine books to browse at "The Shadow Show"

Many fine books to browse at “The Shadow Show”

The Shadow Show

The Shadow Show

 Two great book fairs, and a great selection of fine books in the  City that Never Sleeps.

I’ll be back soon with the rest of the story…

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank You for the great pictures. I just purchased a private library from an estate sale in ohio, about three hundred antique books ranging from 1800 to 1970. I could use some advise if possible.

    Thank You, Don

  2. Looks like a great trip. Thanks for stopping at the booth and including us in your blog. I will be posting your blog address on my facebook page. Look forward to seeing you guys again in the future. Best. -Mike

  3. […] New York City was a happening place for book collectors and book sellers this past weekend. We made the trip to the Big Apple to combine a visit with our son and to take in the 53rd Annual New Yor…  […]

  4. The Crowley volume is one of my two favorite Sacker designs. here is a curious Canadian variant, with wildly different lettering:

    http://www.amysacker.net/documents/WaysoftheHeart.htm

    Thanks !!

    • Thanks for your comment — love your site!


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