New York Antiquarian Book Fair

Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the NYABF opens with a preview Thursday evening, March 8, and runs through Sunday, March 11, at the Park Avenue Armory at 643 Park Ave. Over 200 American and international dealers will display an astonishing array of rare books, fine art, maps, manuscripts, and ephemera. “Discovery Day” appraisal event on Sunday, 1-3 p. m. Admission: $60 for preview pass, $45 run of show, $25 daily, $10 for students carrying a valid school ID. For more information, visit nyantiquarianbookfair.com.

Courtesy of New York Antiquarian Book Fair

New York City Book & Ephemera Fair

Now in its fourth “edition,” this Rare Book Week “Satellite fair” on Saturday, March 10, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., will showcase the wares of sixty antiquarian book, manuscript, and ephemera dealers. It’s located in a different venue this year at the Sheraton Central Park/Times Square, 811 7th Avenue. Free round-trip shuttle bus service to the Armory will run all day. Admission: $15 for adults, $8 for youths aged 12-21. For more information, and to purchase a VIP discounted ticket, visit bookandpaperfairs.com.

Courtesy of Barbara Loe of Cardtique.

Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair & Fine Press Book Fair

“The Shadow Show” will be held on Saturday, March 10, at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Avenue at 66th Street (across from the Armory). Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with appraisals by John Bruno and guest appraisers from 1-3 p.m, for an additional $5. Admission: $15 for adults, $7 for youths aged 12-21, and free for those under 12 with paid adult. The Shadow Show will also feature the Fine Press Book Fair within the larger fair. For more information, visit flamingoeventz.com.

Credit: Flickr/Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Auctions

Bonhams

The Fine Books & Manuscripts sale at Bonhams on March 9 is a small, curated sale but contains big treasures, including two Beethoven autograph sketch-leafs, autograph manuscripts from Wagner, a prism belonging to Benjamin Franklin, and a violin from Albert Einstein, plus a letter of his written to his son referencing the Atom Bomb. Taking top billing, however, is this largest and most substantial scientific manuscript by Isaac Newton in private hands, providing a thorough account of a method for achieving the philosopher’s stone. It is estimated to reach $200,000-300,000. For more information, visit bonhams.com.

Courtesy of Bonhams.

Heritage Auctions

The top of the heap at Heritage on March 7 is a near fine first edition of The Great Gatsby in a “very good, unsophisticated dust jacket” and inscribed by Fitzgerald: “For Tatnall Brown / from one, who / is flattered at / being remembered / F Scott Fitzgerald / Hollywood, 1939.” The bidding starts at $50,000. There’s also quite a selection of modern firsts, including those of Ian Fleming and James Joyce, plus Dickens’ own copy of Nicholas Nickleby and an association copy of Pablo Neruda’s Fin de Mundo inscribed by the author for Chilean President Salvador Allende. For more information, visit ha.com.

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Swann Galleries

The March 8 auction at Swann Galleries offers Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books, where highlights include the first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess: Luis de Lucena’s Arte de ajedres, printed in Salamanca, circa 1496-97, and containing 161 woodcut chessboard diagrams within woodcut borders (pictured here). Its estimate is $10,000-15,000. Also on offer is Johannes de Sacrobosco’s Sphaera mundi, first illustrated edition, with eleven woodcut astronomical diagrams, printed in Venice in 1478. Its estimate is $15,000-20,000. For more information, visit swanngalleries.com.

Courtesy of Swann Galleries.

See More Auctions

Exhibits

Bard Graduate Center

The Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity is currently on exhibit at the Bard Graduate Center, 18 W. 86th St. in Manhattan. Curated by Georgios Boudalis, head of the book and paper conservation laboratory at the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Greece, this exhibition examines the structural, technical, and decorative features of the major types of codices—the wooden tablet codex, the single-gathering codex, and the multigathering codex. On view through July 8.

Featured Image: Upper cover of Morgan M.569, 9th–10th century AD. The Morgan Library and Museum, purchased for J. Pierpont Morgan, 1911. MS M.569A.

Courtesy of Bard Graduate Center.

The Center for Book Arts

Located at 28 W. 27th St., 3rd floor, the Center for Book Arts hosts exhibitions and gallery events in addition to its usual full calendar of bookbinding and printing arts classes. During Rare Book Week and through March 31, see Our Anthropocene: Eco Crises, an exhibition in which visual artists respond to climate changes and our the ecological crises. Also on exhibit: Emily McVarish: Last Year at Dark, which explores “the space between books and other time-based media through typographic interpretation of musical form, sequential page composition, and filmed text.”

Courtesy of The Center for Book Arts.

The Grolier Club

The Grolier Club, located at 47 East 60th St., is undergoing major renovation to its first-floor exhibition space this year. Still, if you’re in town before March 10, pop in to see the club’s first-ever science fiction exhibit, “A Conversation Larger Than the Universe”: Science Fiction and the Literature of the Fantastic from the collection of author and bookseller Henry Wessells.

Featured Image: An inscribed copy of the 1969 American/Doubleday edition of Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch.

Courtesy of The Grolier Club.

See More Exhibits

Bookish Browsing

Chumley’s

86 Bedford Street
Manhattan

After a decade-long hiatus, Chumley’s, the former Greenwich Village speakeasy of choice for many a poet and playwright, reopened last year. It’s a bit higher-end these days, but the book jacket decor is back. For more information, visit chumleysnewyork.com.

Courtesy of Chumley's

The Cloisters Museum & Garden

99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park
Manhattan

Head uptown to the Cloisters for a view of New York that looks more like medieval Europe. Be warned, if you’re from out of state, the admission is now $25. The Met’s newly acquired illuminated Hebrew Bible from fourteenth-century Spain will be on display during Passover. For more information, visit metmuseum.org/visit/visit-the-cloisters.

Flickr / Mark Chang

Oscar Wilde Bar

45 W. 27th Street
Manhattan

The biggest news in literary bars? The opening of an ostentatious Oscar Wilde-themed hotspot, complete with the city’s longest bar and an array of dazzling artifacts. On the menu: lunch, dinner, and Absinthe Drip. For more information, visit oscarwildenyc.com.

Courtesy of Oscar Wilde