The 55th London International Antiquarian Book Fair will take place in May this year, attracting booksellers from around the world. The 2012 fair will be the largest ever and has therefore moved to the National Hall at Olympia in west London.
Among new exhibitors this year are dealers from Sweden, France, Germany and Australia. Highlights will include a 1902 copy of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles in excellent condition priced at £2,750, a complete set of John Gould’s The Birds of Great Britain at £75,000 and E.H. Shackleton’s The Heart of the Antarcticplus The Antarctic Book and Winter Quarters at £27,500.
There will be a series of lectures during the fair and guided tours of the highlights by book experts. Ancillary stands will offer goods useful to the book collector and there are plans to stage demonstrations of bookbinding.
The first fair was held in 1958, the year after a small group of booksellers had rented one of Sotheby’s galleries in Bond Street during the auctioneer’s closed season and offered their books for sale on some simple shelving.
The fair is organised by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, the senior trade body for dealers in rare and fine books, manuscripts and allied materials in the UK, in association with the International League of Antiquarian booksellers (ILAB) a global network for the rare book trade.
The London International Antiquarian Book Fair is at Olympia on 24–26 May. Opening times 24 May 3pm–8.30pm, 25 May 11am–7pm, 26 May 11am–5.30pm. Tickets are free for visitors who register in advance, £10 each (£15 for two) if bought at the door.
National Hall, Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX
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