Thousands of collectors, fans, and aficionados flocked to The Empire State Rare Book and Print Fair at the St. Bartholomew’s Church (St. Bart’s) in New York City over the weekend (Oct. 5-7, 2023). The debut fair featured 50+ exhibitors from across the country and showcased thousands of beautiful and rare books, prints, works on paper, and ephemera from around the globe.
Some of the most exciting sales included a signed first edition of Ulysses by James Joyce (one of 750 copies) in the original wrappers through James Cummins Bookseller for $72,500 and a first edition copy in cloth of Little Women sold by B&B Rare Books for $27,500. Other exceptional examples that were offered included the original artwork for the cover of the children’s classic Charlotte’s Webb, a first printing of Harry Potter (1 of 500), a first British edition of The Great Gatsby in its iconic jacket, and the banned, first edition Galileo from 1635.
During the Preview Party, Guster lead singer Ryan Miller performed his hit Empire State Live accompanied by New York Philharmonic harpsichordist Paolo Bourdigon. Royal expert and author Hugo Vickers, who had flown in from London for the event, and Sir Michael Lindsay-Hogg, author, artist and director, were among the speakers and regaled guests with stories about both British royalty and rock icons like The Rolling Stones.
“We were thrilled with the fair’s launch in New York, an epicenter of culture and collectors,” said Eve Lemon, who co-founded Fine Books Fairs with her husband Edward in 2022. “Our goal when we started was to introduce books to a new generation that relies on the internet and may not have discovered the pleasure, and the beauty and history, that come with actual books. Over the three days, we saw that guests not only returned but they brought people with them…. It was much more than a place to buy books; it was a weekend filled with entertainment and discoveries in what is a truly historic and impressive setting, St. Barts.
A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales went to the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Benevolent Fund, which is dedicated to providing timely financial assistance to those in the book trade who find themselves in a time of need.
Fine Book Fairs’ next book fair will take place in Philadelphia between December 7th and 9th at Trinity Center for Urban Life on 22nd and Spruce Street. You can learn more by visiting: www.finefairs.com
About Fine Book Fairs:
Fine Book Fairs, established in 2022 by the visionaries Eve and Edward Lemon, was conceived with the noble mission of fostering a renewed appreciation for the world of books and prints, igniting a passion for the written word and the beauty of printed works across the United States. Distinguishing itself from the conventional book fair, each Fine Book Fair is a distinctive and sociable gathering. It seamlessly weaves together the tapestry of rare and cherished books and prints, offering a bespoke and enriching experience for both exhibitors and avid attendees. The synergy of literature and art is harmoniously complemented by the captivating strains of live music, the tantalizing aroma of gourmet food, and the clinking of glasses in celebration, all within the enchanting confines of a historic venue.
Since its inception, Fine Book Fairs has garnered a well-deserved reputation for excellence, having orchestrated internationally attended book fairs in iconic locations such as the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., the enchanting landscapes of Rhode Island, the historical heart of Pennsylvania, and the vibrant metropolis of New York. With its unwavering commitment to the craft, Fine Book Fairs has diligently worked to democratize the art of collecting, making it more accessible and inviting to a fresh generation of enthusiasts and fans eager to explore the treasures hidden within the pages of these exceptional literary and visual gems.