For the fourth time in history the world’s best antiquarian booksellers met again in Switzerland. From 27th to 30th September 64 leading experts from Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States showed rare and precious books, manuscripts, autographs, beautiful bindings, prints, photographs and vintage posters at the Kongresshaus Zurich, next to the lake, at the same time and in the same venue as the renowned Fine Art Zurich.
Magnificently illuminated manuscripts, beautiful books of hours, milestones in philosophy and sciences, richly illustrated travel accounts and colour-plate-books, the famous “Weltchronik” by Hartman Schedel, printed in 1493 and superbly hand-coloured, original sketches by Leonardo da Vinci, handwritten annotations by Philipp Melanchthon, Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking studies on the evolution of man, Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s original manuscripts, modern book illustrations and the fascinating art of book binding – there was no better place for book lovers to admire and to buy rare treasures from five centuries of printing than the 24th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair from 27th to 30th September 2012 at the Kongresshaus Zurich.
The World’s Best Booksellers Meet in Switzerland
From manuscripts and incunabula to avant-garde, from Erasmus, Philipp Melanchthon and Charles Darwin to Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, DADA and the Bauhaus artists – together with the Fine Art Zurich, this most important event, supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), changed Zurich into the international market place for everything rare, extravagant and beautiful.
As the worldwide network of the professional trade the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) unites 2000 of the best dealers from 32 countries under one roof. From the beginning the Swiss booksellers have been strongly affiliated to ILAB. The first President, William S. Kundig, came from Switzerland. The 5th ILAB Congress was held in Geneva in 1952, the 15th ILAB Congress took place in Basle in 1962, while the ILAB members enjoyed the 25th ILAB Congress and 8th International Antiquarian Book Fair in Zurich in 1978.
During the fair, the Zurich Central Library presented some of the most beautiful books from its rich collection in a special exhibition «Treasures from five centuries of printing in Zurich». The Gutenberg Guild, Verein der gegautschten Gesellinnen und Gesellen, demonstrated on an original book press how books were printed at the time of Johann Gutenberg.
The 24th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair was organized by the Vereinigung der Buchantiquare und Kupferstichhändler in der Schweiz (VEBUKU), supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and under the patronage of the City of Zurich.