„I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.“
Jorge Luis Borges
A paradise for book lovers: The 52nd Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair will be held from 25th to 27th January 2013 in the elegant rooms of the Württemberg Art Museum, opposite to the Palace, next to the Palace Garden and directly in the city centre of Stuttgart. Around 80 rare book dealers from Europe and abroad will showcase bibliophile treasures from the middle ages to avant-garde to contemporary artists’ books. Magnificently illuminated manuscripts, milestones of science, autographs by famous artists, scientists, philosophers and authors, first editions, children’s books, press and illustrated books, musical scores, photography, prints as well as Japanese woodcuts along with beautifully illustrated accounts of adventurous voyages to the „edge of the world” (and beyond): The fascination of book collecting lies in its unlimited variety. There is no better place to explore this unlimited variety than an antiquarian book fair.
Founded in 1962, the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair is the second oldest fair in Europe and the biggest event for bibliophiles in Germany, organized by the German Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (VDA) and officially supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). In 2013 Leo Cadogan (United Kingdom), Pickering & Chatto (United Kingdom) and Paolo Rambaldi (Italy) will exhibit in Stuttgart for the first time, next to dealers from Hungary (Adam Bosze), the United States (Botanicum), Austria (Norbert Donhofer, Burgverlag, Löcker, Dr. Paul Kainbacher, Johannes Müller, Meindl & Sulzmann), Netherlands (Antiquariaat Forum, Antiquariaat Junk, Die Schmiede), Switzerland (Heribert Tenschert, August Laube, Helmut Schumann), Italy (Lex Antiqua, Libreria Editrice Goriziana, Guiseppe Solmi), United Kingdom (Tusculum, Meda Riquier) and many other internationally renowned antiquarian booksellers such as Reiss & Sohn, C.G. Boerner, Norbert Haas, Michael Banzhaf, Manfred Nosbüsch, Max Neidhardt, Ralf Eigl, J.A. Stargardt and Brockhaus/Antiquarium. Some highlights:
How to behave in the Middle Ages
„Il Fiore di Virtú“ - The manuscript from the year 1340 describes the rules for correct behaviour in the upper classes of the early Renaissance. In the political crisis of 14th century Modena this richly decorated codex with wonderfully illuminated miniatures was written on behalf of the Podestà Bertrand del Poggetto. It is one of numerous highlights presented by Heribert Tenschert (780.000 €).
Johann Gutenberg’s invention of printing with movable type was a revolution. The years from 1450 to 1500 are considered to be the beginning of modern book production. In those years around 27.000 incunables were printed all over the world - a negligible number in view of the millions of printed (and digital) books nowadays. This year the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair shows a stunning collection of some of the most beautiful incunables, among them:
- The first book on botany: Theophrastus’ „De historia et causis plantarum“, printed in Treviso in 1483 (Meda Riquier 45.000 €).
- The first encyclopedia on geography: „Peri Poleon - De urbibus”, printed by Aldus Manutius in 1502 (Hellmut Schumann 20.000 €).
- A series of early printed books from Melchior Pfintzing’s „Theuerdank” to Bernardinus Senensis’ „Tractatus de contractibus et usuris“, presented by two Austrian dealers: Dr. Paul Kainbacher and Johannes Müller (5.500 € / 9.000 € to 22.000 € / 25.000 €).
- Albrecht Dürer’s masterwork on art theory: The first latin edition of „Institutiones Geometricae” was printed in 1532. It is presented by Norbert Donhofer, next to a copy of Matthias Ringmann’s „Passionis Christi” with marvellous woodcuts by Urs Graf (32.000 € / 35.000 €).
- A real gem: Jan van der Noot’s „Theatrum“ from the year 1572 is a shining example of early emblematic literature (Antiquariaat Forum 75.000 €).
Cast away on a lonely island: A comprehensive collection of books about Robinson Crusoe and his literary successors can be admired in the showcases at this years’ Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair along with handwritten accounts of dangerous travels to Africa (Eberhard Köstler 7.800 €) and two absolute highlights of the fair: G. Catlin’s „North American Indian Portfolio” including all handcoloured plates (Ralf Eigl 115.000 €) and David Robert’s „The Holy Land“ with over 248 lithographs (Matthäus Truppe 95.000 €). Travel books are always among the most attractive items at antiquarian book fairs. In 2013 the Stuttgart Fair offers some of the rarest and finest copies:
- C. R. Forrest’s „Picturesque tour along the River Ganges and Jumna in India“, bound in red morocco in an exceptional Cosway style binding by Bayntun-Riviere (Reiss & Sohn 38.500 €).
- Villa-Amil’s „España Artística y Monumental“ (Burgverlag 20.000 €), Friedrich Sarre’s „Archäologische Reise im Euphrat- und Tigris-Gebiet“ (Dr. Paul Kainbacher 20.000 €), and Belzoni’s „Narrative of the operations and recent discoveries within the pyramids, temples, tombs, and excavations, in Egypt and Nubia” (Reiss & Sohn 16.500 €), each with wonderful engravings and lithographs showing the cultural and archeological sites of the regions.
- A very special gift: In Plymouth James Cook met Captain Ourry who helped Cook to arrange everything for his third voyage. In return Cook gave Ourry portraits and other artwork which had been made on the ships during his second voyage. This unique collection is offered by Ralf Eigl ( (39.000 €).
Cool and sexy
George Grosz regarded women - and book illustrations - as cool and sexy, as long as they were well-rounded. One of the sexiest books he ever illustrated is A. R. Meyer’s „Lady Hamilton oder die Posen-Emma“ (Schmidt & Günther 4.800 €). Other beautiful illustrated books and important works of literature shown at the fair include:
- Omar Khayyam’s „Rubáiyát“ in a stunning red morocco binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe (Reiss & Sohn 8.500 €).
- Famous first editions: Nietzsche’s „Zarathustra“ (Herbert Blank 22.000 €) and Friedrich Schiller’s „Reiterlied“, of which only 150 copies were printed in 1807 (Michael Banzhaf 8.000 €).
- Thomas Mann’s Wälsungenblut with the original lithographs and, in addition, a suite of the original pencil sketches by Th. Th. Heine (Schmidt & Günther 18.000 €).
- Signed and illustrated: René Char’s „Cinq poésies en hommage à Georges Braque” (Tusculum 8.500 €), Balzac’s „Unbekanntes Meisterwerk” with 12 signed woodcuts by Wassilij Masjutin (Manfred Nosbüsch 9.000 €), Yves Tanguy’s original engravings for Yvan Goll’s „Le mythe de la roche percée“ and Raijchmann’s „Mädchen mit dem Feuer“ with original drawings by Asger Jorn (Günter Linke 9.800 € / 12.000 €).
- Bauhaus and avant-garde: Exceptional dedications copies inscribed by László Moholy-Nagy (Rotes Antiquariat 4.000 €), important works by Johannes Itten and other Bauhaus teachers (A-beceda 4.000 €).
- Underground: “Zehn kleine Meckerlein“ is the famous underground publication by A. A. Balkema. Printed in Amsterdam in 1943, it describes the life in the Netherlands under the Nazi occupation in form of a children’s book (Abeceda 3.500 €).
- Autographs: A signed self-portrait of the (naked) Austrian artist Alfred Hrdlicka (Löcker 1.400 €), a signed typoscript by Hermann Hesse with a beautiful watercolour (Peter Kiefer € 14.500) and an important letter by the great philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (J. A. Stargardt 8.000 €).
Drunkards, addicts, and physicians
In 1818 Castelli published a caricature of „Human Frailties and Weaknesses“ which illustrates every kind of vice and ensnarement that man is subject to, illustrated with pithy coppers, offered by Wolfgang Braecklein (2.500 €). A rather more scientific look at the world and all that’s in it is taken in the magnificent works which show the miracles of nature and man either in scientific detail or with artistic license. Here one of the highlights is Happe’s rare work “Botanica pharmaceutica” illustrated with 595 copper engravings. Georg Wolfgang Knorr’s „Les delices des yeux“ is the earliest systematic work on conchiliae with 1000 beautiful illustrations of shells. (F. Neidhardt 18.000). Remedies for all human weaknesses and afflictions (including drunkenness) are to be found in books on health. This tradition goes back to antiquity and medieval times. One of these works, the „Schachtafelen der Gesuntheyt“ by Mukhtae ibn al-Hasan (Müller & Gräff 15.000 €) was written ca. 1000 AD and first printed in Straßburg in 1533. Müller & Gräff also offers a nice collection of health- and cookery books from the 16th to the 18th century, which are described in a special catalogue.
It is Richard Wagner’s 200th birthday in 2013, reason enough for the specialists in music, of whom there are several at the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, to show rare and unique pieces from or on the master. An original photograph from 1872 with a dedication by Wagner on the reverse, for instance, offered by Rainer Schlicht (9.800 €), or the conductor’s score for „Ring der Nibelungen”, on show at J. Voerster’s stand (6.000 €). Voerster also offers an autograph letter by the genius, asking about his royalties for the „Meistersinger” (8.500 €). Dr. Michael Raab has a first edition of Mozart’s “Zauberflöte” (7.500 €) and a lovely portrait of the cellist Pablo Casals (1.200 €). Twelve-tone music is represented by a portrait postcard of Arnold Schönberg, with an autograph dedication to Hanns Eissler (Löcker 3.500 €).
L'art pour l'art
The grahic arts are traditionally a highlight of the Stuttgart fair. This year, Antiquariat Schreyer presents a wide range of 400 originals from the 18th to the 20th century, showing artist’s impressions of childhood in those three centuries (14.000 €). A wide range of original prints will be on show, from the beautiful Japanese prints offered by Margot Lörcher or Hans-Martin Schmitz to the lithographs by the German artist Horst Janssen, for sale at the stand of Galerie St. Gertrude (7.500 €). Finally, Galerie Valentien focuses on the work of Pablo Picasso. Among many beauties Picasso’s „El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz” in one of the few copies of the special edition will certainly be the most beautiful (45.000 €).
Book Fair Catalogue
The Stuttgart Book Fair Catalogue is available in the internet and as a printed catalogue.
Music - Lectures - Exhibitions
Why visit one book fair, if you can have two? Only 10 minutes away from the Stuttgart Fair the Antiquaria / Ludwigsburg will open its doors to visitors from 24th to 26th January 2013. Tickets are valid for both fairs so that bibliophiles have the chance to browse the exceptional offers of more than 130 rare booksellers at the same weekend. This is unique in Germany. To celebrate the book fair week, the organizers of both fairs invite colleagues and bibliophiles to an evening with words and music on 21st January 2013.
Hedwig Pringsheim’s Letters to Katia Mann - Lecture and Music
Hedwig Pringsheim wrote over a hundred letters to her daughter Katia, wife of Thomas Mann, during the 1920s and 1930s. These letters will be published in April by Dirk Heisserer. In an interview with Eberhard Köstler he talks about his three year long work on the Pringsheim/Mann book and shows autograph letters, photographs, dedications and other ephemera related to Thomas Mann, his wife and his mother-in-law. Eberhard Köstler plays Kurt Weill songs on the saxophone.
Literaturhaus / Stuttgart at 8 pm on January 21, 2013
Book People - Exhibition
The German photographer Burkhard Riegels has portrayed book people: authors, publishers, artists, and booksellers. 24 of his most beautiful black and white photographs were published as a calendar with literary texts on the trade by Irene Ferchl. The best of these portrays will be exhibited during the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair.
Württembergischer Kunstverein / Stuttgart from 25th to 27th January 2013
J. F. Cotta - Treasures from the Archive
Johann F. Cotta was one of the most important German publishers. All the famous works by authors like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Alexander von Humboldt and many other geniuses of the 18th and 19th century were published by J. F. Cotta. Cotta’s publishing house was the centre of the Classical Period in Germany. Today his archive is one of the great resources of literary history. Treasures from the archive are shown in an exhibition during the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair and they are documented in a catalogue and bibliography published by the German Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (VDA).
Exhibition: Württembergischer Kunstverein / Stuttgart from 25th to 27th January 2013
Vernissage: Württembergischer Kunstverein / Stuttgart at 6.30 pm on January 26, 2013
Catalogue: C O T T A - Der Verleger der Horen. Cottas Archiv, vorgestellt von Helmuth Mojem. Ausstellung und Katalog: Friedrich Pfäfflin. Verband Deutscher Antiquare 2013.
>>> For more information, the book fair catalogue and the highlights of the fair visit the official websites www.stuttgarter-antiquariatsmesse.de and www.antiquare.de
>>> Join the German Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association on Facebook