Warmer than Boston, more intimate and less formal than most other antiquarian book fairs, friendly, stylish, hip – Chelsea has it all! Over its life, the Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair has become a fixture in the November calendar for book collectors and dealers from Britain, Europe and America. Dealer and collectors love the fair: ‘See you at Chelsea’ has become a phrase familiar to everyone, not only in the British rare book trade.
And it’s not all about dealers and committed book people: the Chelsea Fair welcomes new collectors, too. With Christmas around the corner, are you looking for an unusual and memorable present? Or is there a subject, author or period of history that especially attracts you? Perhaps you have been thinking of collecting books but are unsure of where to start, what to look for, who to approach or what on earth booksellers mean by yapp edges, pochoir plates or slightly foxed ... If so, then Chelsea is the place to meet and talk to antiquarian booksellers who will be happy to answer – or attempt to answer – whatever questions are thrown at them.
The Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair offers an excellent opportunity to find the perfect antiquarian book among thousands brought to the Chelsea Old Town Hall from 7 to 8 November. Besides the exquisite, extraordinary and unique items showcased by more than 80 expert booksellers from the United Kingdom and abroad, book lovers will enjoy an amazing number of book-related talks and guided tours on Saturday:
11 am: THE VICTORIAN EXPLORERS ON SEVEN CONTINENTS
Bernhard Lauser of Voyager Press Books talks about books and manuscripts that helped to map the world!
12 noon: IN SEARCH OF THE ROMANTICS
A trawl by Alex Alec-Smith through the fair looking for the works of Byron, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth and other poets of their era. Finding first editions, beautiful bindings, contemporary and later biography and criticism - anything relating to these iconic writers.
1 pm: PRINTING AND THE CLASSICS
From the earliest printing in Europe to the 20th-century private press movement, many of the most significant printers and publishers have produced important and beautiful editions of Greek and Latin classical authors. Derek Walker of Blackwell’s Rare Books walks with you through the history of printing and scholarship by way of Homer, Virgil, Cicero, and others.
2 pm: METHODS OF BOOK ILLUSTRATION 1500-2000
Using examples from the books on view at the Book Fair, Greg Coombes of Francis Edwards Booksellers gives a brief introduction to a variety of processes and materials used in the illustration of printed books from early engraving to the Private Presses of the twentieth century.
3 pm: WAR POETS: A TRIP DOWN TRENCH LANE
On this Remembrance Sunday weekend, Sammy Jay from Peter Harrington Rare Books will be giving a tour of the Chelsea Book Fair to seek out and examine the very best Sassoons, Owens, Graveses and Blundens on offer, and to reveal some of the lesser known works of WWI Literature.
BOOK SIGNING – BIBLIOTHECA FICTIVA
On Friday from 5 to 7 pm, Arthur Freeman (co-winner of the 2004 ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography) will be signing copies of his new book “Bibliotheca Fictiva. A Collection of Books & Manuscripts Relating to Literary Forgery 400 BC – AD 2000”. "This wonderful catalogue introduces the reader to fake texts of every imaginable kind – ancient and modern, lurid and lively, stunningly skilful, and sublimely stupid – as well as the scholar detectives who exposed them. Read it and learn an immense amount about the heights – and the depths – of human creativity." (Anthony Grafton, Princeton University) It’s a categorical inventory of a collection of books and manuscripts relating to literary forgery, spanning some 24 centuries, which seeks also to define and describe the controversial genre it represents.
CHELSEA ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR - 7 to 8 November, 2014
Chelsea Old Town Hall
King’s Road, LONDON
The Fair will be open between 2pm and 7pm on Friday and from 11am to 5pm on Saturday. Chelsea Old Town Hall is located on the King's Road, (opposite Sydney Street) London SW3 5EE; nearest underground stations are South Kensington and Sloane Square and many buses stop nearby.
For more information, please visit the official website: www.chelseabookfair.com. (Pictures: www.chelseabookfair.com)