Summer Rare Book Fair ‘Firsts London’ Opened by Stephen Fry

London First

The 62nd edition of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association’s Summer Rare Book Fair – Firsts London takes place in London’s Battersea Park from Friday 7th June to Sunday 9th June.

This year’s line-up includes:

* More than 150 exhibitors from around the world.
* Opening by actor, writer and bibliophile Stephen Fry, at noon on Friday – watch Stephen talk about his passion for rare books at Rare Books Los Angeles.
* Shakespeare’s First Folio coming home after forty years – seen on show for the first time the Shakespeare’s Globe First Folio. Visit this and other Highlights from the John Wolfson Rare Book Collection in the exhibition staged with the Globe on the Mezzanine Level. More here.
* A limited number of tickets to hear John Wolfson curator of Rare Books at the Shakespeare’s Globe give a short talk about his unrivalled Collection which includes all four Shakespeare Folios, quartos of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, nearly every Restoration adapation of a Shakespeare play, and some witty Shakespeare ephemera. 3.20pm Friday 7 June.
* The Evolving State of Internet Bookselling – a lively panel discussion led by Official Partner Biblio‘s CEO Brendan Sherar and Luke Lozier, Principal at Bibliopolis. 11.30am Sunday 9 June.
* Discovery Day – bring up to five items to be appraised by experts. 1-3pm Sunday 9 June.

Stephen Fry as Malvolio in the Shakespeare’s Globe production of Twelfth Night, 2012. Photo – Simon Annand

Exhibitor highlights (seen at top) include:

Charlotte Du Rietz Rare Books (Stand N09) Pamphlet of Rolf de Mare’s Les Ballets Suédois. Paris 1923. Illustrated throughout with photos and coloured illustrations. Original pictorial wrappers, covers with colour designs by Fernand Léger. Rolf de Maré’s creative Ballets Suédois, with Jean Börlin as chief choreographer, was active between 1920 and 1925. This booklet was produced in connection with the Ballets’ first American tour which started in November 1923.

BAS Books (Stand J02) Revolutionary Flag Bearer – an original by acclaimed designer E McKnight Kauffer, 1925. One of five advertising showcards created for Charles Eneu Johnson & Co Printing Inks of Philadelphia. The other four original designs in the series are held in the Prints & Drawings Collection at the V&A, London. Read more here.

James M Pickard Rare Books (Stand H03) Parker Pyne Investigates – an Agatha Christie first edition published in 1934 by Collins, and the only copy for sale in the World at this time. It is of legendary scarcity in a dust wrapper.

Justin Croft Antiquarian Books (Stand G10). A Midsummer Night’s Dream illustrated by Robert Anning Bell and handcoloured by Gloria Cardew. Fine green morocco binding in the style of the Guild of Women Bookbinders. Cardew’s work was eagerly collected but her biography remains a mystery.

Attendance for talks, discussions and appraisals is on a first-come first-served basis. To attend, sign up at the Information Desk in the Foyer when you arrive.

The River Bus is a fun and fast way to get to the fair from Central London; Battersea Power Station Pier is only 20 minutes from Embankment Pier and 34 minutes from Tower Pier. Travel with MBNA Thames Clippers between 7-9 June and save 1/3 off Single and Return tickets by entering the code FIRSTS2019 when booking your tickets online. Book your ticket here.

Friday 7 June noon – 8pm £20 For Two or free entry with ticket
Saturday 8 June 11am – 7pm Free entry
Sunday 9 June 11am – 5pm Free entry

Free shuttles between Sloane Square and Battersea Park

Delicious hot & cold food and drinks are available in the café and bar area

Download your complimentary ticket for Firsts London here.

Print or show on your phone upon arrival

Saturday 8 June – 11.30am & 5.30pm Sunday 9 June – 11.30am
An Introduction to Rare Books

Friday 7 June – 4.30pm
Bookwomen & Books by Women with AN Devers, owner of The Second Shelf bookshop.

To attend, sign up at the Information Desk in the Foyer. Tour starts from the Tour Stop near the cafe.

Saturday 8 June – noon & 5.30pm Sunday 9 June – noon
Shakespeare at Source: Highlights from The John Wolfson Rare Book Collection with Adam Douglas, Senior Specialist at Peter Harrington.

To attend, sign up at the Information Desk in the Foyer. This tour meets at the bottom of the stairs leading to the Mezzanine in the Foyer. More details about LIVE Talks, Tours and Demonstrations here.

See also:

Rare Bookseller Peter Harrington Launches World Literature Exhibition and Catalogue

The Folio Society looks to sci-fi themes with luxuriously illustrated classic books

Bloomsbury Book Auctions Sells Valuable Books





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