43rd Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, Nov 15-17

  • BOSTON, Massachusetts
  • /
  • November 04, 2019

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Kay Nielsen, original watercolor from "In Powder and Crinoline" illustrating the story, "Felicia or The Pot of Pinks, 1913."
Jonkers Rare Books

The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s beautiful Back Bay for its 43rd year, November 15-17, 2019. Featuring the collections and rare treasures of 132 booksellers from the U.S., England, Canada, Netherlands, France, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Hungary, and Argentina, the Boston Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about, and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, graphics, maps, atlases, photographs, fine and decorative prints, and much more.

Among the highlighted items for sale at this year’s fair will be an extremely rare extant version of the Second Folio of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. (with an epitaph from John Milton), 1632; the 1879 Bailey & Hazen Map of Boston, one of the most spectacular bird’s eye views of Boston ever published; the first edition of the 1611 King James “The Great He Bible,” arguably the most important book ever published in English; a rare 18th century Italian illustrated book of dice and card games, mathematical riddles, sleight-of-hand, and magic;.the first printing of Ernest Thayer's poem Casey at The Bat, 1901; a unique and significant collection of early 20th century documents from the National Liberal Immigration League; a set of Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion charts.(1662) from the Edo Period; an extraordinary collection of early 20th century Japanese woodblock prints; Russian Suprematist art and design from the 1920s; Original Dr. Pepper Advertising Art from the early 1960s; and rare and first editions of works by Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, William Blake, Albert Camus, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Betty Friedan, Aldous Huxley, Jack London, Edgar Allen Poe, Beatrix Potter, Ayn Rand, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Edith Wharton. 

Furuya Kôrin, designer. SHASEI SÔKA MOYÔ. Kyoto_ Unsôdô, Meiji 40 [1907]
Boston Book Company

One of the oldest and most respected antiquarian book shows in the country, the event offers a top selection of items available on the international literary market. Attendees have the unique chance to get a close look at rare and historic museum-quality items, offered by some of the most prestigious participants in the trade. Whether just browsing or buying, the Fair offers something for every taste and budget—books on art, politics, travel, gastronomy, and science to sport, natural history, literature, music, and children’s books—all appealing to a range of bibliophiles and browsers.

Special events at this year’s fair kick off with an Opening Night celebration on Friday, Nov. 15 from 4-8pm; and feature talks with MFA curator Meghan Melvin on the exhibition “Kay Nielsen’s Enchanted Vision” (Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2:30pm); “Getting Started in Family History,” by Alice Kane from the New England Historic Genealogical Society (Saturday, Nov. 16 at 12:30pm); and The Graphic Revolution, a two-part exploration looking at the explosion in the collecting and creation of graphic novels and comic books in the 20th & 21st centuries, highlighted by a panel discussion led by noted scholar Hillary Chute with local authors Tim Finn, Liz Prince, and Nick Thorkelson (Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1pm & 2pm).  On Sunday from 1-3pm, attendees can bring in their own books for FREE APPRAISALS!  For full programming details visit http://bostonbookfair.com/event-category/

For attendees wanting to start a collection without breaking the bank, there will be dealers offering “Discovery” items priced at $100 or less, including a selection of children’s books and decorative cloth bindings. The Fair is an opportunity to learn tips on how to start a collection and talk to dealers who are experts in their specialties.

Tickets are $25 for Friday night’s exclusive Opening Night event, an opportunity for the public to get a first look at items for sale at the Fair; admission is free on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, November 15              4:00-8:00pm             Tickets: $25.00 - Opening Night         
Saturday, November 16          12:00-7:00pm           Free Admission
Sunday, November 17             12:00-5:00pm          Free Admission


Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street
Boston, MA


The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is sponsored by the New England Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Boston Public Library and the American Antiquarian Society. Tickets are for sale at www.bostonbookfair.com and at the show’s box office during Friday evening show hours.  


For more information, please visit www.bostonbookfair.com or call 617-266-6540.


Facebook @BOSTONbookfair

Instagram @BOSTONbookfair

Tag us on social media: #BIABF19 

The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is produced by CommPromo, Inc. www.commpromo.com

For digital images, or for further media information, contact NinaJBerger@gmail.com or call 617-543-1595.






Opening Night | 4:00pm-8:00pm

The opening night of the Boston Book Fair is a special event that benefits the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Benevolent Fund. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the event or online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/43rd-boston-book-fair-opening-night-tickets-67582961457




Getting Started in Family History

Alice Kane, American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society | 12:30pm Exhibit Hall Theater

NOTE: The Genealogical Society is distributing free one-day passes to the American Ancestors Research Center to Fair attendees at the talk.



Enduring Enchantment: The Illustration Art of Kay Nielsen (1886-1957)

Meghan Melvin, Curator of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston | 2:30 pm | Exhibit Hall Theater


Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable | 4:00 pm Exhibit Hall Theater

The Ticknor Society’s Collectors. This year’s panelists include authors discussing their personal collections.

  • Paul Di Filippo, science fiction writer, “Fifteen Thousand Volumes of Fantastika”
  • Todd Hearon, poet, “The Poet’s Hand: A Collection of Signed and Rare Volumes from Pope to the Present”
  • Christopher F. Minty, historian, “Paper Trail Curiosities”




FREE Appraisals

Expert Book Appraisers | 1:00-3:00 pm Main Entrance


Beyond Words: The Wordless Novel in the first half of the 20th Century: Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, Otto Nuckel, Milt Gross, Helena Bochorakova-Dittrichova and Lawrence Hyde

Ken Sanders, Ken Sanders Rare Books | 1:00 pm Exhibit Hall Theater


The Graphic Revolution: Exploring the Comics Culture

Panel discussion moderated by Hillary L. Chute, with Tim Flynn, Liz Prince & Nick Thorkelson | 2:00 pm Exhibit Hall Theater



Nina J Berger

Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair
About Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

One of the oldest and most respected antiquarian book shows in the country, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is an event that offers the ‘crème de la crème’ of items that are available on the international literary market. Whether just browsing or buying, the Fair offers something for every taste and budget—books on art, politics, travel, gastronomy and science to sport, natural history, literature, music and children’s books.

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