Thursday, February 12, 2015

Washington Antiquarian Book Fair Celebrates 40th Anniversary

From our friends at the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair...

Washington Antiquarian Book Fair Returns for Its 40th Year, Bringing Together Rare Books and Bibliophiles

Featuring the First American Edition of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” - Appraised at $30,000

It’s time to put down your e-readers and experience a bit of history! Have you ever seen a $30,000 book? Or a book that is hundreds of years old? Now is your chance when the 40th annual Washington Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the nation’s capital from March 6-7, 2015.

The Washington Antiquarian Book Fair is the rarest, most curated antique book fair in the D.C. region. Visitors can touch, discover and purchase rare books, manuscripts, autographs, maps and more, while experiencing the thrill of the hunt.

Items of Interest:
  • Most expensive book: $30,000 first American edition of world-renowned novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain. Hailing from B&B Rare Books in New York, NY (Booth #13), attendees will have the opportunity to touch this piece of history.
  • Most expensive item: $75,000 “Pansies” painting by Elizabeth Bishop fromJames S. Jaffe Rare Books LLC (Booth #30). Bishop’s paintings are extremely rare - only about 40 are known and were painted privately for the poet’s pleasure. “Pansies” is perhaps the most important painting, presented by Bishop to her lover Lota de Macedo Soares.
  • Quirkiest: The Hermit of Siskiyou, or The Twice-Old Man is a 19th-century poem by L.W. Musick with one very interesting feature: it is the first mention in book form of the legend of Big Foot (Sasquatch). Brian Cassidy, local bookseller, will be bringing this unique find to the fair (Booth #10).
  • Oldest book: Icones Biblicae Veteris et N.Testamenti dates back almost three centuries (1729) and is illustrated by Jan Luyken, one of the most important illustrators of his time. The book is complete with 62 full-page engravings and is brought to the festival by Rosenlund Rare Books and Manuscripts (Booth #51).
The book fair will offer rare collections in almost every area of interest imaginable - including travel, food, the arts, science and medicine, classic literature, modern first editions and illustrated books. Whether you’re a seasoned book collector looking to complete your collection or the novice visitor, there’s truly something for everyone. 

Over the course of two days, the fair will also host a series of exciting programs including:
  • It’s like “Antique Roadshow,” but for books! Bring your own historic book and get it appraised by founding exhibitor Allan Stypeck of Second Story Books and long-time exhibitor Jeffrey Marks. Other appraisers to be confirmed soon.
  • Lecture by Beth Curren of Camel Leopold Press titled “Real and Imagined: Encyclopedias from Diderot to Borges.”
  • Lecture with Dan Paterson of the Library of Congress and President - Potomac Chapter Guild of Bookworkers.
Full schedule and program to be announced soon. 

What: 40th annual Washington Antiquarian Book Fair

When: March 6, 2015; 5:00 - 9:00 PM
March 7, 2015; 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM  

Where: Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge
Rosslyn Ballroom, Shenandoah Suite & Dogwood Room
1900 North Fort Myer Drive; Arlington, VA 22209

Website: Additional information will be available at a later date at

Social Media: Twitter: @theWABF

Hashtag: #WABF15

Event Information: Tickets available for purchase at $14 for Friday and Saturday, $8 for Saturday only. Members of the public who have questions should call 202-363-4999 or email