Today Sir David Attenborough Opens the 61st ABA Rare Book Fair, London

Written by on 24th May 2018

London – The world-famous naturalist, book collector and Honorary Member of the ABA Sir David Attenborough will cut the ribbon and open the 61st ABA Rare Book Fair, at its new home in Battersea Park.  As Sir David says…

“For me, a book brings more than the cumulative meaning of its sentences. It can seduce me by the feel of its paper and the smell of its binding. I delight in recognising whether or not the copy I hold was the work’s first appearance and treasure the misprints or bound-in advertisements that tell me whether or not that was so. And I rejoice if I can discover who once owned it and whose eyes once scanned the printed lines just as mine do.”

LondonONEradio Sir David Attenborough

LondonONEradio Sir David Attenborough during our interview

Over 180 exhibitors from all over the UK and world will be showcasing an amazing array of rare books, manuscripts, maps, prints, ephemera and original artwork and during the next 3 days there will also be some enthralling demonstrations and talks taking place.

The organisers are sure there will be something which will appeal to everyone from serious collectors, to those who are new to book collecting as well as those who have an interest in the craft of book making. As Tony Fothergill, Chairman of the ABA Fair Committee says “there are certainly discoveries to be made, and wonders to explore over the next three days.”


What to See

Monty Python – The Book of the Film (1975) – Shapero Rare Books – Stand E12

An exceptional opportunity to acquire a pivotal prop from the original ‘Book of the Film’ as used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Authenticated and signed by Eric Idle. (£35,000);

Thomas’s Christmas Party by Rev. W. Awdry (1984) – Jonkers Rare Books – Stand G01

A fine, first edition of this Thomas the Tank Engine story signed by Ringo Starr, who narrated the TV series, and the author (£750);

Vermeer in Bosnia by Lawrence Weschler (2004)– Neil Pearson Rare Books – Stand B03

First edition, presentation copy inscribed by Sigourney Weaver to Alan Rickman (£5,000) which forms part of the Alan Rickman archive, the actor, Neil Pearson is selling;

Diamonds are Forever by Ian Fleming (1956– Adrian Harrington Rare Books – StandC12

An exceptional, scarce, fine, first edition copy, signedby the authorand which is unread (£32,500);

Gandhi postcard & Guestbook (1931) – John Randall (Books of Asia) – Stand K02

A postcard written and signed by Mahatma Gandhi and 2 guestbookswhich it was found with (£10,000);

The Sopwith Strata (1839) – Ken Spelman Books Ltd – Stand D02

One of the very first, and most extensive, cross sections of the geology of Britain. A hand-coloured42 feet long manuscript still in its original metal canister. This is a unique and important discovery as no other copy appears to have been produced, or has been traced.(£95,000);

George V Autograph Letter (1877) – Sophie Dupré– Stand N03

An exceptional autographed letter written and signed by George V to his tutor in which he describes Ostend as “a very funny country” (£1,075);

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (1937) – Peter Harrington Rare Books – Stand J12

This first edition was one of only 2 copies rushed off the press before publication so that Tolkien, who was nervous about its reception, could show it to a local publisher. It was then bound up in a unique jewelled binding (£100,000);

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie (1933) – James M. Pickard – Stand Q04

An outstanding first edition of one of the rarest Christie titles in its original dust wrapper (£27,500).


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