Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The New York Antiquarian Book Fair, held at The Park Avenue Armory on April 10 through the 12th, with a preview day on Thursday, April 9. The event brings a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera for public view.
Each year on the Sunday of the fair, exhibitors offer their expertise to attendees. Discovery Day allows visitors to bring up to five items to discuss with experts. While formal appraisals are not given, dealers will discuss authenticity and condition, giving informal appraisals. Past Discovery Days have yielded been some breathtaking discoveries including part of a Shakespeare second folio of Richard III. A first edition of Curious George with dust jacket was appraised at $3000. Also unearthed were original photographs of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s designs for stained glass. A first edition of the classic Beat novel, On the Road, was valued at $5000-$7000. Maritime history buffs were thrilled to discover that their edition of Cooke’s Voyages and Atlas were valued at $30,000. Exhibitors can examine items in most specialties, periods, and languages.
The Park Avenue Armory was built by New York State’s prestigious Seventh Regiment of the National Guard, the first volunteer militia to respond to President Lincoln’s call for troops in 1861. Members of what was known as the “Silk Stocking” Regiment included New York’s most prominent Gilded Age Families including the Vanderbilts, Van Rensselaers, Roosevelts, Stewarts, Livingstons and Harrimans. Built as both a military facility and a social club, the reception rooms on the first floor and the Company Rooms on the second floor were designed by the most prominent designers and artists of the day including Louis Comfort Tiffany, Stanford White, Herter Brothers and Pottier & Stymus.
The Armory’s 55,000 square foot drill hall, reminiscent of the original Grand Central Depot and the great train sheds of Europe, remains one of the largest unobstructed spaces of its kind in New York. A marvel of engineering in its time, it was designed by Regiment veteran and architect Charles W. Clinton, later a partner of Clinton & Russell, architects of the Apthorp Apartments and the famed, now demolished, Astor Hotel.As part of the Armory’s 2012 Malkin Lecture Series, Military Historian and Park Avenue Armory Chairman Elihu Rose presents an overview of more than 200 years of New York City military history through one hometown regiment.
Park Avenue Armory is an arts institution dedicated to work that benefits from the freedom of the building’s vast drill hall and its constellation of magnificent period rooms. Filling a crucial niche in the cultural landscape of New York City, the Armory catalyzes productions best realized in a non-traditional setting. Park Avenue Armory partners with the City’s leading cultural institutions on unconventional projects that introduce New Yorkers to the Armory as an alternative art space of scale.
Since 1979, Sanford Smith has created and managed art, antiques, and design events in various genres. Some, such as Modernism and Works on Paper ran for 25 years. Others, such as The Print Fair and the International Book Fair are still running.