London International Antiquarian Book Fair

The London International Antiquarian Book Fair is one of the highlights on the rare book calendar.  This year's fair begins on Thursday 24 May and continues until Saturday 26 May in the National Hall at the Olympia Exhibition Centre.

Visitors will see rare and collectable books offered for sale from the world’s finest booksellers.  The fair showcases a wide range of books and ephemera, stretching from 15th century antiquarian gems to hypermodern first editions.  

Organised by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) in collaboration with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the London International Antiquarian Book Fair has been in business for 55 years.

Many of the booksellers will be familiar to customers of AbeBooks. Bauman Rare Books, Paul Foster, Stephen Foster, Robert Frew, Adrian Harrington Rare Books, Peter Harrington, Jonkers Rare Books, Maggs Bros., Bernard Quaritch, Royal Books, Bernard Shapero, Sims Reed, Peter L Stern and Voyager Press Rare Books are just a handful of the 140+ exhibitors.

Friday 25 May features several lectures:

  • 13.30: The Libraries of the National Trust by NT’s Mark Purcell
  • 15.30:  And All Men Kill the Thing They Love by Ed Maggs
  • 16.30: Telling Good Books from Bad by Jolyon Hudson
  • 17.30: Libraries of the Mind by Donovan Rees of Bernard Quaritch Ltd

London International Antiquarian Book Fair
During the fair, there are numerous demonstrations and activities. Shepherds Bookbinders, the prestigious London firm, is staging a series of introductory bookbinding classes, Daniel Northwood will be demonstrating gold tooling and other bookbinding skills, Sharon Shaw be will teaching rudimentary calligraphy and the St Bride Foundation will be demonstrating printing and wood engraving.

The Olympia Exhibition Centre can be found on Hammersmith Road, London W14. Travel to Kensington (Olympia) on the District line from Earls Court. The venue is next to the station. Tickets to the Fair are free if you register in advance, or may be purchased on the door for £10 each, £15 for two.

Visitors will see many collectable treasures, including the original illustrations for Roald Dahl’s Danny, Champion of the World, a handwritten account of Martin Chuzzlewit, a first edition of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service signed by Ian Fleming, a signed expense account for the Sex Pistols from their last gig, a copy of Nicholas Nickleby signed by Charles Dickens, a pocket volume, 30-volume set of The Works of Charles Dickens in a custom-made presentation cabinet (pictured at right), a first edition of The Waves by Virginia Woolf and first editions of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Great Expectations, Origin of Species, Peter and Wendy and The Little Prince.




First Edition Books Signed Books Britain in Pictures