London (by Maria Federico) – Sir David Attenborough will open the ABA (Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association Fair) Rare Book Fair in Central London at Battersea park on 24th May. Just moved from the original location Olympia, the ABA Book Fair celebrates old and rare books with also special events from Thursday 24th May to Saturday 26th May, whose admission is free of charge.
“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 […]”. That’s what David Attenborough wrote in his introduction for this year’s Fair catalogue. Sir David Attenborough, the famous broadcaster, writer and naturalist, is an enthusiastic collector of rare book.
Just turned 92 years old, he is an Honorary member of the ABA and he will present the Antiquarian Booksellers Association where more than 160 British and international exhibitors will show books, manuscripts and prints of all ages and prices from tens of pounds to hundred thousands of pounds.
Amongst the editions, some highlights of this year will be the original, signed and inscribed illustration by EH Shepard, which was first used for AA Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner, a first edition of The Federalist essays by Alexander Hamilton, a collection of theatre designs by Eugene Berman for Don Giovanni performed by the Metropolitan Opera and an inscribed copy of Grace and Favour by Loelia Duchess of Westminster with forward by Noel Coward.
As early mentioned, events will take place that will mainly focused on live books craft demonstrations. In this way, families are invited to calligraphy or books binding’s hands-on workshops. Furthermore, the ‘New Vintage corner’ is taking place, where visitors can listen to talks of books collecting.
About the ABA Book Fair
It is the oldest book’s organisation dating back to 1906, whose members have always been selected depending on their proven experience in this particular area, who also have to provide the authenticity of their books made available for sales.
The ABa’s first exhibition was held in Albermarle Street in 1958 with 9 country members and 19 booksellers. From that time on, the Fair started to become famous by enlarging their team too, until it moved in Olympia and now its newly relocated flagship fair is in Battersea Park. Over the years the Fair has been opened by famous people such as Arold Wilson, Ted Heath, Barry Humphries, Lady Antonia Fraser or Tom Stoppard. The ABA runs book fairs not just in London but it is extended across Great Britain and the British Isles.