Feb 20

WABF Returns Bringing Together Rare Books and Bibliophiles

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

Filed under: press release


WAMU 88.5’s Metro Connection host Rebecca Sheir Moderates Panel: Bestsellers Then & Now

March 6-7, 2015

WASHINGTON – 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.
  • Wildest book: A book of illustrations from celebrated children’s book writer and author of “Where the Wild Things Are” Maurice Sendak. This first edition is fully illustrated, includes color fold-outs and a functioning pop-up. Book comes from First Folio (Booth 1). 
  • Most expensive item: $75,000 “Pansies” painting by Elizabeth Bishop from James 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:

Friday, March 6:

  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM: Bestsellers Then & Now presented by WAMU 88.5  - Join WAMU 88.5's Metro Connection host Rebecca Sheir as she sits down with Brian Cassidy, ABAA and Eileen McGervey to chat about how a book becomes a bestseller and explore the world of old and new.

Tickets are $20 and also get you access to the fair for the weekend. 

Saturday, March 7:

Shenandoah Room

  • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Lecture on conservation by Dan Paterson of the Library of Congress and President – Potomac Chapter Guild of Bookworkers. Lecture titled: Book Conservation at the Library of Congress
  • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM: Lecture by Dan De Simone the Eric Weinmann Librarian at the Folger Shakespeare Library . Lecture titled: Building Collections: Private Collectors and Research Libraries in Search of the Perfect Book.
  • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM: Lecture by Beth Curren of Camel Leopold Press titled  “Real and Imagined:  Encyclopedias from Diderot to Borges.”


  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM: 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 (Booth 17b) and long-time exhibitor Jeffrey Marks (Rare Books - Booth 26b) and Paul Collinge (Heartwood Books – Booth 23).
  • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Bookbinding demonstration by Jill Deiss of Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding.

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 Wabf.com.
Social Media:  Twitter: @theWABF
Facebook: Facebook.com/thewabf
Hashtag: #WABF15
Event Information: Tickets available for purchase at Wabf.com. $14 for Friday and Saturday, $8 for Saturday only. Members of the public who have questions should call (202) 363-4999 or email bcampbell@wabf.com.
Media: Members of the media who have questions, requests or need photos, should contact Emily Helpern at ehelpern@scottcircle.com; w: (202) 695-8224, c: (818) 516-9513.



It is with the reading of books the same as looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, and with assurance, admire what is beautiful. - Vincent van Gogh