The 63rd Annual New York International Antiquarian Book Fair will take over the drill hall at New York City’s historic Park Avenue Armory this April 27th through 30th. The 55,000 square foot space will be packed with rare booksellers from all over the world and their unique treasures. Along with books, the vendors will also be selling maps, historical documents, photographs, prints, memorabilia, and ephemera covering a wide variety of topics such as art, design, popular culture, science, medicine, literature, history, gastronomy, fashion, music, philosophy, and much more. While the idea of an antiquarian book fair might strike some as stuffy and boring, this selection is anything but. Here, we take a look at 10 of the rarest and most surprising items up for sale, from a book about bread to fake band memorabilia and photographs from space!
1. The Book of Bread
One of the most quirky items up for sale at the New York book fair will be an extremely rare “edition de luxe” of The Book of Bread brought by Roland Belgrave Vintage Photography. This early photobook of life-sized photographic reproductions of bread loaf cross sections was originally intended as a technical monograph on bread-making for manufacturers. Today, the book is recognized as a work of conceptual art.
Nineteenth-century photobooks like this one were created to serve as an archive in which the things of the world were stored and cataloged. Only 350 copies of the “edition de luxe” were made. What sets this edition apart from the standard edition is that it is bound in morocco rather than the usual publisher’s green cloth. It also contains more pages and different advertisements. The most significant differentiation however is that the “edition de luxe” features 10 bromide prints, as opposed to just 2 in the standard edition. Inside, there are images of different types of bread from a crumby loaf to a prize tin loaf.