happy new year, hugh boar yous, i am in for ron swisher. we are here to talk about something coming up next month, 44th antiquarian book fair. if you haven't made it out to see the impressionist show you should get out there is a lot related to art and supplements faith. antiquarian book fair coming up next month, concourse exhibition center february 11 to 13. steve is here to start us off, welcome welcome. >> thank you. >> tell us about this book fair. >> yes, officially we are the
44th annual california international antiquarian book fair it alternates year by year with los angeles we are here in san francisco odd numbered years and los angeles even numbered years our san francisco fair is the largest antiquarian book fair in the world at this time. we have 240 dealers from 25 states and 11 countries, offering a real mosaic of products, from rare books, man scripts, maps, printed ephemera to antiquarian items. >> so when we go down there where is it gain? >> concourse exhibition center 8th and brannon. >> so you walk in for two days. >> three days. >> with a do i see?
>> a wide array of rarities from books printed books and -- >> are they laid out on tables? >> booths? >> yeah, 237 booths i think this year, each dealer representing themselves and their business in their own booth, essentially becomes their business premises for the weekend, and they are usually more than happy to talk to anyone about their specialties, and what they have for sale. and they are very well informed about what they are selling. and you can find experts in juvenile books, children's books, history of exploration, medieval studies, california history, just anything really anything that has a defined specialty area of interest will
be represented there. >> what does the antiquarian have to do with this? >> it is a funny word somewhat archaic but it refers to artifacts of the past. and it used to be a common enough firm to describe a person interested in the past through the study of relics of the past. >> people would be more antiques would be something -- >> yeah, kind of the more modern term. >> so how old does something have to be before it is antiquarian. >> good question i don't have a ready answer for that. >> give us a ballpark. >> well, antiquarian, 100 years. >> okay. stretching back and back and back. >> back and back and back yeah, you will see -- seems i remember someone having a sumarian scroll or clay tablets those go back to bc. >> that is old. steve is with us we will be
we are back we are talking about books, old bookthe antiquarian book fair, 44th annual buy biennial fair, i want to urge you to go out. we are joined with boris of plaza books in the city you both in the city? >> i am in the town of sonoma. >> santa rosa. >> well, shows you what i know. let's go back we were talking about the display of antiquarian books and you brought steve, a couple books show us one. >> yeah, i just brought two books they are keeping in what i said before the the
antiquarian book is an art fact of the past so one book i brought historical atlas of sonoma county california, printed 1877, and it is really a remarkable survival of 130 years. >> can we open it up and have a look. >> we can. >> there is the cover. >> yeah. >> so this was printed in 1877, it show cases sonoma county both as a i guess a destination for potential settlers, and an opportunity to locals. >> maps and stuff. >> yeah. >> pictures. >> got the whole deal. >> these are lithographs of homesteads and ranches. this type of county atlas was
really a complete description of the place and most california counties had these books published. >> this is 1877. >> 1877. >> do you specialize in california? >> i do. i sell california history and this atlas is a rare one and it is very very rare in this condition. this is the kind of book that over the years people remove the maps or lithographs. >> slice them up and frame them. >> yeah, so what got you interested in california history books? >> well, my business is in the town of sonoma you could possibly argue that is where the state of california began, 1846 was the bear flag revolt where citizens of california actually american citizens came together to as certificate control of california and united states to take the state. >> how long have you been doing
this? >> 25 years. >> how did you get started? >> i started as a reader and then a collector and worked for other dealers and ultimately 1985 opened my own business and. >> that is quite awhile. >> it is. >> so how many books will you bring down to the book fair? >> i bring about 300 books. >> yow >> >> yeah it is close to home i can bring a lot i don't have to ship them. >> how many books will you have in stock? >> i have an open shop i have 6,000 books at my store. >> 6,000. >> open shop means what? >> i have a store front in a commercial district downtown sonoma, many of my colleagues work from their homes or from private offices that are by appointment only but i still have a street presence. >> you just show up in sonoma,
there you are. >> you can come to my door, walk in and buy a book. >> great you will bring some down boris tell us about your store. >> well, my store is a little different although i had a store for about 15 years in sonoma as well and was right on the plaza, my name of my shop was plaza books, it is now located in my dining room in santa rosa. i don't think i have a thousand books but that is enough for me to make a living and have a good -- make a good presentation of material on a particular subject unlike steve i have specialized in an area s steve what what we call a general shop, you can really find a little bit of everything in steve's shop with me you can't there is only one thing that i am really interested in
and i am passionately interested in is mexico. anything regarding mexico particularly colonial mexico is of interest to me i go down there frequently i speak spanish i used to go to spain periodically to collect items i am always looking for items on mexico. and because i operate from my home, i don't have a lot of customers that come in, they are welcome to come, they just need to call me, but i deal mostly with libraries, and -- but i do have private customers as well including customers in mexico in fact i recently sold an item to carlos slean the famous mexican billionair.
>> what book did he buy? >> a little almanac done 1840 mexico and it was particularly charming because it had young mexican senioritas in the dresses and hand colored and it was charming and extremely well produced piece of typography from mexico of that period. >> we will come back to you in the next segment steve before we trade seats out here you brought another book. >> this is an old bible, this is what is called generally the king james bible, and this particular example was printed in 1640, the first edition of the king james bible was 1611, now this one is remarkable for the condition it is in. >> may i hold it? >> this is probably original binding from 1640. >> really? >> and it is further
ornamented. >> preachers like this kind of stuff. >> that's right. yeah. >> it is just another remarkable survival nearly 400 years old and almost in the condition that it was created in. >> it looks brand new. >> yeah. >> you can -- >> what is intriguing about it it has these brass bosses on the front engraved on those is latin phrase, ricardari matrim to remember mother and the name johanne strode i am still working on identifying. >> how do you come in possession of that? >> i bought that from someone who brought it to my in my store she purchased it in
london several decades ago. >> i am amazed i don't get to see a king james bible every day. >> from that era. >> well, this is super. >> you notice something about this, is the paper, how fresh and pliable the paper is. >> yeah, paper has not improved overtime paper manufacture until the late 19th century was almost entirely made from linen and cotton rags. there was no other way, paper lasts longer than modern paper. >> that is why there is guilt. >> that's right it prevents dust from settling. >> king james bible. steve from sonoma, coming down
were here two years ago boris let's find out what you have in your sack for us. >> okay glad to do it i just want to make one point hugh we are antiquarian book dealers and did define an anti ware january book roughly as 100 years old but we have many books among our exhibitors that are much newer than that a rare book could be stein beck we have steinbeck and faulkner. >> and sax romer. >> that is my interest. >> it is not just for the oldies and moldies which interests me i brought one here this is a mexican print because i am a specialist in mexico and this book is bound in vellum the lining to of a sheep or cow's stomach and one of the
toughest materials known it never deteriorates, and it just is a wonderful binding material they should use it still in my opinion. >> hear that crackle. >> that's right. this is the fine linen rag paper. this is meant for a priest, is printed in mexico 1750 and meant for a priest and the unusual thing about this book is it is sermonthey are in the astec language so he could communicate with his congregation. >> i was going to ask you borrow that i am a little short for sunday but nowatle what does it sound like? can you read any of it? >> no and even the
pronunciation is a mouthful. >> is printed in roman or air back script. >> that's right arabic script. >> may i hold that? >> sure. >> it is surprisingly light. >> right and even when you are dealing with an old book, of come value, several thousand dollars they tend to handle, they are not so fragile it is maizing how durable and strong old books are. and that cannot be said of many thing that is are 300 years old, 250 years old that is a sturdy item. another thing i brought. >> face nateed. >> which i said i like the oldies and moldies. that is old. >> how old? >> 1750. >> this was not quite so old,
1810, mexican book but there is a problem with this book and the problem is that a bookworm got ahold of it before i could and we hear about bookworms, and well, what is a bookworm, i didn't think they existed i thought they were a figment of someone's imagination but they are not they did exist they are quite real. >> there are holes in the pages. >> there are holes in the pages not only holes almost becoming lace at a certain point because a book work has gotten into the book and eaten. >> yeah, you can see. >> eaten the paper. >> pretty design. >> it is a pretty design. >> so unfortunately, the presence of the bookworm not there any more thank god because it would be a serious problem in my collection if i had a live book work. >> do you know what they look like? >> i don't i have never seen one.
i have seen their trails. >> i have. >> okay. >> well, it is a small -- very small worm about the size of a silver fish or a little smaller they love the glue and the backs of the bindings they are often where they eat in the gutters. >> that's right. >> before we get on to john, where did you develop this love of mexican bookold mexican -- >> well, i grew up in new mexico, i am new mexican and the culture i have always liked the culture. so i had a shop for quite awhile and wanted to gradually specialize in what area what area should i specialize in, i had the spanish and i thought specializing in mexico would be a great opportunity to get into a field that no one really knew anything about. >> plus in the wintertime you get to go down.
>> that's right. >> let's turn to you john as we move. you are downtown shop, san francisco is where? >> 49 gary >> how long have you been there? >> downtown 30 years we have one of the oldest book shops downtown san francisco. same floor as when dell antiquarian book sellers a couple of us there. i have mostly 18th and 19th centuries first editions but also some modern editions, bibliography, californiaana. but i concentrate. >> why? >> that is my personal interest i think a lot of book sellers like boris talking about the mexican connection it is a personal interest it grows into our business. >> you brought something for us to look at. >> i brought an original man script of a poem by emily
dickinson. and this is a poem she sent to a friend of hers she wrote to a neighbor mrs. henry hill you want to hold that up. >> it is about -- >> in a little plastic. >> one and a half pages. >> will you read that? >> yes, i have it here. she wrote to her friend a consolation about a young boy in the neighbourhood died she said the power to control is not within corporal reach though it attempt is precious to die before it learned to die may have been a boon and emily dickinson was famous for sentiments like that, and this is typical of a lot of the man scripts you will see at this show they are not just books there are man scripts. >> pieces. >> yeah. >> that's great i don't want to be booned like that quite yet. how about this red book.
>> this is an entirely different kettle of fish this is address and recommendations to the states by the united states congress in 1,783,000 this is before the constitution, when we were operating under the articles confederation this is like a congressional report to the people they sent these out to the 13 states. what it is all about it has pieces by george washington madison, hamilton it mentions jefferson a piece by benjamin franklin what it boils down to they are figuring out how to pay for the revolutionary war they just won they can't figure out how to tax people they are arguing about how can we raise the general fund and pay for this if our grandchildren will be in debt same thing we are arguing ability today. >> a series of essays. >> reports. someone else will make a counter recommendation we can't tax them like that.
>> federalist. >> exactly very genesis and that resulted in the u.s. constitution five years later. >> what is that book worth? >> a couple thousand dollars. two thousand dollars. >> it is in great shape. >> it was made from paper they are talking about, boris was talking about, steve, that good rag paper it survives. >> super stuff. we will be right back we will take a break when we come back boris and john, and the 44th biennial. antiquarian book fair
i've been mispronouncing john's name from brick you books i think i have been doing that for years. >> you are forgiven. >> why did you get in this? why do you stay in this? what is the future -- >> i think there is a great future for antiquake january books or general new books i -- antiquarian books, or general new books my mother read constantly as a child why does this seem more valuable than other, what does first edition mean that just evolved and then
i found out later i could get into this business and did it as fast as i could. >> congratulations running a small business and staying in business is not easy in these times. boris you were going to talk about an opportunity for people to bring their books to this fair. >> absolutely on sunday afternoon, we have the fair from friday to sunday, and sunday afternoon, you can bring any old book that you have that you would like to have appraised a maximum of three, honestly we don't have time to do a library but you can bring some books you would like to have appraised we will have experts there who will be able to give you a fair -- because we are experts in this field this is what we know. >> another reason to come down to the antiquarian book fair, concourse exhibition center i am reading here february 11th through 13th, go down enjoy it whether you are just looking or