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Reaching Out for Rare Books

The New York Times’ Wendy Moonan previews the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, which opened today at noon at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue at 67th Street and continues through Sunday. Some of the treasures up for bidding include The Manhattan gallery Cohen & Taliaferro‘s exhibit of a seemingly ordinary, pigskin-bound set of books, but with wonders inside. Theodore de Bry‘s “Grand Voyages” is a 13-part work in German with maps, plates and descriptions of the New World. Cohen also plans to have antique English globes in his booth, and an exceptional hand-colored 16th-century world map by the Dutch cartographer Cornelis de Jode. It depicts the hemispheres from the poles rather than from the more conventional vantage point, the Equator.

I almost wish I could attend it myself, though my (very limited) experiences of such book fairs is that there’s a small kernel of humor wrapped around an ever-thickening amount of pretension. But having the chance to hold 16th century folios and other artistic treasures is definitely worth the price of admission…

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