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Exhibitor Highlights for the 2019 Firsts London Rare Book Fair

From June 7 – 9th, 2019, more than 150 dealers from the UK and around the world will gather to offer their rare and beautiful works including books, maps, manuscripts, art and ephemera at the Firsts – London fair.

Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair is the jewel in the crown of Rare Books London, a multi-location festival celebrating all facets of the rare book trade in London.

Brought to you by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) under the auspices of ILAB, all booksellers and exhibitors at the fair are committed to dealing at the very highest levels and their expertise is second to none.

Biblio is proud to partner with the ABA as the Official Partner for the Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair 2019.

Here’s a peek at some of the Exhibitor Highlights – more to come!


John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller

Biblio bookseller since 2005
San Francisco, California, United States

Since 1989, John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has offered an exceptional selection of rare books and manuscripts from medieval times through the twentieth century in their downtown San Francisco bookshop. They are actively purchasing books and manuscripts in all fields, especially medieval illuminated and text manuscripts; material on California, Hawaii, and Pacific voyages; illustrated books and fine bindings from the 15th through the 20th century; and fine press printing. William Blake, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Frognall Dibdin remain special interests. In 2016, Windle opened the William Blake Gallery in San Francisco, the largest collection of works by and about William Blake in the world.

Highlights for the Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair 2019 from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller:

The Movement of Plants (1880)

by Charles Darwin, assisted by Francis Darwin

Published by John Murray in London in 1880, this first edition, first issue is inscribed by Charles Darwin to his daughter Elizabeth and is illustrated by 196 in-text woodcuts. Current Biblio listing: $125,000.

Thorton’s Pastorals of Virgil (1821)

By William Blake

These volumes contain Blake’s only woodcuts, now among the most influential woodcuts in the history of British Art. As described by the bookseller, a William Blake expert – this is ‘a very fine edition of a scarce work in any condition, as it was used in schools.’ Current Biblio listing: $67,500


Foster Books

Biblio bookseller since 2005
London, United Kingdom

Stephen Foster at Foster Books is housed in a historic 18th-century bow-windowed building, the oldest shop on Chiswick High Road. They have been trading books at that location for almost 50 years, where you can browse their cataloged and uncatalogued merchandise.

Highlights for the Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair 2019 from Foster Books:


Book of Pin-Ups (1965)

by David Bailey

First edition of an increasingly scarce book, complete with 36 half-tone photographic portraits from the iconic English photographer. Current Biblio listing: £7,500


Madoc Books (ABA-ILAB)

Biblio bookseller since 2006
Conwy, United Kingdom

Madoc Books deals in fine & rare antiquarian books in the heart of North Wales. Their general stock of rare books includes but is not limited to history, topography, private press and items with a Welsh interest. They buy similar antiquarian books and will also provide valuations. As members of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, the Independent Online Booksellers Association and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, they regularly exhibit at book fairs throughout the country.

Highlights for the Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair 2019 from Madoc Books:

The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia (1842-1849)

by David Roberts, Rev. George Croly

These 3 volumes with one map and 142 hand-colored tinted lithographs are often considered the finest illustrated work on the Near East. Current Biblio listing: £47,500

Scenes of Clerical Life (1858)

by George Eliot

A first edition published by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London. Scenes of Clerical Life is the title under which George Eliot’s first published fictional work, a collection of three short stories, was released in book form, and the first of her works to be released under her famous pseudonym. The stories, The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton, Mr. Gilfil’s Love-Story, and Janet’s Repentance were first published in Blackwood’s Magazine over the course of the year 1857, initially anonymously, before being released as a two-volume set by Blackwood and Sons in January 1858. Current Biblio listing: £6,000


Paul Foster Books

Biblio bookseller since 2006
London, United Kingdom

Paul Foster Books has been selling rare, antiquarian, and vintage books since 1990. His book room in Chiswick is open by appointment only.

Highlights from the Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair 2019 from Paul Foster Books:

The Importance of Being Earnest (1899)

by Oscar Wilde

This first edition, published by Leonard Smithers and Co. in London, is one of 100 large paper copies printed on Dutch handmade paper, numbered, and signed by Oscar Wilde. Current Biblio listing £37,500

A Study in Scarlet (1888)

by Arthur Conan Doyle

This first edition of Doyle’s first book and the first Sherlock Holmes novel was published by Ward, Lock, and Co. in London in 1888. Current Biblio listing £25,000


Stay tuned for more highlights from Firsts: London!

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