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An International Rare Book Fair: Beautiful Books on the Champ-de-Mars, in Paris

Published on , by Christophe Dorny

In association with objets d’art experts, the 33rd Paris Rare Book Fair promises to whet our curiosity—a welcome antidote to the ongoing health crisis.

Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946), Plaisirs d’hiver (Winter Pleasures), Brussels, Édition... An International Rare Book Fair: Beautiful Books on the Champ-de-Mars, in Paris

Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946), Plaisirs d’hiver (Winter Pleasures), Brussels, Édition de l’Art Décoratif C. Dangotte, Collection du Petit Artiste, [Imprimerie J.-E. Goossens], 1918; one of the book’s 10 lithographs, the first of 100 copies on imperial paper from Japan, numbered 1-100 by the press and signed in ink by the artist. Pierre Coumans, Belgium.
Courtesy Librairie Pierre Coumans, Belgique

For the second consecutive year, Covid-19 has compelled the Paris Rare Book Fair (Salon du Livre Rare) to open in September. This time, it is taking place in the pop-up Grand-Palais structure on the Champ-de-Mars designed by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. For three days (September 24 to 26), booksellers from around the world will exhibit the best written, printed and iconographic works of cultural history. Two hundred exhibitors will participate in the event, as well as objet d’art experts and print gallery owners. The Market Has Held Steady Synchronized with the art market, the rare book market withstood Covid’s impact throughout 2020. Booksellers, collectors and auction houses took advantage of the online buying boom. “The number of logins rose steadily throughout the lockdown,” says Pascal Chartier, who founded livre-rare-book, a networking platform (400 bookstores and over four million books, from cheap second-hand books to very expensive old ones). “In 2020 the number of orders and sales were higher than in the previous year.” However, he adds, “Some bookstores were not at all technologically prepared to handle the situation.”   Diane de Bournazel (née en 1956), page of Scène ouverte, 2020 (detail). © Diane de Bournazel / Justin Croft, Royaume-Uni The fair continuously updates its digital tools. For example, @amorlibrorum, a new Instagram…
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