Chelsea in 2012
The 22nd Chelsea Book Fair will be held at the Old Town Hall in the King’s Road, London, on 2-3 November 2012. All right, twenty-two years is not as long as you need for a Diamond Jubilee, and we can’t rival the Olympics, at 116 years old (or 2788, depending on where you start from); but some of the old books for sale at the fair are younger than the fair itself, and we think that’s pretty good going.
Over its life, the Chelsea fair has become a fixture in the November calendar for book collectors and dealers from Britain, Europe and America. Warmer than Boston, more intimate than York, less formal than Paris – Chelsea has it all. Most of our exhibitors come back year after year, and that’s because sales continue to increase, and the customers return, again and again.
Book collectors love the fair, as we find from comments made or overheard: it’s friendly and varied, the dealers have time to talk, there are plenty of books but it’s not overwhelming. ‘See you at Chelsea’ has become a phrase familiar to everyone in the British rare book trade.
New to Chelsea this year is a series of 'Guided Tours'. The tours are designed to take very small groups of up to six visitors who wish to learn more about books on a particular subject. Titles for the 2012 tours include: Back to Childhood / Finding the Perfect Gift / Books are Art / Quirky Chelsea / Vive La France! and finally, Books, James Bond Books to coincide with the launch of the new Bond movie, Skyfall. There's a tour for everyone! Click this link for more details: GUIDED TOURS.
In recent years, the Chelsea fair has also staged a series of exhibitions on bookish themes: the pre-history of the motor car, the history of the Chelsea Arts Club, the London Library and its Omar Khayyam collection. Last year, an exhibition titled ‘New Impressions’ showed visitors new works of art inspired by the shape and idea of the book. The exhibitions constantly surprise and delight, and provide a tiny distraction from the business of trading and collecting.