Rare finds at Washington Ave Armory book fair

Posted at: 10/27/2013 3:28 PM
Updated at: 10/27/2013 7:55 PM
By: Dan Bazile

Hundreds of people packed the Washington Ave. Armory in Albany, looking for a rare find at the annual book fair. The event brought some very unusual items on display, including some you might never see again.

In the age e-readers, tablets and iPads, the written word on paper is still fascinating to many and it's considered very valuable in places like this.

The type of art on display at the book fair are becoming few and far between. Which makes the ones that already exist even more interesting. Book venders from the Capital Region and across the country brought with them one of a kind books and other written materials.

“Most interesting thing I've ever had in 1983 I was fortunate enough to have a collection of Herman Melville manuscripts,” says John DeMarco, owner of the Lyrical Ballad Book Store in Saratoga Springs. He also had a collection documenting part of Albany's history. The Annals of Albany was printed in the mid 1800’s and is now worth about $1,500.

Others had miniature books and books with fore edge paintings revealing elaborate scenes when you bend the edge of the pages.

Some of the most expensive products were singed letters by very famous names like Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt that were given to local historians.

The highlight of the fair had nothing to do with books. The G-Wiz Racing Set was a horse racing game made in the 1920’s and used mainly for gambling. Just a little fun for serious book collectors in between their search of a rare find.