The anticipation was palpable as the California International Antiquarian Book Fair made its much-awaited return to San Francisco. With a press preview that drew enthusiasts and collectors alike, we were privileged to attend and immerse ourselves in a world of literary wonders. This three-day event, spanning the realms of time and geography, showcased an exquisite array of fine and rare materials from across the globe.
From meticulously crafted manuscripts to coveted first editions, from captivating illustrated books to intriguing ephemera and maps, and from prized autographs to an eclectic selection of antiquarian books covering diverse topics, the fair promised a journey through the corridors of literary history.
One particular highlight left us awe-struck: the original handwritten lyrics for the Beatles’ iconic song, “Lovely Rita,” adorned in Paul McCartney’s unmistakable handwriting. This artifact, presented in its raw form—a rough draft encompassing ten lines, inked onto a single irregular scrap of lined paper torn from a spiral notebook—offered a glimpse into the creative process of one of the greatest songwriters of our time. The evolution of the lyrics, with Paul’s initial concept in black ink followed by later revisions in blue, provided a fascinating insight into the meticulous craftsmanship behind the creation of a timeless classic.
The significance of Beatles manuscripts, particularly those from the groundbreaking album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” have reverberated through the annals of rock & roll history, holding world records until Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” fetched a staggering $2,000,000 at auction in 2014.
As we marveled at these literary treasures, we couldn’t help but feel the urge to encourage fellow enthusiasts to seize the opportunity to explore this festival of rarities throughout the weekend. The fair promises to be a haven for bibliophiles and collectors alike, offering an unparalleled experience steeped in the rich tapestry of literary heritage.
For those eager to partake in this extravaganza, here are the dates and times for the remainder of the event:
- Saturday, February 10, 2024: Noon to 7 PM
- Sunday, February 11, 2024: Noon to 5 PM
Don’t miss out on the chance to uncover hidden gems and revel in the timeless allure of the written word at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair.