Books & Art at the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair

Germany's leading annual rare book fair brings together each year local and international booksellers. Established in 1962, the fair is one of the oldest in Europe and reflects Germany's history and tradition in printing, publishing and bookselling. Perfectly positioned in Stuttgart's city centre, the fair takes pride to be one of the region's longstanding cultural events.

The Stuttgart Rare Book Fair 2021 will take place from 29 - 31 January and will then celebrate its 60th anniversary!

The fair is thus the oldest antiquarian book fair in Germany and even today 7 of the original 21 exhibitors are still exhibiting in Stuttgart. Much has changed in the antiquarian book trade since 1962 - but not the love of the dealers for the book and for their profession.
After 60 years, Stuttgart in January is still the meeting place for all book lovers, collectors and the international antiquarian book trade. 

"Come here you folks! take your pick! there are many a one!"
The history of the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair was written down in 2016 and can be read here. (German language). 


Do you wish to exhibit at the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair 2021? 

Please contact VDA Office:

Email: buch(at)antiquare(dot)de
Phone: +49 (0) 643 590 91 47


Auf Wiedersehen in Stuttgart 2021!


27 January 2020 

The 59th Stuttgart Rare Book Fair 2020 took place this weekend at the Württembergischer Kunstverein. The Association of German Antiquarian Booksellers would like to thank all dealers, lecturers and employees and especially the numerous visitors for these successful and eventful days!

The FAZ, Die Welt and the Handelsblatt; regional newspapers such as the Stuttgarter Zeitung and the Stuttgarter Nachrichten as well as the Badische Tagblatt, the Reutlinger Generalanzeiger and the Schwäbische Tagblatt, as well as the regional TV stations SWR and Stuttgart TV, the trade journal Aus dem Antiquariat, Weltkunst and the Collectors' Journal reported on this year's Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair.

Excerpts from some articles and broadcasts can be found here in the press review. 

We are looking forward to the 60th anniversary edition next year!


21 January 2020 

Opening address by the Lord Mayor of the City of Stuttgart, Fritz Kuhn

"...It fills me with joy and pride that Stuttgart, along with London, is not only one of the oldest but also one of the most important fairs of the international antiquarian book trade. The continuing popularity of the fair is certainly based on several important elements: Stuttgart is a book and publishing city with a long and impressive history of printing and publishing. Great poets, philosophers and publishers were born here and have left their creative imprint. In addition, the state capital is an economic centre which is highly valued by booksellers far beyond the state borders. ..."

Full address by the Lord Mayor (in German language) here. 

14 January 2020

Winner announced for first German Young Book Collectors Award  

Adela Sophia Sabban (born in 1992) wins the first ever Young Collectors' Prize for her entry under the title "Poetry for the Eye. 

"Those who thought the 'Prize for Young Book Collectors' was a pre-programmed failure now know better: they exist, the young people who are interested in the world of the printed book! And they also collect books and prints in all their forms, throughout the centuries, from the illustrated book of the 18th century to postcards from the GDR. They collect without making a big fuss about it, and so it is good that the VDA Prize gives these young book aficionados an opportunity to step out of their anonymity. It is a wonderful signal: the love of books is alive, even in the younger generation." (Prof. Dr. Ernst Fischer, Chairman of the Maximilian Society for Old and New Book Art and Chairman of the Vienna Bibliophile Society, jury member of the Young Collectors' Prize 2020)

The award will be handed over on Sunday, 26th January, 3pm at the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair; "Das Rote Sofa" ("The Red Sofa" events area)


6 January 2020 

Germany's Rare Book Fair Stuttgart, 24th – 26th January 2020: Growing number of international firms, an expanded events programme and the new Young Collectors' Award

A full press release (German language) can be downloaded here. 
For further information in English, please feel free to contact the office via email

The Stuttgart Rare Book Fair is proud to announce the patronage of the Lord Mayor of Stuttgart. 75 German and international dealers will present a variety of material from illuminated manuscripts, and incunabula to rare books, autographs, illustrated works and graphic art of the 20th century.

The German Antiquarian Booksellers Association, Verband Deutscher Antiquare, welcomes the new and returning exhibitors including Librairie Clavreuil, Librairie Lamort, Paris Rare Books, Librairie Yvinec (Paris), Peter Harrington (London), Bernard Quaritch (London), Antiquariaat De Roo (Zwijndrecht, Netherlands), Erasmushaus (Basel), Treptower Bücherkabinett (Berlin) and Stefan Müller (Mönchengladbach). 

To compliment the 2020 fair the organisers have announced an exhibition in the field of book art: "Internationale BilderBuchKunst der Gegenwart" (International Contemporary Picture Book Art) and have expanded this year's events programme significantly by introducing a series of talks at the fair,"The Red Sofa" ("Das Rote Sofa"). 

Amongst the invited guests are one of Germany's and a worldwide leading literary institution, Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach. Its archive holds around 1,400 papers and collections of authors and scholars, archives of literary publishers and over 450,000 images and objects; its library being the largest special collection of modern German literature. 

Sibylle Wieduwilt, Chairwoman of the organising Verband Deutscher Antiquare e.V.: "We dealers spend our daily lives searching and often finding such interesting works, people and backgrounds. This is a not inconsiderable reason why many of my colleagues take on the ever new challenges that make their profession a vocation. We would like to share some of these stories with a wider audience. It is important to us to capture people's enthusiasm for the beauty of the printed book, language and works on paper, even in the multimedia age, just as we are".

New this year: The announcement and awarding of the €1000 prize for young collectors in cooperation with the Bibliophile Maximilian Society and the German rare book magazine Aus dem Antiquariat.
The number and also the quality of applications were a clear testimony to the organisers: books have not lost their appeal even for the younger generation!
The award ceremony will take place on Sunday, 26 January at 15h00 at the fair. 


20 December 2019

Literary encounters in Stuttgart: New programme of events at the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair

The events programme of the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair, a fixture in the regional as well as international calendar for book lovers, collectors, art and literature enthusiasts, will be even more diverse for the coming January.

75 German and international rare booksellers and galleries will once again present rare books, prints, autographs, maps and illustrated works at the Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart from 24 to 26 January.
But what is hidden behind the objects? What does provenance mean? How does literature relate to the exhibited works and who are the collectors? To answer some of these questions, the fair organizers are introducing the new format "The Red Sofa - Book Talks at the Fair".

Sibylle Wieduwilt, Chairwoman of the organising Verband Deutscher Antiquare e.V.: "We dealers spend our daily lives searching and finding often such interesting works, people and backgrounds. This is a not inconsiderable reason why many of my colleagues take on the ever new challenges that make their profession a vocation. We would like to share some of these stories with a wider audience. It is important to us to capture people's enthusiasm for the beauty of the printed book, language and works on paper, even in the multimedia age, just as we are".

A full press release is available here. 

11 December 2019 

PREVIEW 2020 - The Fair Catalogue is now online 

The fully illustrated catalogue is now available online under this link; visitors can search for books, autographs, prints and each exhibitor's stock in the run-up to the fair. 
A printed catalogue is also available from the organizers office at a price of 10 € and can be ordered here.

6 December 2019

»The eye cannot learn enough!«

An interview was recently published with Prof. Friedrich C. Heller on the 2020 Exhibition at the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair: »Internationale BilderBuchKunst der Gegenwart«. 

We quote from the interview (in German language):

»As a young man I worked for a while for the Vienna rare bookshop of Christian Nebehay, who found my collection somewhat bizarre, even though he collected children's books himself. He gave me the valuable advice: if I specialize in a subject, I should concentrate exclusively on that subject (which also means: wanting to know a lot about it!). The eye learns this way -- and the eye cannot learn enough!
In Stuttgart I walk around the fair and see a lot of incredibly interesting pieces, but then I concentrate on my collection again.
A serious collection is not possible without good relations with the booksellers. It is a mutual give and take. One learns from one another, draws each other's attention to interesting and important details. This trusting relationship with booksellers is also a kind of spiritual community, connected by the love for beauty...«.
(Friedrich C. Heller in November 2019)

The full interview in German language can be found → here.


November 14th, 2019

New Format in Stuttgart: »The Red Sofa« – Book Talks at the Fair

Every book has its story. Dealers and collectors of books and works on paper often share the same love for literature, for books as objects, for book and art history or interesting provenances.
The new format »Das Rote Sofa« (The Red Sofa) opens up the fascinating world of rare books, autographs, prints and illustrated works in conversations between booksellers, collectors and authors.

»Celebrating Poetry – Hölderlin (and Celan) in the Jubilee Year 2020«

Hölderlin2020 – The German Literature Archive Marbach at the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair

Date & Venue: Saturday, 25 January 2020, 12h00, Antiquariatsmesse Stuttgart, »Das Rote Sofa«

This year, Dr. Jan Bürger and Dr. Thomas Schmidt of the German Literature Archive Marbach have been invited to the new »Red Sofa« Talks. The year 2020 marks the 250th birthday of Friedrich Hölderlin, a German poet who has enriched German language like hardly any other.
Paul Celan's 100th birthday will be commemorated in 2020; Celan's poetry would be a different one without Hölderlin's influence.
The Antiquariatsmesse Stuttgart will celebrate the two iconic German literary figures Hölderlin and Celan with a multitude of bibliophilic treasures. 

Jan Bürger and Thomas Schmidt in conversation at the fair with Angelika Elstner about Hölderlin and Celan's works, their undiminished inspirational power and the Jubilee Year of 2020 »Hölderlin2020« which sees major exhibitions and a large number of literary events throughout the year.

8 November 2019

Single-sheet prints (Einblattdrucke) from the early days of book printing – the joint kick-off event of the 59th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair and the 34. Antiquaria Ludwigsburg

Date and Venue: Monday, 20 January, 19h30, Literaturhaus Stuttgart

Book printing is usually associated with the production of books or pamphlets. Since Gutenberg's invention, however, a large number of single sheets were printed, referred to as leaflets or single-sheet prints and widely used during the time of the Reformation. Their production was fast and inexpensive, they were used in many ways to promote products, spread news or in many cases even to resolve conflicts. For example, the Duke Ulrich of Württemberg (1487-1550) used leaflets to ask for support in politically precarious situations and even to win back his territory during his exile.

Dr. Saskia Limbach (Institut für Buchwissenschaft der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz) has been researching and publishing on the subject for years and opens the week of antiquarian book fairs in Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg with her lecture at the Literaturhaus Stuttgart.


27 August 2019

New exhibitors' list for the 2020 fair now online 

Exhibitors for the 2020 fair have now been announced (Click here) Rare booksellers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland but also international firms from the UK, France, the Netherlands and Italy will be present at the upcoming fair in January 2020.
The German antiquarian booksellers' association welcomes new exhibitors: Librairie Lamort and Librairie Yvinec (both Paris), Peter Harrington (London), Antiquariat De Roo (Zwijndrecht, Netherlands), as well as the German exhibitors Treptower Bücherkabinett (Berlin) and Stefan Müller (Mönchengladbach). After a pause, London rare book firm Quaritch, Erasmushaus Basel and Librairie Monsieur Le Prince (Paris) will exhibit again in Stuttgart. 

20th August 2019

Call for the 1st Young Book Collector's Prize

For the first time, the German antiquarian booksellers association, VDA, will award a prize for a young book collector.
Are you younger than 35 years? Collecting rare books or works on paper?
The event is support by leading German book experts as well as the German bibliophile society Maximilian Gesellschaft für alte und neue Buchkunst and antiquarian book magazine Aus dem Antiquariat.

Please follow this link for more information (in German language).


14th August 2019

City Mayor takes over Patronage for the Stuttgart Rare Book Fair 2020

The German booksellers association is honoured to announce the patronage by the city's mayor, Mr Fritz Kuhn for the upcoming fair in January 2020, a strong message of support of the fair by the city as a long established international selling but also local cultural event.

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Verband Deutscher Antiquare e.V.

Geschäftsstelle: Norbert Munsch
Seeblick 1, 56459 Elbingen
Fon +49 (0)6435 909147
Fax +49 (0)6435 909148
E-Mail buch[at]antiquare[dot]de