Marc Selvaggio, Bookseller, Catalogue Number 123: World’s Fairs & Expositions, 1851-1940.

517 items, from London in 1851 to Brussels in 1958. Though Selvaggio pretty much covers the waterfront (or perhaps the Midway), there is much here on the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco and several of the later fairs (San Francisco and New York in 1939-1940, Chicago’s Century of Progress in 1933-1934, Barcelona in 1929, et al.) as well as examples from such forgotten gaieties as the proposed 1898 Commercial Traveler’s Fair and that one-time glory of Wapello County, Iowa — the Ottumwa Coal Palace.

Amply illustrated for your delectation and well worth a read — though be forewarned, Mr. Selvaggio has told me that aside from what few items he had sold in the first couple of days of the catalogue’s publication the rest of the catalogue subsequently sold en bloc to a collector with a voracious appetite and a flair for the excitement of a new collecting interest. My only regret upon hearing this news is we will now be unlikely to hear Selvaggio’s own rendition of Silverwood & Edwards’ Keep your Golden Gate Open (NY, 1913), a piece of sheet music “tooting the completion of the Panama Canal and the rich cargoes bound for San Francisco, with a nod to the Fair of 1915.”

Marc Selvaggio, Bookseller. 2553 Hilgard Avenue, Berkeley CA 94709. tel. (800) 356-2199, fax (510) 548-8038. e: dsbooks [at] comcast [dot] n e t.

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