The event is celebrating its 60th outing this year although it is not actually being held in Stuttgart. As the traditional venue is not available, the fair will move to the Forum am Schlosspark in the nearby guest city of Ludwigsburg.
After the launch of fairs in London and New York, the Verband Deutscher Antiquare (the German antiquarian booksellers association) ran its first edition in 1962. At the time the German Handelsblatt noted: “It is actually quite unusual for antiquarian booksellers to go public.”
Rare booksellers from Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, the UK and Denmark are among the 59 rare bookshops and galleries exhibiting this year.
As the showpiece event of the German book trade, expect to see some show-stopping lots. Swiss dealer Heribert Tenscher is asking €1.25m for a copy of the Biblia Germanica (the Luther Bible).
One of four known copies printed on vellum by Hans Lufft in Wittenberg c.1558-61, it is illustrated with a woodcut title after Lucas Cranach the Younger and numerous other woodcuts after Georg Lemberger and Hans Brosamer.
According to the handwritten dedication page, it was a gift given by Elector August of Saxony to his Rentschreiber Johann Pyrner in 1564. The tooled pigskin over oak bindings, that are the originals, were made by the Dresden court bookbinder Brosius Faust.
Also pictured here is a page from a remarkable mid-18th century German herbarium.
Carefully compiled and artistically arranged from original plant specimens, it is dated 1748 and signed for Georg Philipp Saurwein of Innsbruck.It is priced at €11,500 by Banzhaf Antiquariat in Tubingen.