Heritage to send rare book collector to New York Antiquarian Book Fair

Collector James Vacca of Boulder, Colo., is the Grand Prize winner of the inaugural 2008 Rare Book and Manuscripts Survey contest sponsored by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas.  He wins a trip for two to the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, April 2–5, 2009.

The prize includes airfare, hotel accommodations, book fair admission passes and $500 in spending money, according to James Gannon, Heritage’s Director of Rare Books, and Sandra Palomino, Director of Historical Manuscripts.

 “I am delighted beyond words,” Vacca said, “and enormously grateful to be Heritage’s Grand Prize winner. My wife and I have chosen to attend the New York Fair in April. For any book-lover, the New York Antiquarian Book Fair is the Garden of Eden – perfection and temptation all rolled into one weekend! I would like to thank Heritage so much for this magnificent opportunity to be surrounded by great books.”

Vacca has been a serious collector for the last 30-plus years, and has shared his hobby with generations of students. Added Vacca: “I delight in sharing my primary source material, like Civil War letters, 19th-century editions of Poe and Twain, and modern firsts with my students at Boulder High School. This semester, I am teaching American Literature, the Bible as Literature, and Semantics, and have already brought in several short-stories by Poe from Graham’s Magazine to enrich the curriculum and energize my students. I have been a collector my whole life, beginning with pre-Code horror comic books, and then moving from graphic arts into books seamlessly.”

Vacca also shares his collecting activities with his wife, Jacqueline, a psychologist and artist. They enjoy their collecting expeditions, and Jackie keeps a sharp lookout for her own areas of interest: early psychological and political writings, and art books that render human resilience. Concluded Vacca: “Together we collect all things ‘Atomic,’ and have displayed at our local library. Building and sharing our collections brings us great joy.”

James Gannon explained the importance of the survey: “We are very pleased with the many submissions to our inaugural Rare Books and Manuscripts Survey. The information gathered will enable us to serve our clients better in the coming years, and to create even more exciting auctions. We have millions of dollars of rare book and manuscripts scheduled for auction during 2009, and the growing support of bidders and consignors is overwhelming.”

Added Palomino: “I was especially pleased to see that our Grand Prize winner collects a wide range of books and manuscripts, reflecting Heritage’s diverse offerings. He and his wife are sure to enjoy the many rarities on display at the fair, as well as their visit to the Big Apple – a great destination city. There were several other winners as well. Heritage awarded three Second Prizes, the opportunity to auction up to $100,000 for free (with no Seller’s Commission), worth $20,000. Five enthusiasts received Third Prize awards, the opportunity to auction up to $50,000 for free (with no Seller’s Commission), worth $10,000.”

James Gannon, Heritage’s Director of Rare Books, can be reached at JamesG@ha.com, 214-409-1609, or 800-872-6467, Ext. 1609.

Sandra Palomino, Heritage’s Director of Historical Manuscripts, can be reached at SandraP@HA.com, 214-409-1107, or 800-872-6467, Ext. 1107.

Heritage Auction Galleries is the world’s third largest auction house, and by far the largest auctioneer of rare collectibles, with annual sales over $700 million, and 400,000+ registered online bidder members.

For more information visit www.HA.com.

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