date published: November 3, 2008

Boston becomes a collectors’ paradise this November
by Josh B. Wardrop

There’s nothing cooler than being able to claim you have something that nobody else has—in poker, four-of-a-kind will win you the hand, but in the real world, “one-of-a-kind” is worth ultimate bragging rights. Here in Boston, the weekend of November 14–16 presents three great opportunities to add something unique to your life with the first-ever Collectors’ Weekend in Boston.

Comprised of a trio of fantastic shows—the Boston International Fine Art Show, CraftBoston Holiday 2008 and the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair—lovers of everything from fine art to antique books to handcrafted gifts and decorative pieces have the opportunity to add to their individual collection (whatever it may be) or even start a new one.

Art lovers with unlimited time and resources can tour the globe looking for specific pieces to enhance their collections—but for the rest of us, it’s much more helpful to have the art come to us. That’s what makes the 12th annual Boston International Fine Art Show such a phenomenal event for art enthusiasts. The show, which takes place at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, unites 40 galleries from the U.S., Canada and Europe for a stunning display of traditional paintings and sculpture, contemporary abstract works and more amongst its 3,000 original pieces. In addition to the amazing art, the BIFAS also features a weekend full of lectures and panels featuring renowned international experts, as well as a Gala Preview on November 13 benefitting the Boston Symphony Orchestra that gives hardcore collectors the first glimpse of the works that will have everyone talking all weekend long.

CraftBoston, presented by Boston’s venerable Society of Arts and Crafts (established in 1897), is traditionally a spring fling taking place every March. This year, though, the SAC decided to add a holiday show, giving shoppers an opportunity to get an early jump on fulfilling their Christmas and Hanukkah lists. More than 100 top craftspeople from across the country fill the Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel, exhibiting and selling unique handmade items in a variety of media—everything from ceramics and glassware, to jewelry and clothing, to furniture and mixed-media sculpture. The weekend-long sale is preceded by a special preview party featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and raffles on November 13 from 6–9 p.m.

Finally, as the weather gets colder, there’s nothing better than settling down in front of a roaring fire with a good book. And on Collectors’ Weekend in Boston, there’s no better place to find a truly “good book” than at the 32nd Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Hynes Convention Center. One of the oldest and most respected antique book shows in the nation, the event is expected to draw a record number of exhibitors to Boston this year—more than 140 in all—displaying rare, collectible and antiquarian books, first editions and manuscripts, as well as paper ephemera like maps, autographs, photos and more. Highlights expected to catch the eye of any discerning bookworm include rare first editions by Charles Darwin, L. Frank Baum, Robert Frost and many others.

So whether you choose to spend Collectors’ Weekend in Boston transfixed by one of these shows or exploring all three (and presenting a ticket from one of the shows at any of the others is worth a $5 discount on admission), you’re sure to go home with something very special you can treasure forever.

Refer to special events listing, for complete hours, admission prices and more information on the shows of Collectors’ Weekend in Boston.

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