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Firsts, London's Rare Book Fair returns in October at Saatchi Gallery

The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association annual flagship event – move to its spectacular new home at Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London, a fitting return for the UK’s most prestigious rare book fair.

Firsts London, which will take place from 21st-24th October 2021, expects to call the contemporary exhibition space home for the foreseeable future, part of an ongoing move by the ABA to invest long-term in the fair’s success and growth.

In line with previous editions, Firsts London 2021 will see leading international dealers present iconic rare books, manuscripts and works on paper from the ancient world through to the 21st century. Saatchi Gallery’s world-class gallery space will provide an outstanding location in London to showcase selections from some of the world’s finest book sellers.


Thursday 21st October 2021 5pm-9pm (Invitation Only Preview Night and Champagne Reception)* (£50 Entry)

Friday 22nd October 2021 11am-7pm (£10 Entry)

Saturday 23rd October 2021 11am-6pm (Free Entry)

Sunday 24th October 2021 11am-5pm (Free Entry)

*Complimentary entry to the preview night for registered ILAB members and institutional librarians. Kindly RSVP at to request a ticket.

This year, additional measures are being put in place to ensure Firsts London maintains a Covid-19 safe environment where visitors and exhibitors can enjoy the best the fair has to offer. The venue has recently installed a state-of-the-art ventilation system, and the fair will also put in place a one-way entry and exit system, in addition to several hand-sanitizing stations throughout the gallery spaces.

“This October Firsts London will offer booksellers and visitors a well-deserved and much anticipated opportunity to reconnect, meet and trade in Saatchi Gallery’s inspiring setting, which I am sure will be particularly appreciated by dealers and rare book enthusiasts alike following an eighteen-month period of only being able to attend online fairs and events,” says ABA President and Fair Chairman Pom Harrington.

“While the success of the online fairs proved the format has a permanent place in the antiquarian book selling landscape, there is nothing that compares to the atmosphere and sense of discovery that a real-life fair provides. This year’s fair artwork, created by children’s’ book illustrator Korky Paul, captures the spirit of this sentiment with his signature colourful characters meeting at our fair’s iconic new venue. We are looking forward to meeting old friends and welcoming new one’s at the fair’s new home,” added Pom.

Our Partners

The ABA is proud to partner with Biblio, Official Partner for Firsts London.

Our 2021 Official Charity Partner is The London Library.

Our 2021 Insurance Partner and Fair Sponsor is Richard Thompson Insurance Brokers.

Firsts London is presented by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association under the auspices of ILAB. All booksellers at the fair are committed to dealing at the very highest levels, and their expertise is second to none.