PETER HARRINGTON IS A WONDERLAND OF FIRST EDITION BOOKS
Spread across four floors on Chelsea’s Fulham Road, Peter Harrington houses only first editions of books, rare signed copies, inscribed covers, printworks, maps, and artwork. Prices go up to thousands of pounds, but you can find a first edition for as little as £125. A second Peter Harrington store is located in Mayfair.
Peter Harrington, Chelsea: 100 Fulham Road, London SW3 6HS. Phone: 020 7591 0220. Mayfair: 43 Dover Street, London W1S 4FF. Phone: 020 3763 3220
Peter Harrington began selling rare books and first editions from Chelsea Antiques Market in 1969. Nearly 30 years later, he moved to the current premises in Chelsea – four stories on Fulham Road where you can find more than 20,000 volumes of first editions of books and rare signed copies such as Shakespeare first folio (1623). Perusing the old, high ceiling racks of leather bound, perfectly worn out rows of books, I knew I was in wonderland.
Yellowed paper, frayed corners and heartwarming notes on the front pages of some of these books; you know the investment wouldn’t be for the story. The more pricey editions (some books are priced at thousands of pounds) are encased in glass shelves – for good reason – but you can score a first edition for as little as £125 if you spend some time looking. Given the magnitude of history and literature that surrounds you, spending some quality time hunting for that affordable investment is hardly an odious task.
Each book has a label inside that explains the origin, where it was sourced, and the retail price. If you prefer something to hang on your wall, Peter Harrington also retails prints, artwork and original first edition maps. If you’re lost or confused, you can approach the staff, who are well informed about the shop, book editions and origins.
If you’re already an old-book connoisseur, you can contact them if you want to have your edition valued and/or put up for sale, or are in the market for the first edition of your favourite childhood story.
Peter Harrington is a mecca for bibliophiles and history lovers. A word of warning – you may never want to leave.