By the Book

Regular readers of Quintessence can imagine how thrilled I was to discover Hayden & Fandetta. International private dealers who specialize in “new, out-of-print and rare 18th to 20th century books about art, antiques and interior design,” they will be making an appearance at von Hemert Interiors‘ Royal Wedding event on Thursday evening. Yet another reason I wish I were attending the soirée is to glimpse in person all the wonderful finds that this fabulous firm will have on hand.

These antiquarian booksellers carry every sort of unique, charming and compelling title that might interest their discriminating clientele. Aren’t these 1920s restaurant guides charming?

From gardening and flower books to beautifully illustrated children’s books, to books about wine and cookery, etiquette, and nightclubs and society, no interesting or esoteric tome is beyond their reach.

John-Peter Hayden Jr. and David J. Fandetta met when Hayden was overseeing the historic restoration of the Wayside Inn in Middletown, Virginia. At the time, Fandetta worked at Schumacher and the two connected while Hayden was researching historic fabrics for the project. Previously at Ancram Preservation, Hayden had been hired to ensure that every aspect of the job was historically accurate. In his next position as head of marketing and development (and later as Deputy Director) of the Museum of the City of New York, Hayden continued to work with Schumacher creating a series of historic vignettes in their showroom featuring their fabrics.

a 1926 German volume on interiors and decoration

The two continued to work together at Horizon magazine where Hayden was hired as Associate Publisher and Fandetta came on as advertising director. After 3-4 years there, they started to consider a business together. They had both long been interested in books and began to collect an inventory as potential offerings, officially starting the company in 1988.

Originally their specialty was books on pottery and porcelain as well as those on the decorative arts in general, especially rare volumes on interior design and furniture. But over the years, the business has evolved to include many other categories of general decorative and lifestyle books, including gardening, drinks and cookery, and illustrative children’s volumes. They have also become known for their collection of books on Asian arts.

While Hayden & Fandetta shows all over the US, keeping stock in both their New York and Marina del Ray locations, their speciality is working one on one with private customers to either find particular books or to help build entire libraries. Currently they are outfitting 71 libraries all over the country with totally unique selections. One library on the east coast contains books all about architecture while another in North Carolina deals exclusively with interior design and they have completed many garden libraries on both coasts. Some clients collect by subject matter, others by certain authors.

Some of the more intriguing projects have been to build a library in a mid century modern pullman car (on a private train) with all books relating to railroads. Some of the books were bound in leather and some still retained their original book jackets. Hayden & Fandetta have created libraries on nine yachts, three for the same person whose request was for the books to relate to either yachting or destinations they had visited or intended to visit in the future. One library they outfitted eight years ago contained only white books and the customer wanted it completed as quickly as possible. No request is out of their range. For rare titles, Hayden & Fandetta will even include a card describing the particulars of the book and its condition for the owner.

In addition, the firmq helps to organize fundraising luncheons with speakers which is how they connected with von Hemert Interiors, as they assisted in connecting with Emily Evans Eerdmans, who will be lecturing at the Royal Wedding Event. Hayden & Fandetta will be on hand to sell Evans’ books, which she will be inscribing for lucky purchasers as well as having a collection of other titles of interest to those attending.

Whether you are looking for a single special selection or ready to build an entire library, Hayden & Fandetta is a new recommended source for vintage and rare titles.




25 thoughts on “By the Book

  1. Oh, I could just live with the covers of these books. Really wonderful! Even tho I try to keep my library to a minimum these days, it is hard to resist these beauties! Love this post!

  2. What a great find, Q, and knowing you, I could imagine how excited you were to learn more about this amazing company. I can’t imagine a library filled only with white books since I’m drawn by all the variety these two seem to have. Certainly a place to check out for all books lovers!

  3. Nothing smells better, looks better or has so many imaginative possibilities for a rainy afternoon than a library! The older the book the better I say. . .thank you for the lovely post!

  4. OMG, such loveliness…books are my weakness…
    I almost got an old old collection of religious historical books that had been collected for years and some were very very old…and while I’m not religious I do love studying various histories of western religions…
    fabulous bookstore find…

  5. I love your memory of your father’s cinnamon rolls! Its always the “mother” who creates these food connections so when a father has his specialty in the kitchen, it is so touching.

    Well, again I am introduced to an occupation I have never given thought. Antique book collectors. There is something so romantic about this. All of your photos are eye-candy. My favorite childhood books are the “Trixie Belden Mystery Series”. I found 4 original copies of them years ago at a garage sale. They are in my little cabinet of collectibles and I adore them.

  6. What a fabulous find! I loved going into Charlotte Moss’ Townhouse and seeing all of the rare and out of print books! What a perfect gift to give someone if you can find their favorite topic of interest!

  7. The New Story of the Three Bears was one of my favorites–But the most charming were the Swedish Stories Flicka Ricka and Dicka and their boy conterparts Snip, Snap and Snur!! Their totally captured my imagination. Thank you for a lovely morning blog!!

  8. I could spend days getting lost in those stacks…..I am remembering some special childhood books that I would love to own and, as an historian, this is an invaluable resource. I’m also thinking I can turn my mini-2nd bedroom into a fabulous library….I’m waiting until you announce your interior design services…….

  9. What a wonderful resource! I just love old books. I would love to have them find a treasure or two for me or something perfectly fitting for a dear friend, but how amazing to have an entire library built by them. That would be just heaven!

  10. Looking at these photos is like being a little kid in a candy store!! I would be such a happy girl if I could get my hands on those cookbooks. Not just for my library but also for the sheer joy it would bring me to throw a little old-fashioned theme party with authentic recipes. And if they could throw in a vintage cocktails book I would just be in heaven!

  11. Wouldn’t it be neat if books could tell a story? Imagine the tales they could tell… the smell, and the feel of the crisp pages, no kindle or nook in the world will ever be able to replicate that. My dad had a great friend from South Africa who was an antiquarian bookseller/dealer who was the most fascinating man, will never forget him….and he gave my dad a small collection of rare books (which he still owns and covets) when I was born… is a fascinating hobby/career or to just be an avid collector as he became in his later years…..fascinating post.

  12. There is a security in being around books, they speak to one’s background and future at the same time IMHO. We have a small collection and always look for more any place we can find them. I am enchanted by the selections you have shared, and the idea of gathering them for specific themes and topics, it is fascinating.

    This post is special, thank you.

  13. Hayden & Fandetta sounds like the perfect find for the book collector or for someone who just wants to add a rare gem to their library/repertoire. Wonderful find! XX

  14. Love hearing about this as I have been collecting first and rare editions for thirty years. I will go onto their website. Thanks for letting us know about this rare book dealer.

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