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Bookbinding competition and exhibition

Tuesday, 13 March 2018
By Print 21 Online Article

Sydney Rare Book Auctions at Wattle Street, Ultimo.

Sydney Rare Book Auctions is holding a competition and exhibition to celebrate the gentle art of bookbinding, with a first prize of $1,000. 

Craftspeople, artists and designers are invited to bind a selected book which will be judged by the panel for technical expertise and artistic design.

The book to be bound by contestants is a facsimile of The Report of the Bordeaux International Exhibition of Wines, 1882. Originally published in Sydney, 1884, it’s an account of the first time that Australia exhibited wine overseas. It’s foolscap size with 134 pages.

Submissions will be displayed in a subsequent exhibition from 19th July until 2nd August 2018. First prize is $1000.


  • One submission per entrant.
  • Entrance fee $40. Payment can be made by credit card, Paypal, or EFTP.
  • The book may be bound in any material or style but must function as a book with all text readable. It can come with box or any other enclosure.
  • The binding shall be assessed on technical expertise and artistic design. Judge panel consists of a senior NSW librarian, a representative of Sydney Rare Book Auctions, and an antiquarian bookseller.


  • Each entrant receives the book to be bound which will be posted to their address
  • Return postage of the exhibited piece for the competition
  • A colour catalogue of the exhibition

A colour exhibition catalogue will be produced. Each entrant will have a page which will contain a photograph of the bound book and a note from the binder describing binding of the book, its materials, style, method and the design rationale used.

The books must be received by 5pm Monday 25th June 2018.

The exhibition opening held and announcement of the prize winner Thursday 19th July at 6:30pm. It will be held at Sydney Rare Book Auctions corner of Wattle St and MacCarthur Street in Ultimo from 19th July until 2nd August, 2018.

For more information, contact Paul Feain of Sydney Rare Book Auctions.
Mobile: 0452 228 982 

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