While technically a “fair”—that is, the items are for sale—China in Print is held at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and does double duty as a free-to-the-public exhibition.
The name is something of a misnomer: items come from all over East Asia, as well as from Europe. Nor is everything, indeed, “in print”: a good portion of the pieces are one-of-kind manuscripts, letters, drawings, paintings and ship logs.
Some books are considerable historical interest. The Decades of the newe worlde, dating from 1555, contain the first use of the word China in English (“The greate kynge of China, whose kyng is thought to bee the greatest prince in the worlde, and is named Santoa Raia.”). There is a 1596 edition of Historia de las cosas más notables, ritos y costumbres del gran reyno de la China by Juan González de Mendoza (first published in 1585 and discussed in The Silver Way: China, Spanish America and the Birth of Globalisation, 1565–1815, by Peter Gordon and Juan José Morales.
Other books contain, or rather are themselves, works of art, not all of which are Asian or even particularly old, some highlights being inter-War limited edition books made of wood engravings. There are maps, letters, notes (some by Karl Marx), fragments of scores (one by Beethoven), sketches and paintings (by Chinnery and Tingqua) and a great deal more.
Many of the items have prices to match their rarity and beauty, but entrance is free.