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The Finest Antiquarian Booksellers in London

Picture of Amy Wakeham
Updated: 31 October 2017
Are vintage books your thing? London is full of great independent bookshops, but one thing the city also does well is amazing antiquarian booksellers. So for discovering that perfect first edition novel, or perusing old manuscripts for forgotten treasures, these should be your first port of call.
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Located in the illustrious streets of Mayfair, London, Henry Sotheran’s is a great place to start. Founded in 1761 in York, it is the oldest established antiquarian bookseller in the world. Specialising in rare and antiquarian books, as well as fine art prints, Sotheran’s caters to everyone from specialist book collectors to the casual literature enthusiast.

Henry Sotheran’s, 2-5 Sackville St, Mayfair, London W1S 3DP +44 (0) 20 7439 6151

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Named after two characters in Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, Jarndyce Booksellers are located in the rarefied literary surroundings of Bloomsbury, London. They set up shop in 1969, and have since then specialised in 18th and 19th century English literature. They have published over 200 catalogues in that time, in a range of fiction and non-fiction specialisms.

Jarndyce, 46 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3PA +44 (0) 20 7631 4220

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Peter Harrington

Specialising in selling first editions and rare books, Peter Harrington is a great destination for any literature lover. With two branches, one in Fulham and one on Dover Street, the bookseller stocks a wide range of antiquarian books, from the 15th to the 20th century. They also buy second-hand books, if you have any dusty tomes you need to get rid of…

100 Fulham Road, London SW3 6HS +44 (0)20 7591 0220

43 Dover Street, London W1S 4FF +44 (0)20 3763 3220

Quinto & Francis Edwards

This collection of bookshops on Charing Cross Road holds second-hand books including paperbacks, antiquarian books, collectible hardbacks and rare books. On the ground floor is the Francis Edwards shop, which offers a great selection of antiquarian and fine quality books. Quinto books in the basement, on the other hand, offers a selection of second-hand books of all types and genres – perfect for a rummage.

Quinto & Francis Edwards, 72 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0BB +44 (0) 20 7379 7669

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Collinge & Clarke

This second-hand bookshop specialises in private presses and rare books about typography and design. Handily located close to King’s Cross, Collinge & Clarke stock everything from books on art and design, to classic antiquarian books. Periodicals, wood engravings and bookbindings are other specialisms. Oh, and did you know that iconic TV series Black Books was also filmed here?

Collinge & Clarke, 13 Leigh St, Kings Cross, London WC1H 9EW +44 (0) 20 7387 7105

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Henry Pordes

Henry Pordes offers a great range of rare books, first editions, modern literature, art, antiquarian and leather-bound books. A renowned name in the bookselling world for over 50 years, the shop also buys books to add to their collection. The subjects they cover include everything from art to history and science. The perfect place to visit for growing your own collection of vintage treasures.

Henry Pordes, 58-60 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0BB +44 (0) 20 7836 9031