Bryars & Bryars is an independent dealer of antiquarian maps, books and prints. The term ‘antiquarian’ perhaps places more emphasis on age than rarity or interest, but we’re stuck with it until a snappier definition can be found for the breadth and depth of fascinating material that is the stock-in-trade of old-paper specialists.
Our maps cover all areas of the world, and range from the age of exploration to a time when a man about town could buy a London Gay to Z for 25p. Likewise our books cover all subjects and formats, from classics of the handpress period to modern literature.
Bryars & Bryars began with just the one Bryars – Tim opened a shop in Cecil Court in 2004 after working in the rare book and map trade since leaving university. He has gone on to become co-organiser of the London Map Fair (the largest specialist fair of its kind in the world); a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; and co-author of one of the best-selling books about 20th century maps and mapping.
Pinda joined the business in 2012, with no background in the trade at all, but a willingness to learn. Upon making a start in the trade, she realised that years of socialising with its denizens had taken their toll and that she knew quite a lot (as booksellers never let one go without imparting something useful). After realising that Black Books was more or less a documentary, she put her considerable organisational powers to use and ended up building this website.
We hope this website will demonstrate that anyone who uses it can find something to spark their interest, be it a map of your hometown or a blogpost that shows even the experts are still learning.
You might not come into a shop like ours because you think it’s not for you, or that you need to know a lot already. This is simply untrue. In our experience there is no typical customer, and we continue to be delighted by the variety of people we welcome daily. Perhaps you’ll be one of them. See you soon…
We are active members of the British Antique Dealers’ Association and the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. This is partly because we like membership plaques, but mostly to uphold and promote the very highest standards in dealing with our material and customers alike. If we don’t have what you’re looking for our first resort will always be to recommend a fellow BADA or ABA member.