Contact us at WeBuyRareBooks@gmail.com or (646) 469-1851 for a free evaluation of your old and rare books. We are located by appt. at 1510 Lexington Ave and by appt. at 1050 2nd Ave (@55th) Gallery 93 in the Manhattan Art and Antique Center.
I’ll discuss and value a rare 1600 French edition of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili – one of my favorite books. It was this edition that firmly placed the famous and mysterious Renaissance book within the world of alchemy. If you like graphics arts, secret languages, and mathematical codes, this is a book for you.
One of the most common questions I get asked is “How much is my old Bible worth?” The Bible is the greatest bestseller of all time, and you can imagine how many copies have been preserved on account of their importance to families and their descendants. As a result, many English Bibles – even when old – often fetch quite modest sums. They become more expensive as they get back into the 17th century (but still remain relatively affordable). In this video, I will value an unusual 1649 King James Bible – printed in the year of the execution of Charles I – which still retains elements of the older Geneva editions. While it is not possible to make generalizations based on one specific example, I try to give some insights into what makes a particular edition or copy of the Bible more collectible than others.
In this video, I will show you how I value an early 17th century copy of the famous Malleus Maleficarum or the “Hammer of Witches” I’ll mention a couple sites that dealers use to check the completeness of rare books and look up auction prices which can help provide comparable for rare book appraisals. Feel free to reach out if you would like me to value any of your rare books or manuscripts. You can text photos directly to 6464691851 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While this blog is primarily devoted to evaluations and appraisals of rare books, I made this video below with tips on some places where one can go today to hunt for and find rare books to buy. If you are a new collector, or want to get into the antiquarian rare book business, take a look.
I am a very active buyer of early English books and tracts from the 1500s through the 18th century.
I recently received this interesting 17th century work – Walter Cradock’s “Gospel-libertie: in the extensions limitations of it.”
One of the difficulties of buying a rare book like this from private person or family, is making a fair evaluation and offer. After all, somebody who has inherited a book or library, may not have a full sense of the value of their book or collection. They may also have high expectations- as many people reasonably would for a book that is 370 years old!
In such circumstances, a rare book dealer should try to be as transparent as possible. Usually, one is not dealing with unique works of art, but rather with books – even rare ones – that have nevertheless sold previously and for which their are comparable examples in the auction records. I am always happy to supply such comparables from databases such as Rare Book Hub or the American book prices current etc. for books that are emailed or sent to me.
So, what is this 1648 copy of Gospel-libertie worth? When considering this important question, one has to consider many aspects the book.
1) It’s rare: According to Rare Book Hub, no copy has been offer for sale at auction since it appeared at Sothebys in 1994 (albeit in a group lot for GBP 1,265). That is a plus.
2) It’s interesting: The author, Walter Cradock, was an unflinching advocate of liberty of conscience. Some considered him a Puritan dissenter or a radical troublemaker (who doesn’t like books by troublemakers?). A reading of the work shows he was no doubt influenced by the religious upheaval of the English Civil War as well as the early preaching of the Gospel in the new English colonies. As an early work that promoted religious liberty, it resonates with modern readers. All good.
3) It’s charming: Wrapped in old paper boards and with a 19th century (or earlier) string holding the loose signatures together, it certainly has some vintage charm and visual appeal.
4) Nevertheless, it is (at least for serious collectors) in poor condition. The text block is broken, some pages are detached and internally, it has had its fair share of the ravages of time. Frustratingly, it is also lacking a single page of the table at the end (underscoring the importance of properly ‘collating’ a book and verifying its completeness).
Therefore, despite its intellectual appeal and even the visual authenticity of book that survived great upheavals, it is a book probably only worth $250 or so – and even at that only to the right customer ready to overlook its flaws (something that is as hard to do in the dating world as in the world of selling antiquarian books 😉
If you have an early English book, and you would like a free evaluation, feel free to send photos to email@example.com or text them to 646 469 1851.
— Adam Weinberger, Member ABAA Rare Book Buyer 1510 Lexington Ave 9D NY, NY 10029 (646) 469 1851 Note: By Appointment Only