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.
The rare book gallery is closed this week because of Covid-19 shutdowns, so I will discuss at home the ultimate “Homeschooling” book – a 1579 copy of Roger Ascham’s “The Scholemaster.” He was the tutor of the young Princess – and future Queen Elizabeth I. I’ll value this rare book and discuss its importance as an early work of progressive instruction. Additionally, the author was an early proponent of female education. So, if you have Zoom classes and remote learning going on for the kids right now, you might as well throw in some Royal education.
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.
Fresh off the New York Antiquarian Book fair, I made this video of one of the books I exhibited and with which I am personally fascinated. It is a very rare 1505 Toledo printing of the first book published in America – of which no copies survive and only mentions can be found in the historical and bibliographical record. If you have any early or rare Americana – especially books printed in America before 1800 – always reach out for a free evaluation.
Here is a video where I discuss how Instagram has become a force in the rare book world – a wonderful community of rare book librarians, curators, special collections, fellow rare book dealers, collectors, and enthusiasts. I’ll highlight some “instagrammable” woodcut headers in early printed books. Also, there is a plug for my colleague’s new documentary “THE BOOKSELLERS” – which opens in theaters March 6 – so go see a window into the enchanting universe of antiquarian and rare books through the lens of some New York dealers and its biggest ABAA fair.
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.