So… I’ve been thinking on whether or not I should post this here this past week, because it’s not particularly geeky in my opinion, or of any particularly relevant geek concern. But I’d like to share my semi-interesting story with some of my followers, and perhaps one or two of you could help me out.
Last Saturday some family friends were helping another family move. My brothers and I chose to volunteer our time and energy to help out. It’s always tough seeing friends move, but thankfully they were merely moving to a more convenient place in roughly the same area. So that’s nice. We started with the stuff in the garage, then the dining room furniture, bedroom furniture, etc. And while doing so, we were constantly throwing stuff out that they no longer used or wanted. Al, the head of the household, an older man of African decent, asked me to throw out the two last boxes. The first was full of junk. Useless. But the second. Well, I thought he was joking. It was full of antique literature. Proper hardcover books with gilding, more than a few of which were novels I was personally familiar with. I just couldn’t imagine throwing them out. I asked him if it’d be alright if I took them off his hands, and he urged me to take them. So I did, and placed them in the trunk of my car, after much trouble getting the heavy box up the stairs and out the door. I returned to work.
Later that day, I got the chance to take a look at the acquisitions, and I was overwhelmed with the haul. I could easily see that the 50 items therein would be valued (monetarily) far greater than the 600+ books that were bequeathed to me earlier in the year. But I need your help. This isn’t my area of expertise and I’m by no means a proper appraiser. If anyone has any idea how to go about searching for antique book value, or have a rough estimate of what the lot is worth, I’d like to hear your comments. Above is the list of books in the haul, categorized by author. Thanks guys!
|Amelia E. Barr||Jan Vedder’s Wife||Dodd, Mead & Company||1885||1st||Very Fine|
|R. D. Blackmore||Lorna Doone||Collins’ Clear-Type Press||?||?||Very Fine|
|Jacob Catlin||Catlin’s Theology||Boston, Doctrinal Tract and Book Society||1886||3rd||Good|
|F. Marion Crawford||Corleone, vol. II||The Macmillan Company||1897||?||Very Fine|
|Alexandre Dumas||The Three Musketeers, vol. I||Little, Brown, and Company||1904||?||Near Mint|
|Alexandre Dumas||The Three Musketeers, vol. II||Little, Brown, and Company||1904||?||Near Mint|
|George Eliot||Wit and Wisdom of George Eliot||Roberts Brothers||1873||?||Fine|
|Mrs. Gaskell||Cranford||Henry Altemus||?||?||Very Fine|
|Bret Harte||Flip and Found at Blazing Star||Houghton, Mifflin and Company||1892||?||Near Mint|
|Bret Harte||The Luck of Roaring Camp, etc.||Houghton, Mifflin and Company||1894||?||Fine|
|Bret Harte||Two Men of Sandy Bar||Houghton, Mifflin and Company||1893||?||Near Mint|
|Nathaniel Hawthorne||Mosses from an Old Manse||?||?||?||Good|
|Nathaniel Hawthorne||The Scarlet Letter||The F. M. Lupton Publishing Company||-1897||?||Fine|
|Homer||Iliads, vol. I||The Knickerbocker Press||-1901||?||Fine|
|Homer||Iliads, vol. III||The Knickerbocker Press||-1901||?||Fine|
|Rudyard Kipling||Mine Own People||The Lovell Company||1899||?||Poor|
|Henry Wadsworth Longfellow||Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn||The Macmillan Company||1918||?||Fine|
|Robert Louis Stevenson||David Balfour||Charles Scribner’s Sons||1910||?||Very Fine|
|Robert Louis Stevenson||St. Ives||Charles Scribner’s Sons||1910||?||Very Fine|
|Robert Louis Stevenson||Treasure Island||Charles Scribner’s Sons||1910||?||Very Fine|
|Alfred Lord Tennyson||Tennyson’s Idylls of the King||The Macmillan Company||1915||?||Good|
|Arthur Train||By Advice of Counsel||Charles Scribner’s Sons||1914||?||Mint|
|Arthur Train||The Butler’s Story||Charles Scribner’s Sons||1912||?||Mint|
|Arthur Train||The “Goldfish”||Charles Scribner’s Sons||1921||?||Near Mint|
|Arthur Train||Mortmain||Charles Scribner’s Sons||1907||?||Mint|
|Arthur Train||Tut, Tut! Mr. Tutt||Charles Scribner’s Sons||1923||?||Mint|
|Mark Twain||vol1 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol2 The Innocents Abroad||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol3 Pudd’nhead Wilson||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol4 The American Claimont||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol5 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol6 Roughing It||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol7 Life on the Mississippi||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol8 The Mysterious Stranger||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol9 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol10 The Gilded Age||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol11 A Tramp Abroad||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol12 What is Man?||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Very Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol13 Following the Equator||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol14 Tom Sawyer Abroad||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Good|
|Mark Twain||vol15 The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol16 In Defense of Harriet Shelley||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol17 Joan of Arc||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol18 The $30,000 Bequest||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol19 Sketches New and Old||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol20 Europe and Elsewhere||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol21 The Prince and the Pauper||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol23 Christian Science||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Mark Twain||vol24 Mark Twain’s Speeches||Harper & Brothers||1924||?||Fine|
|Lew Wallace||The Fair God||Houghton, Mifflin and Company||1887||36th||Good|
14 thoughts on “Antique Book Acquisitions”
Lucky you… what a find! Those are the kinds of treasures we book lovers only dream of.
You should read them!
You need to find yourself an antique book seller in particular. Too many used book shops these days are just paperback repositories; the staff aren’t really book nerds and won’t necessarily know anything about them.
Run through a yelp or google-by-location search and find an antique bookshop. But I’ll caution you: go to more than just one. In fact, go to as many as possible. They can at times operate similarly to pawn shops in that if they think you don’t know what you’ve got, or you have no one else lined up to take the books, they might try to lowball you.
Treat it like you’re trying to trade in a car, make sure you go to the right kind of shop and you’ll be fine. 🙂
Very insightful. I appreciate the advice. I’ll do my best not to get hustled!
I’d recommend stopping by a used book seller with a few of the books. The seller himself probably won’t buy them, but he’ll likely have contacts who can appraise them (he might even know of a private client who will be interested in buying!).
Hmm. That’s a great idea. Thank you so much!
Either speak to an antiquarian bookseller or look on bookfinder.com to see what similar titles sell for. They are probably too old to have isbn. The year of publication and edition are crucial and if there are any special introductions by anyone.
What do you mean by special introductions?
Some novels might have an introduction or notes at the start by another writer often an academic but sometimes another famous author . If it is a translation the the translator might be important
Oh right. A few of the books did have introductions/notes from other authors. Didn’t think that’d make a big difference. Huh. Alright. Thanks!
Wow … what a excellent find. You’re so lucky to have them! No idea how to have them appraised, maybe try Googling “Antique Book Appraisers”?
Thanks for stopping by and liking my post today. 🙂
Wow! What an amazing find; so many of them are classics. It seems like you could look on Amazon or Ebay to see what similar antique books are going for. That’s just a guess though.
I also think this qualifies as geeky. You’ve been so lucky with your book scores!
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Great finds! As someone who regularly geeks out over antique books, I think this qualifies as geeky.