Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Tag Archives: Books & Manuscripts

Auction Highlights | Single-owner Collection of Rare Books at Skinner

BOSTON, MA – July 30, 2019. The July 23, 2019 auction, A Mystic Collection, featured illuminated Medieval manuscripts, a strong group of rubricated incunabula in contemporary bindings, important high spots for Bible collectors, illustrated books, and unusual bindings. Even collectors of English books, 18th-century Italian views, classics, and heraldry had many exceptional offerings from which choose. Collectors, dealers, and institutions from around the world participated in the 230-lot sale, which hammered above the high estimate with a 98.3% sell-through rate.… Read More

A Good Day for Science at Skinner

Standout Results in the Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction

Newton, Sir Isaac (1643-1727) Opticks: or a Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light (sold for: $43,050)

MARLBOROUGH, MA  – May 23, 2019. Skinner’s Fine Books & Manuscripts online auction featured great returns for material related to the sciences. Important landmarks in the history of science have performed well consistently for decades.… Read More

Selling Antique Books, Part II: Eight Ways to Determine Your Books’ Value

If there is one single thing that is a make or break for book value, it would be the dust jacket. The value of a first edition copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night with dust jacket is around $6,000. Without a dust jacket….$300. This huge difference in value is largely due to the fact that more than 90% of dust jackets are destroyed, either deliberately or due to their ephemeral and fragile nature. If you have one on a good book, treasure it. Also, be sure to protect it with a plastic sleeve.

Fine Books & Manuscripts Gallery Walk

Friday, May 30, 2014

Join us for a tour of auction highlights

REGISTER NOW

Reception: 5:30PM Gallery Walk: 6PM

All are welcome to attend a free event at the Skinner Boston Gallery. Devon Gray, Department Director, will present highlights from the May 30th, 2014 Fine Books & Manuscripts auction.

Skinner Boston Gallery 63 Park Plaza Boston, MA 02116

Reservations 508-970-3240 events@skinnerinc.comRead More

Breaking Books

A rare book can lose a significant amount of value if it’s missing even a single page of text. If what’s lacking is a title page, illustration, or map, the price will drop like an anvil in a cartoon. The same goes for a set of books that happens to be missing one or two volumes. And yet every day in the Skinner Fine Books & Manuscripts department we see plates, maps, title pages, and text leaves removed from valuable books.

From Astronomy to Optics: An Important History of Science Book Collection

I got a phone call last August about a potential book collection. Nothing unusual there, my job allows me the privilege of responding to queries about book collections every day. The description of the collection was brief but promising: about 125 books on the history of science, from the sixteenth to nineteenth century.

I had a few days to ponder the possibilities. I am painfully optimistic, but I tried to temper my enthusiastic imagination.… Read More

Collecting is in my DNA

I think collecting is somewhere in my DNA.

As a child I collected stamps and multicolored beach glass. As a young person I read that Alexander Calder collected “stones with holes right through them,” so I collected, and still have, shells and stones with holes right through them. Throughout my adult life, my collection focused on actors, acting, and the history of both.

Too Many Books, Too Little Time: What are Old Books Worth?

Determining the value of a book collection is a tricky proposition. Not only do many people have large quantities of books, but libraries and collections can have widely varying characteristics. First, let’s decide what kind of a library you have. Take a look at these three major types of collections.

Rare Book Collection

This group of books was methodically assembled by a book lover with a plan. A rare book collection is formed with intention.… Read More

Meet the Experts: Devon Gray, Director of Fine Books & Manuscripts, Part II

The Adventures of a Rare Book Expert

Devon Gray is the new Director of Fine Books & Manuscripts at Skinner. Read part I, How to Fall in Love with Medieval Manuscripts, then read on for some of Devon’s favorite discoveries from her years buying and selling rare books.

What do you love most about books?

The timelessness of them. We use books exactly the way they were intended to be used, whether new or old. You pick up a manuscript from 1350, open it, and flip through the pages in exactly the same way as the first reader did several hundred years ago.… Read More

Meet the Experts: Devon Gray, Director of Fine Books & Manuscripts, Part I

When I was in college, my husband and I loved going to second-hand bookstores in Harvard Square. One day, we found a book from the 1600s. It was a Latin/Greek lexicon printed in Amsterdam, and it cost $175. With most antiques, if something is from 1850, it’s considered really old. If we had found a painting from the 1600s, it seemed to me that it would be worth a lot more than that! So we bought the book.

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