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
Tag Archives: Books & Manuscripts
Standout Results in the Fine Books & Manuscripts AuctionNewton, 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
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.
Join us for a tour of auction highlights
Reception: 5:30PM Gallery Walk: 6PM
Skinner Boston Gallery 63 Park Plaza Boston, MA 02116
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.