Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Tag Archives: rare book

How to Find the Perfect Passover Haggadah for your Seder

Each Passover, Jews around the world fulfill the commandment to retell the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. In Hebrew, the word for this telling is Haggadah (plural: Haggadot), and the name of the ritual meal is Seder.

A Haggadah text supplies an outline of the order of the Seder along with poetry and songs. However, like much Jewish ceremonial art, each Haggadah may have its own distinct and fascinating characteristics. Jewish communities span the globe, and these different regions have developed their own interpretations of ceremonial art and texts over the past centuries.… Read More

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

Selling Antique Books, Part I: How to Tell a Rare Book From an Old Book

I’m an antique book appraiser, so I hear this phrase a lot, maybe eight or ten times a week. However, it doesn’t always inspire the excitement or anticipation that I usually feel at the start of a great antique book hunt. Old books aren’t necessarily rare books.