Rare Book Sale Monitor update – 4th Quarter 2011

by Admin on January 8, 2012 · Market Analysis, Statistical analysis

As the year of the Kindle and the Nook came to a close, one trend proved to be here for the long haul:  “digitalization is increasing prices of rare and fine physical books.” In fact, 2011 proved to be a great year for rare book sellers as collectors bid prices higher and there is every indication to believe that this trend will continue during 2012.

While the general level of pricing increased in the majority of the categories we tracked throughout the past year, our Rare Book Sales Monitor (RBSM) recorded some interesting shifts in a number of genres during this final Quarter of 2011. Notably “Poetry and Literary Criticism”, and “Military, World History and Government,” have spiked upward during this final Quarter of the year. At the same time, strong performers such as the categories of “Modern first editions” and “Art/Photography/Architecture,” did finally reach a level of plateau as the year wound down.

From Baudelaire to Frost it was a time for poetry collectors to rejoice as it was a rich season for verse. A highlight of the group’s performance was Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” that sold for a record price of $230,500 USD. Unlike the collectors of art, photography or even some of the modern first editions, poetry as well as history and government are very slow to appreciate in value but have been holding steady. They are more likely to be described as items of a “slow but steady” market.

We have decided against making any changes to the RBSM category and author breakdown at this time since our analysis did not result in a significant shift to justify such an action as referenced in our 3rd Quarter write-up.  That being said, the works of William Faulkner are still under pressure, as the prices failed to keep up with the general levels of increase observed in comparables.

Rare Book Sale Monitor 4th Quarter 2011

Rare Book Sale Monitor 4th Quarter 2011


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

carolyn wincel January 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

can you tell me what a 1884 university edition of charles dickens edwin drood is worth by barnay rudge


Admin January 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm

How similar is your copy to this one currently on sale for $10.00 on Biblio.com?
Barnaby Rudge and the Mystery of Edwin drood Charles Dicken’s Complete Works
Dickens Charles $10.00 Biblio Terra Books Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1884. Brown cloth covers, some wear to cloth, top edge gilt, decorated endpapers, gilt lettering on spine.. University Edition. Hard Cover. Good/No Jacket. Illus. by Cruikshank, Phiz, Barnard and Others.


Barbara March 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I have a copy of Joseph and his Brethren given to my great-grandfather, inscribed with the date 1869..any value to it?


Admin March 18, 2012 at 2:12 am

It could very well have some value if it is the Day & Son London 1865 publication, especially if the inscription is by Owen Jones.


jon March 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Is there any value; book by Rev. Francis E. Smiley, The Evangelization of a Great City, printed 1890, Sunshine, Philadelphia


Admin April 1, 2012 at 2:46 am

Very valuable. You should try to get it appraised.


JOANIE KNIBBE April 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm

If a worm, a book worm has left his holes in a book signed by Maurice Sendak, The Nutcraker, will it be of ANY VALUE?!

Thanks in advance.
PS. My website is underconstruction.


Admin April 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm

LOL – rare book for sure.


Marie January 25, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Would like to know if there’s any value of a hardcover The Works Of Charles Dickens, Household Edition, Christmas Stories, published by Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, New York 1876..


Admin January 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm

The original series was published in 1872, I believe. Individual volumes of the 1876 edition have been selling for less than $100 each.


Jill Bingler April 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

I have a book published in 1872 by Charles Dickens: Barnaby Rudge and Edwin Drood. “Barnaby Rudge. Mystery of Edwin Drood” How much is this worth?


Admin April 6, 2014 at 12:07 am

The D. Appleton edition is valued around $20.


Jemma leigh April 11, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Found a box of books in nans attic, one of them is a red hardback book, on the spine at the top is ‘great expectations’ by Charles dickens, at the bottom of the spine says ‘regent classics’
Inside it says ‘the Thames publishing co. London’
There is also writing saying ‘made and printed in Great Britain by purnell and sons, ltd. Paulton (Somerset) and London’
Hope this is all the information you need to let me know how old this book is and if it is of any value


Admin April 15, 2014 at 1:01 am

Regent classic did not date a lot of their reprinted editions released during the 1960’s. Not much value.


Sue Branch October 7, 2014 at 3:58 am

Hi there… I have had copy of 1886 Charles Dickens ‘Christmas Stories and Great Expectations’ published by John Wanamaker tucked away for some time and curious if of any value. On the binding it actually is printed ‘Christmas Stories and Grt Expectations’. Thank you


Admin October 9, 2014 at 12:54 am

The John Wanamaker, Philadelphia reprints of Dickens works are not very common but are also not collectible.


Margaret May 5, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Set of leather bound Charles Dickens’ books published 1867 — approx value?

Thank you


Nancy June 5, 2015 at 11:09 am

I have oliver twist sketches by boz, 1901 thomas nelson and sons. I also have 1903 hard times and Christmas books by Dickens and 1901 little dorrit. All 3 published by Thomas nelson and sons. Any idea what these 3 are worth? Thank you


Admin June 14, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Thomas Nelson re-published the Dickens books which even though are quite scarce have little value.


Sheila Beck June 22, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Would you have a value on Charles Dickens 1st edition of Bleak House. As well as McGuffy’s 3rd edition Eclectic reader dated 1879. Thank you!


Denise Birdsall June 28, 2015 at 2:30 pm

I have a Great Expectations published by The Book League of America. Does it have any value?
Thank you.


Mavis September 21, 2015 at 5:18 am

1 – I have volumes 1 and 2 of Charles Dickens “Great Expectations”, The London Edition.
2 – I have volumes 1 and 2 of ” ” ” Barnaby Rudge”, The London Edition.
3 – ” ” volume 2 of Charles Dickens “The Old Curiosity Shop” The London Edition.
4 – I have Volume 2 of Charles Dickens “David Copperfield”, The London Edition.
5 – Volume 2 of Charles Dickens ” Dombey and Son”, The London Edition.
6 Volume 2 of Charles Dickens ” F.G. Kitton”, The London Edition.
Is there any value to these books?? Thank you for your time.


Mavis September 21, 2015 at 5:21 am

Just to add to the above comment in total I have 25 of the Charles Dickens books all The London Edition.


McKayla November 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm

I have a
Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend part two, illustrated, published by P.F. Collier and son in (I believe) 1865
India and the Awakening East by Eleanor Roosevelt, published by Harper & Brothers, New York 1953
the Light of Asia by Sir Edwin Arnold published by Rand, McNally & Company in Chicago 1890
Are any of these books of any value?
Thank you


JoAnn October 18, 2016 at 12:27 am

I have a single edition copy of Charles Dickens,The Postumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.I can not find any info.at all on it.There is no date printed but there is a previous owner with date.No illustrations,2 publishers-title page:a.l.burt publisher,New York-back of that page-the Mershon Company Press,Rahway,N.J.-808 pages.Where would be the most accurate place to get the history of such a book.What is the meaning behind 2 publishers?Thanx!!


Len January 25, 2017 at 3:35 am

Hi I’ve acquired the pickwick club . Dickens. Volume 1 philadelphia. Wanamaker. 1886 the posthumous papers. Any help.


Dennis June 1, 2017 at 11:50 pm

I have found 1 of Charles Dickens Works book (Great Expectations/Uncommercial Traveler) Published by D.W. McDevitt inscribed to Chauncy Hare Townsend what do I have here ? Can you provide some information ?


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