Loading Spinner

Rare Books

Rare books are a notable investment, particularly for those who appreciate the significance of written language. Books are made rare when there is a high demand from buyers but few known copies in existence. The demand for a book is created by a combination of factors, often including status as a first edition, signed book, or written by a famous historical figure, illustrated by a famous person, or pre-owned and marked by a famous figure. Ultimately, the book is a often a historical record or a work that changed history.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s "Codex Leicester" is one of the most rare books in the world. Da Vinci’s journal focusing on water is one of his more organized manuscripts, although the notes are still the chaotic reflection of brainstorming by a genius. The journal is occasionally on display at various museums. The 1640 Bay Psalm Book was the first book written in British America and the first book printed in English in the New World. It is one of only 11 surviving copies.

Collectors can often find interesting examples of rare books at auction. Another way to develop a collection of rare books is to simply keep the books you love, or seek out modern landmark books that shake up the world and wait for their values to increase.


Quick Facts

  • A first edition first issue copy of "The Sun Also Rises" with the original dust jacket sold for $161,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in 2014
  • "Cosmographia" by Ptolemaeus was the first atlas printed in Germany and the first atlas with woodcut maps. It sold for $609,000 at an auction by Sotheby’s in 2014
  • "The Incredible Hulk #180" by Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel featuring the first appearance of the Wolverine character sold for $657,250 at Heritage Auctions in 2014

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

bp parity badge
ML King Signed Copy of "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story"
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
ML King Signed Copy of "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story"
by University Archives
Est: $2,000- $2,400
$2,2009 Bids
bp parity badge
Picasso Signed Limited Ed. "Picasso: The Recent Years, 1939-1946"
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Picasso Signed Limited Ed. "Picasso: The Recent Years, 1939-1946"
by University Archives
Est: $2,400- $2,600
$1,4008 Bids
bp parity badge
A Promised Land, Barack Obama Signed Deluxe Edition
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
A Promised Land, Barack Obama Signed Deluxe Edition
by University Archives
Est: $600- $700
$4257 Bids
bp parity badge
Helen Keller Signed "The Story Of My Life"
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Helen Keller Signed "The Story Of My Life"
by University Archives
Est: $500- $600
$2604 Bids
bp parity badge
Harry Truman Signed Memoirs, Two Volumes
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Harry Truman Signed Memoirs, Two Volumes
by University Archives
Est: $200- $300
$2404 Bids
bp parity badge
South Sea Company 1721 Reports of the Committee of Secrecy 48 Pages
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
South Sea Company 1721 Reports of the Committee of Secrecy 48 Pages
by University Archives
Est: $300- $400
$1803 Bids
bp parity badge
Richard Feynman Signed Personal Copy of General Zoology
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Richard Feynman Signed Personal Copy of General Zoology
by University Archives
Est: $4,000- $5,000
$1,5002 Bids
bp parity badge
Life of Col. James Fisk , Jr. by Mistress Helen Mansfield
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Life of Col. James Fisk , Jr. by Mistress Helen Mansfield
by University Archives
Est: $300- $400
$1002 Bids
Linder - Missionskinder
Nov 20, 9:30 AM CET
Linder - Missionskinder
by Auktionshaus Schramm
Est: €100- €120
€1001 Bid
Wolf - Lectionum memorabilium 2 Bde.
Nov 20, 9:30 AM CET
Wolf - Lectionum memorabilium 2 Bde.
by Auktionshaus Schramm
Est: €480- €600
€4801 Bid
Album Hochsee-Trawler Laboe + Beigabe
Nov 20, 9:30 AM CET
Album Hochsee-Trawler Laboe + Beigabe
by Auktionshaus Schramm
Est: €100- €120
€1001 Bid
Alfieri - In morte di Carlotta
Nov 20, 9:30 AM CET
Alfieri - In morte di Carlotta
by Auktionshaus Schramm
Est: €40- €50
€401 Bid
Saxton - Nicolaus Knupfer
Nov 20, 9:30 AM CET
Saxton - Nicolaus Knupfer
by Auktionshaus Schramm
Est: €80- €100
€801 Bid
bp parity badge
Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey & Caroline Garcia Signed "High Priest"
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey & Caroline Garcia Signed "High Priest"
by University Archives
Est: $600- $700
$2001 Bid
Sitte - Baals Lied
Nov 20, 9:30 AM CET
Sitte - Baals Lied
by Auktionshaus Schramm
Est: €320- €400
€3201 Bid
bp parity badge
Garry Kasparov Signed "My Great Predecessors"
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Garry Kasparov Signed "My Great Predecessors"
by University Archives
Est: $200- $300
$701 Bid
bp parity badge
Huge Bound Volume of 52 Issues of "The New York Mirror", 1842
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Huge Bound Volume of 52 Issues of "The New York Mirror", 1842
by University Archives
Est: $200- $300
$701 Bid
bp parity badge
"The Magician of Lublin" by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
"The Magician of Lublin" by Isaac Bashevis Singer
by University Archives
Est: $300- $400
$1001 Bid
bp parity badge
6 POTTERY & PORCELAIN BOOKS SOME RARE
Nov 04, 9:30 AM AEST
6 POTTERY & PORCELAIN BOOKS SOME RARE
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD20- AUD50
AUD201 Bid
JUYNBOLL, H.H. Âdiparwa. Oudjavaansch prozageschrift. 1906. Cl. (A bit wormholed). Rare. -- J
Nov 16, 1:30 PM CET
JUYNBOLL, H.H. Âdiparwa. Oudjavaansch prozageschrift. 1906. Cl. (A bit wormholed). Rare. -- J
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €55- €70
€550 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Rare Books


Auktionshaus Schramm

Auktionshaus Schramm

University Archives

University Archives

Yardley Antiques

Yardley Antiques

Hindman

Hindman