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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

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Rare 1866 Raleigh N.C. Report Of The Committee On Negro Lodges
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Rare 1866 Raleigh N.C. Report Of The Committee On Negro Lodges
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1805 Bids
Kleines Nachlasskonvolut einer persönlichen Korrespondenz mit dem Schriftsteller Hermann Hesse
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
Kleines Nachlasskonvolut einer persönlichen Korrespondenz mit dem Schriftsteller Hermann Hesse
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €300- €400
€303 Bids
Astrologische Karte von Johann Baptist Homann, 18. Jh., gerahmt
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
Astrologische Karte von Johann Baptist Homann, 18. Jh., gerahmt
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €400- €600
€402 Bids
San Francesco di Sales, "Opere in tre tomi", 3 Bde. Venezia 1748, im gutem Originalzustand
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
San Francesco di Sales, "Opere in tre tomi", 3 Bde. Venezia 1748, im gutem Originalzustand
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €300- €350
€202 Bids
Rare Antique German Book
Mar 10, 10:00 AM EST
Rare Antique German Book
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $50- $75
$402 Bids
Bar 20 by Clarence Milford
Mar 23, 7:00 AM PDT
Bar 20 by Clarence Milford
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
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Boito Arrigo, Re Orso. Fiaba. Verona: Officina Bodoni, 1948.
Mar 06, 10:00 AM CET
Boito Arrigo, Re Orso. Fiaba. Verona: Officina Bodoni, 1948.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €60- €120
€601 Bid
"Sonnets Luxurieux de Pierre Aretin", Erotik-Album mit 16 Blättern im Ledereinband, um 1900
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
"Sonnets Luxurieux de Pierre Aretin", Erotik-Album mit 16 Blättern im Ledereinband, um 1900
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €300- €400
€201 Bid
Kleine koptische Bibel, Äthiopien, 19. Jh.
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
Kleine koptische Bibel, Äthiopien, 19. Jh.
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €200- €250
€201 Bid
A. Escoffier, Der Kochkunst - Führer, 1. dt. Auflage, 1904 mit Autograph
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
A. Escoffier, Der Kochkunst - Führer, 1. dt. Auflage, 1904 mit Autograph
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €500- €700
€201 Bid
RARE LIMITED EDITION THE NOVELS AND TALES OF HENRY JAMES COLLECTION
Mar 03, 12:00 PM EST
RARE LIMITED EDITION THE NOVELS AND TALES OF HENRY JAMES COLLECTION
by Charleston Estate Services Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $5,000- $6,000
$101 Bid
TITELMANNUS, Franciscus, O.F.M.
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
TITELMANNUS, Franciscus, O.F.M.
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €450- €600
€4500 Bids
VIVES, Juan Luís
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
VIVES, Juan Luís
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €800- €1,000
€8000 Bids
PATERCULUS, Caius Velleius
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
PATERCULUS, Caius Velleius
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €140- €180
€1400 Bids
MÜLLER, Walter
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
MÜLLER, Walter
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €180- €240
€1800 Bids
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Gaetano Palloni (Montevarchi 1766 - Livorno 1830), Medicina
Mar 22, 6:00 PM CET
Gaetano Palloni (Montevarchi 1766 - Livorno 1830), Medicina
by Bonino
Est: €0- €0
€5000 Bids
Heer, Eugen
Mar 22, 10:00 AM CET
Heer, Eugen
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €80- €120
€800 Bids
Thoumas, General
Mar 22, 10:00 AM CET
Thoumas, General
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €150- €300
€1500 Bids
[DE GHELLINCK]
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
[DE GHELLINCK]
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €1,000- €1,400
€1,0000 Bids
[RELIURE]
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
[RELIURE]
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €400- €500
€4000 Bids
CICERO, Marcus Tullius
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
CICERO, Marcus Tullius
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €1,200- €1,600
€1,2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Rare Books


K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg

K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg

Auctions Van de Wiele

Auctions Van de Wiele

North American Auction Company

North American Auction Company

Artmaximum

Artmaximum