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Valuable books market

Column Collections, Appraisal and valuation

Simple Object of paper, the book does not acquire its value on its single material, often unrepresentative of its importance. If the state of the binding or stapling is important, the value of the book lies primarily in the role of text in history.


The value of an old book is a complex combination of physical criteria and intellectual history. To set the value of an old book, the bibliophile will be attentive to the status of the different editions and different prints of the work, the presence of items from the handwritten notes or subsequent membership evidence, but primarily it will ensure the fundamental role and innovative text.


Writings of leading-edge

The price of a book can not be assessed that reducing the published text and to his founding role in the intrinsic quality and rarity of each copy retained. Thus, a single sheet 28 lines announcing an important discovery in neurology Babinski exceeded, in a bookstore in Paris in April 2012, the thousand Euros, or a small booklet of 10 pages on the Planck quantum hypothesis written by Einstein Otto Stern in 1913 was recently priced at €2800.

Estimation liivres anciens

First editions

Contemporary book collecting tends to focus on examples closer to their original state. For example, the first edition of Montaigne's Essays of 1580, single vellum, sold for nearly €600,000 at Christie's Paris in June 2009. In the same sale, the original edition (see illustration) The Red and the Black by Stendhal in half calf brick, has doubled its estimates by fetching to more than €45 000.

Achat-vente livre de gonet

Bindings that are popular

The bindings that cover valuable specimens often rival on elegance, craft work of famous bookbinders outperform in prices of many publications. The most famous binders include: Roffet Duke in the sixteenth century, Ruette Du Seuil in the seventeenth, Padeloup, Le Monnier in the eighteenth, Derome, Vogel, Trautz Simier the nineteenth, Marius Michel Kieffer, Legrain, Rose Adler, Paul Bonnet and Jean Gonnet in the twentieth.


Disciplines who meet throughout history

Although some disciplines such as medicine or classical historiography retreat in the market for twenty years, the book breaks the old preferences and economic fluctuations.


The major national writers (Rabelais, Rimbaud, Shakespeare, Wilde, Goethe, Rilke, Dante, Cervantes, Pessoa, etc..) , the most important scientific (Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Buffon, Darwin, Pasteur, Planck, etc. .) continue to attract bibliophiles.


However, our modern twenty-first century also raises new interest among collectors. For example, one sees collectors of the founding texts of the main statistical laws, or the creation of computer languages. These new disciplines, we never thought of collecting, constantly redrawing the boundaries of bibliophiles to come.


Alexandre PIFFAULT

Fine book specialist

Feel free to contact our fine art specialists if you want to appraise your works of art. We also assist you in the selling of your works of art : consultancy.

Credit photo:
1- courtesy of Alde Paris - Reliure de Ruette pour le Satyricon de Barclay de 1637.
- courtesy of Christie's Paris.
3- courtesy of Sotheby's Paris - Prévert Jacques,
Paroles, édition originale de 1945, reliée par Jean de Gonnet en 1986. Vendue 58 350 € (frais inclus) le 18 mai 2011.