I already answered this to you privately, but I thought some general comments about the value of books might be useful to other collectors.
most everyone knows the old saw, what is the three most important things about real estate? the answer, location, location, location.
the three most important things about collectible value of any item, including books, is condition, condition , condition. a lot of collectors, in the heat of auction bidding in particular, have either forgotten or ignored this rule. it should always be remembered that a scarce item in poor condition will always be a scarce item in poor condition.
it is difficult to pin down an exact number on a book like Filson Young's as it doesn't turn up that often. it is relatively scarce. but if this particular copy is in good, fair or poor condition, an asking price of $500+ is way, way too much.
if the copy is in really nice condition, I still think a price in the $500+ range is pushing the high end, but not unreasonably so.
hope this helps!
all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
I'll agree condition is very important, especially to me, I'm very picky about condition and willing to put down a little extra for a book no wear on book itself or jacket, and of course no bumps and dents also. the only thing im easy on is tanning of pages, though i usually try to get them white, though will older books i often let them slide, though still try to get a book only lightly tanned.
Hi Jason, that copy that recently sold on eBay was for £140, not dollars. it rounded out to about $260, I think.
it was most definitely not in pretty good condition, however. I think calling it fair is being generous. I would classify it as in poor condition. the spine is a mess, and the binding looks to be shot, too.
considering the condition, I think the seller is lucky he got that kind of price for it.
Jesse, I agree that for turn of the century books, some amount of tanning to the pages (the official word for it is toning) is going to be inevitable. the process of paper making had taken a huge leap forward at the time, making it feasable to print large quantities of books for cheap prices. as a result of this paper making process, for the first time in history, books were abundant and cheap enough to be available to just about anyone who wanted to buy them.
no-one at the time realized that the new process made the paper highly acidic. it is the high acid content in the paper that causes toning (light browning to the pages). the same thing causes foxing, which is the light to moderate to heavy brown blotches in a lot of books from this time period.