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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Valuation of Old and Rare Magic Books??? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of Magic-FX
Hi guys, I am currently going through my Library, and I would like to be able to put valuations on some of my old Collectable books - Some of which are around 100 years old.

I have typed them into the web, trying to find what they are worth, however without much success. I either get huge differences in the values or I cant get values at all.

Does anyone know how to go about finding this sort of thing out??? If so please help!!

Thanks everyone

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Profile of silverking
Hi Scotty,

I collect magic books, and really the only way to get accurate pricing is to do a specific search for the title in either Abebooks, or Amazon.

If the books are there, you'll see what they're going for, and if they're not, then they're either very rare or not common.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but costing out old magic books is really about searching the web for references to your title.

Also, visit Martinka and scan back through their old auctions. Check out Christies Auction House in New York, as they also have magic auctions. Phillips De Pury and Luxembourg also have had magic auctions, as has Swanns.
It can be time consuming, but it's rewarding when you finally find your book on sale somewhere for $500.00!
Clay Shevlin
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Profile of Clay Shevlin

My advice is a bit different than silverking’s. First off, I would not recommend Amazon. As to Abebooks, pricing is all over the map, due in large part to the fact that there are general book dealers out there who have no clue whatsoever about the value or rarity of old magic books. Just because they don’t see a lot of magic books, they get the idea that magic books are rare and price them accordingly, yielding some ridiculous asking prices.

First rule: an old magic book does not mean a valuable magic book. Second rule: the best source of pricing is not on the web. Third rule: the best source of pricing is from dealers who specialize in magic books and who have issued printed lists over the past decade or two. Fourth rule: get to know fellow, experienced magic book collectors and they can be of great help in sharing knowledge.

Recently, I wrote an article in Magicol which addresses this very subject and was co-published on Genii Forum. You will find it in the link below.

I am not saying your books aren’t valuable. The only way to know that is to know what you have and, most importantly for antiquarian magic books, their condition. Condition of a book can make or break its value.

One rather expensive option is to have your collection appraised.

I have a number of used magic book catalogs for sale, part of an effort to make some space in the house. As I say in the article, studying these catalogs is one of the best ways to learn about what you have, relative rarity, pricing, etc.

Pete Biro
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Profile of Pete Biro
I had a loss of about 300 books, some magic, some automotive history, some very old. For the insurance claim I searched each title on AbeBooks and Amazon and quoted the highest price (based on condition).
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Profile of Rennie
I have been trying to put a value on my magic books for years. It is very hard and time consuming. I had purchased The Price Guide to Magic Books by Michael Canick that was published a few years back, and by the time I got around to listing all my books the prices had changed...Most of the classics seem to hold there value, such as Greater Magic, it seems to stay right around $150.00. I have found the complete Albo series seems to run around $3.500.00 - $4,000.00. One thing I found that I really like is most magic books appreciate in value. That reminds me of The Magic of Robert Harbin, when it first came out it was $60.00, now it is continually around $1,500.00 - $2,000.00. Yes I blew it when it first came out I did not get it because I did not care for illusions, oh well live and learn...
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve it is not.......
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