Worth a read? Cuttlestones auctioneers to host Free book valuation days…

Cuttlestones’ book expert Rosie Blackburn examines a copy of “The Paradise Lost of Milton” with 24 mezzotint illustrations by John Martin published in 1866 - set to come under the hammer at the Collectors’ Sale and expected to achieve £500-700
Cuttlestones’ book expert Rosie Blackburn examines a copy of “The Paradise Lost of Milton” with 24 mezzotint illustrations by John Martin published in 1866 – set to come under the hammer at the Collectors’ Sale and expected to achieve £500-700

Ever wondered what that timeworn tome gathering dust on the bookshelf is actually worth? West Midlands Auctioneers, Cuttlestones, is hosting two specialist book valuation days at its salerooms in Penkridge and Wolverhampton in March, offering free-of-charge appraisals to the general public for any interesting or unusual works they may have in their possession.

In the current digital age, inventions such as the Kindle have caused book sales to dwindle. What’s more, with the internet enabling us to find almost anything and everything at the click of a button, rare books are not as unobtainable as they once were.

However, this is not to suggest that the book market is in decline, or that collecting books is a worthless enterprise. Many titles – old and new – can fetch hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds when sold at auction. Nevertheless, as Books and Maps expert at Cuttlestones, Rosie Blackburn, explains, identifying valuable books from the not-so-valuable can be a tricky process:

“Books, like any antique or collectable, are subject to factors such as condition and rarity when determining their worth. But also unique features, such as the edition number, the publisher or – in some cases – a single misprinted word on a particular page, can make the difference in a book selling for ten pounds or ten thousand pounds. As recently as a few weeks ago in our Specialist Collectors’ sale, a first edition James Bond novel by Ian Flemming titled ‘Moonraker’ sold for £1300, despite it not being in perfect condition and missing its dust-jacket. In this case, a misprint on page 10 (which was subsequently corrected in later editions) marked it out as a rare title, causing its value to rocket.

“However, this is just one example and, despite the vast majority of books in circulation being fairly worthless, there are still many valuable titles to be found from all genres and of all ages – fiction and non-fiction alike. If you think you may have a “wonderful” book you would like to sell please pop along to one of the valuation days at either Penkridge or Wolverhampton salerooms.”

The Cuttlestones specialist book valuation days will take place on Thursday 17th March at the Penkridge salerooms, and on Tuesday 22nd March at the Wolverhampton Salerooms. Valuations will take place from approximately 10am – 4pm.

No booking is necessary, no fee will be charged and you will be under no obligation to consign books for sale via auction if you don’t wish to. Should you require any additional information please email office@cuttlestones.co.uk or ring 01785 714905.