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The Appraisal of Early Books: Problem and Paradox

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2019

Extract

Oscar Wilde's sally about Lord Darlington ‘a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing’ is very much the embodiment of the idea of what the valuation of rare books has come to mean today. Samuel Johnson defined the practitioner of this art, if one can call it that, a valuator, and defined him as ‘one who sets upon anything its price,’ a term for which he gives as synonym, appraiser. The term valuer is still used, and mostly pompously so, in the Anglo-Saxon auction world, its usage confirmed by the 19th century definition within the Act of Parliament 17 & 18 Victoria c.229 § 29 ‘to appoint a valuer to value the same.’ One can of course dismiss the subject as an etymological conceit, which in a sense it is, and say, what's in a name ? or conclude that ‘woord is but wynd.'

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 by the International Association of Law Libraries 

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References

1 John Lydgate in Secrees of old Philisoffres.Google Scholar

2 Stroud, F., The Judicial Dictionary, of words and phrases judicially interpreted, to which has been added statutory definitions, London, 1909.Google Scholar

3 H. Dubois d'Enghien. La reliure en Belgique au 19e siècle, essai historique…dictionnaire des relieurs. Brussels: Leclercq & Van der Perre, 1954.Google Scholar

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9 Donson, Theodore B., Prints and the print market: a handbook for buyers, collectors, and connoisseurs. N.Y., 1977.Google Scholar

10 Constant, Charles, Manuel pratique des Commissaires priseurs et autres officiers vendeurs de meubles..3e édition entièrement refondue par Marcel Héraud et Jean Gaultier. Paris: Rousseau, 1927.Google Scholar

11 Samuel Orchart Beeton. Beeton's handbook of the law relating to auctions, valuations, agency, games, wagers, and insurance. London: Ward, Lock & Tyler, 1871. in Beeton's Law Books. N°*** IX series.Google Scholar

12 Notes submitted to me by Hanno D. Mott, esq. of New York City.Google Scholar

13 American Jurisprudence.Google Scholar

14 Consultable on http://www.knowledge-basket.co*** nz/ under New Zealand Statutes.Google Scholar

15 New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, cited as N.H.R.S.A. 358-G:2, II.Google Scholar

16 Raffaele Ladu, free trans.Google Scholar

17 Staatsblad 1971, nr. 748 [The Netherlands].Google Scholar

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19 Bibliothèque royale Albert Ier. Vingt-cinq années d'acquisitions 1969-1994 [a catalogue]. Bruxelles, 1994. Avant-propos by Pierre Cockshaw, Pp. 6.Google Scholar

20 A number of these book auction records and price guides are outdated, their chief value is for documentary purposes, i.e. establishing provenance, rarity and price history.Google Scholar

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