Tuesday 11 December 2012

Finding and Buying Collections

My most  recent acquisition
I'm always looking for new bookplates to add to my collection, and although my main interest is the research of Canadian bookplates and their designers, I enjoy collecting a wide range of American and British ex libris as well.   As such I'm always happy to consider any offers to buy old collections if you've got one you want to part with.

Buying old collections always brings excitement both in the find and then afterwards during the sort.  This past weekend, for example, I bought an old collection of about 1700 bookplates for a very fair price.  And though so far I've only been able to briefly skim through the boxes, some excellent bookplates have already surfaced.  In addition to a number of seventeenth and eighteen century British and American bookplates, I found ex libris for Charles Dickens, E.F. Hutton, Evelyn Waugh, and other notable figures.  The collection also included a number of ED French plates including a few rarer ones I've been pursuing for some time. There were many great plates I'll have to research further, and needless to say, I can already see what I'll be doing with my free time over the holidays.

Finding large collections like these is becoming harder these days given the hobby's modest appeal, but they do continue to surface from time to time.  Buying such collections, however, can be a bit of a daunting task for some people.  Not everyone has the means or the time to collect, catalogue, and research large collections.  Putting a fair value on such collections is likewise a very difficult task.  Old doesn't necessarily equal expensive, and condition is everything to a serious collector.  I often feel that bookplates are a prime example of one man's trash being another man's treasure.  I'm also wary of anyone selling bookplates who is reluctant to answer a few basic questions about the item.  Caveat emptor definitely applies in this hobby.

Anyway, I'd love to spend more time blogging but I've got some serious sorting and cataloguing to do.  Until next time...

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