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VOLUMES I. TO XV.
Being a Record of the Prices at which Books have been sold at Auction during the years 1887 to 1901, with the Titles and Descriptions of the Books in full, the Catalogue Numbers, and the Names of the Purchasers.
Some of the earlier volumes are out of print and others are at a premium. Reports will be made in answer to queries by the publisher.
Opinions of the Press.
"We acknowledge, with much pleasure, that 'Book-Prices Current' is now the most carefully edited work of its kind published in this or any other country."-Athenæum.
"Book-Prices Current '-the Whitaker's Almanack of book-buyers and booksellers."-Illustrated London News.
"A very useful and admirably edited and printed publication."-Morning Post.
"To praise Rook-Prices Current' is unnecessary; it has become indispensable to book collectors, and of vital interest to all who care for literature."-Globe.
"Brunet, indeed, so long the book-buyer's chief delight, must yield to 'Book-Prices Current.'"-Notes and Queries.
"It is beyond comparison the book-collector's cyclopædia. Its own earlier volumes, curiously enough, command very high prices."-Daily Chronicle.
"The practical utility to buyers and sellers of an authoritative annual work of reference like this requires no demonstration. The knowledge and skill displayed in this compilation merit cordial recognition.' Standard.
"To all classes of bookmen, the issues of 'Book-Prices Current' may be fairly pronounced indispensable."-Literary World.
"It may be said without exaggeration that the annual volumes of Mr. Slater's admirable compilation are indispensable to such as desire to follow with any closeness the record of sales and the movements of the secondhand book market."-Times.
"The work supplies a finely printed record which will be valued, not by the bookseller merely, but by the collector and librarian."-Daily Telegraph. "The book collector's Bible."-Pall Mall Gazette.
"The record is extremely useful for buyers and collectors of books, and is a valuable index to current phases of book-collecting, and to fluctuations in the market."-Saturday Review.
RECORD OF THE PRICES AT WHICH BOOKS
HAVE BEEN SOLD AT AUCTION,
FROM OCTOBER, 1901, TO JULY, 1902,
In demy 8vo., bound in buckram, uniform with BookPRICES CURRENT. Price One Guinea net.
TO THE FIRST TEN VOLUMES
(1887 to 1896):
Constituting a Reference List of Subjects and, incidentally, a Key to Anonymous and Pseudonymous Literature.
"If money, as Anthony Trollope neatly put it, be the reward of labour, too much is certainly not asked for the labour which has marshalled into order a manuscript involving 33,000 distinct titles and considerably over 500,000 numerals. The typographical arrangement of the volume will receive praise from those who can understand the difficulties of the printers' task."The Guardian.
"The 'Index' will be of great value to all who possess or have access to the annual volumes, and it is issued uniform with them."-The Westminster Gazette.
"No well-conducted library should be without this useful and praiseworthy adminicle of order."— The Scotsman.
"Supplies to a considerable extent the vacuum caused by the want of an up-to-date 'Lowndes."-The Bookseller.
"A work of independent and undoubted value, and should be in the hands of every bibliographer."- The Clique.
"We cordially recognise the value of Mr. Jaggard's compilation, which is much more than a mere mechanical amalgamation of the ten annual indexes." -The Athenæum.
LONDON: ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
A GLANCE at the Table of Contents of this present volume will disclose the fact that the number of sales which have taken place during the season 1901-1902 is greater than usual, and that the number of sales described as "Miscellaneous" is also greater. In this latter connection it may be mentioned that the tendency nowa-days is to include in a single catalogue a large number of books from various sources, many of the volumes often being of the utmost importance and of great value. This practice has grown gradually, and is in a measure rendered necessary, from the circumstance that large and important private libraries are becoming fewer and fewer as time goes on. The great increase in the cost of books of a certain coveted kind, which will be observable by any one who will take the trouble to look over the preceding volumes of BOOK-PRICES CURRENT, satisfactorily explains the gradual disappearance of old private collections, carrying with their possession a responsibility proportionate to their value. Recently formed collections, though they may be interesting and important, are seldom large, the difficulty of obtaining rare books being now much greater than it was; and so it frequently happens that two or more libraries of this kind which would at one time, and that not so long ago, have been each sufficiently extensive to have occupied a day's sale at least, are comprised in a single catalogue and disposed of, as it might be, in bulk. For the reason already mentioned this practice must necessarily increase, and at no distant future an important sale which is not "miscellaneous" in its character will be exceptional. We must not suppose that these composite sales are unimportant; the very reverse is often the case, as, for instance, that held by Messrs. Sotheby, reported at page 498, when £11,828 was realised for 1,334 lots in the catalogue. Many of the other sales in the Table of Contents, though referred to some particular owner for purposes of distinction, were really of a miscellaneous character, i.e., the books were derived from many different sources.
It may be stated that good editions of books entitled to be regarded as English Classics are still rapidly rising in value, and the competition for them has become so great that the slightest
textual difference or the least variation in condition has become a reason for a marked advance in price, an advance that is not likely to be checked in our time. Books having coloured plates have also increased greatly in value, though perhaps this increase is often more dependent upon the decree of fashion than upon any intrinsic merit they may possess. Should this be the case, the demand for many works of this class will necessarily have its day and then subside.
During the past season some 51,000 lots of books have been sold, nearly all in London, and £163,207, the amount realised, discloses an average of £3 3s. 4d. This is rather less than the record for 1900-1901; but, on the other hand, the total amount realised is considerably greater than it has ever been before. Roughly speaking, it may be said with confidence that during the last ten years the value of the most desirable books has increased by about a hundred and thirty per cent. Some classes show a much greater advance, others much less, but the balance may fairly be struck at the proportion mentioned.
The following analysis will be found useful for purposes of comparison, and is given in accordance with a custom that has prevailed for ten years. Some authorities decry averages as proving nothing. I feel persuaded that they prove much when based on continuous records :
1894, £1 8s. 5d.; 1895, £I
1897, £2 13s. 9d.;
11s. 4d.; 1896, £1 13s. 10d.; 1898, £2 15s. ; 1899, £2 19s. 5d.; 1900, £2 6s. 2d.; 1901, £3 7s. 10d.; 1902, £3 3s. 4d.
It will be noticed that head-lines giving the dates of the sales have now been added for the first time. This most useful innovation was very kindly suggested by the editor of the Daily News.
September 27th, 1902.
J. H. SLATER.