1732 Benjamin Franklin Printed Book
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $4,000 (1997)
$12,000 - $18,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (1:50)
Books & Manuscripts
Senior Vice President & International Department Head of Printed Books and Manuscripts
GUEST: This book was handed down to me from a family member. I've had it in my possession about 20 years.
APPRAISER: 20 years? It was in your family for many, many years...
GUEST: Oh, it's been in my family for many years before that.
APPRAISER: Did you know anything about it that made you hold onto it?
GUEST: Not really, unfortunately, I don't. I can't tell you an awful lot about it. It's just that it's been one of my family heirlooms.
APPRAISER: The book, it appears to be 18th-century, printed in America. It's in a very typical binding for its day, a calf binding-- the original binding that it was produced and bound in-- and it really has held up very well. I mean, books from this period tend to be worn. Time has been hard on these things. The paper is often... been browned and brittle. So it appears, though, to be in very good condition. It's a religious sermon. What makes this an interesting book is not so much the subject of it, the sermon, but much more importantly is who printed it, and if you see down here, it's printed by Benjamin Franklin, as you know-- a printer, a famous printer. Printed in Philadelphia. He was a young man, young printer. So it's a very early imprint while he was back in Philadelphia.
GUEST: I see.
APPRAISER: The first one was in 1728. So you really have a very nice and early representation of a printing by Benjamin Franklin. It's rare, it's a rare book, and I would put a value on this of $3,000 to $4,000.
GUEST: How much?
APPRAISER: Three to four thousand dollars.
GUEST (laughing): well, that's...
APPRAISER: It was worth protecting and keeping it on your shelves.
GUEST: Oh, it's great, it's a great book.
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