Massachusetts Acts Sammelband
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $10,000 (1999)
$8,000 - $12,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 6
Appraisal Video: (2:49)
Books & Manuscripts
Books and Manuscripts Dept., Senior Vice President
APPRAISER: Bob, now, you brought in a book here that you told me you purchased as a piece of junk. And in fact when we open it up, it looks sort of like a piece of junk, frankly. It's stained, it's torn. And the first page is not page number one or a title page-- it's page number 45. What made you bring it in since by all appearances, it's not an intriguing book?
GUEST: Well, I found it very interesting. It's a mixture of various things that were old and I knew nothing about it, and it was very cheap. And as an opportunity, I just purchased it.
APPRAISER: It is gathering of things, as you say, or what's called a sammelband-- a German word meaning a collected volume. We have an incomplete copy here of the laws of Massachusetts. The beginning here, we have several separately printed acts, all of which were printed in Boston in 1756 or 1757, which is relatively early. Have you looked at all of what these are about?
GUEST: It concerns colonial Massachusetts, and there are several broadsides tipped in dealing with maritime affairs.
APPRAISER: And the maritime affairs in particular relate to the French and Indian Wars, and that's why I thought it was interesting for Canada and really makes it more interesting than I initially thought. This, for instance, is an act for providing and maintaining two armed vessels to guard the coast because they were afraid that the French might attack. This is another act for preventing exportations of provisions and warlike stores out of the province. Now, there are a series of broadsides bound in. These wouldn't have been issued as books but would have been posted around town. Most of these extend the act that we just spoke of. Now, a broadside is a single sheet of paper printed on one side only. We have a woodcut here of the royal arms. Even though it's printed in Boston, it was then an English colony. Now, you said it was very cheap. What did you pay for it?
GUEST: Oh, I think I paid $50 for it.
APPRAISER: Well, this would bear further research to find out just how rare all of these elements are. But you have a total of 17 colonial printings here, and I would think at auction, the value could be anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000.
GUEST: Wow. That's very good.
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