1872 Dakota Language Bible
Appraised Value: $2,500 - $3,500
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:21)
GUEST: I got it at an estate auction sale at Fort Yates, North Dakota, which is on the Indian reservation, and this is an Indian-language Bible. I bought a large table full of books, and this was hidden in the middle of it.
APPRAISER: And how much did you pay?
GUEST: Paid a dollar for the whole tableful.
APPRAISER: For the whole tableful. Right.
GUEST: For the whole tableful, yes.
APPRAISER: Well, it's of considerable interest because it is in the Dakota language.
APPRAISER: It's edited by this man Williamson, who was a Presbyterian, and he was educated in Yale before he moved to Fort Snelling, which is present-day Minneapolis.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: And he was known as the father of the Dakota mission, as they tried to Christianize the Dakota, who originated from the Minneapolis area before they were pushed ever westwards. The interesting thing about Williamson is that he translated directly from the Hebrew, and this is various sections of the Old Testament.
APPRAISER: And there's been a huge increase in recent years in the value of Native American texts and dialogues, and you're looking at a rare book nowadays. It's not in the standard sources of bibliography, and my colleagues and I tracked it for auction records and we couldn't find one. It's got a little bit of wear to the cover and also to the spine that needs addressing and some damp staining inside. But apart from that, it's a very handsome specimen in its original blind stamped leather binding, and I think that for purposes of value, you'd probably be saying upwards of $2,500...
GUEST: Holy cow!
APPRAISER: And possibly even more--
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: --at a specialist auction.
APPRAISER: It might be sort of $2,500 to $3,500.
APPRAISER: At a minimum.
GUEST: It'll probably have a much better place in my house than where it was setting. It was out in the garage in a box full of other old books.
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