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    Louisiana Book Collection

    Appraised Value:

    $11,000 - $16,000

    Appraised on: July 24, 2010

    Appraised in: Biloxi, Mississippi

    Appraised by: Richard Austin

    Category: Books & Manuscripts

    Episode Info: Biloxi, Hour 1 (#1513)

    Originally Aired: May 2, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 3 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Book
    Material: Stone, Paper, Leather
    Period / Style: 18th Century, 17th Century
    Value Range: $11,000 - $16,000

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    Appraisal Video: (3:13)


    Appraised By:

    Richard Austin
    Books & Manuscripts


    Appraisal Transcript:
    APPRAISER: You brought in something that your dad collected. It's a portion of his collection.

    GUEST: Yes, yes.

    APPRAISER: So, what did he collect?

    GUEST: Well, he collected Louisiana books, maps, paintings, things like that. Things that pertained to the history of Louisiana.

    APPRAISER: You brought in something that I really find personally interesting. I'm from Louisiana myself. One of the things, you know, when you live in the South, the deeper, the closer to the Gulf, is humidity. And these are all contemporary bindings. This is a 1757 publication. You're got a Hennepin that's a 1688 publication. You also have a later Lahontan that's 1703. So you've got 18th and 17th century books in their original leather bindings. These are actually in pretty good condition considering where we are and just the age of the books. This one needs a little bit of conservation. It's already been fixed once, but you can get it fixed again. It'll come out pretty well. The main thing you need to do to keep these in good shape is you don't want the leather to get dry. And if you live in a house with central air and heat, like I'm sure you do because you're down here and it's hot, you want to monitor the humidity. You don't want the humidity more than 50%. So keep the books in an area that's away from where the door's always going to be open or the windows are going to be open.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: And you want to get some sort of book paste and just put on these bindings so they don't dry out. And just a little bit. You just want to keep it a little bit moist.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: But what we wanted to look at is the fun stuff, which is the maps that your dad collected some of the books for. And this is a great map of the gulf. The Louisiana Territory used to be pretty much the entire middle of what is now the United States. It extended all the way down from Canada, all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. And there's a lot of people that collect Gulf Coast, Florida in particular. And that sort of overlaps with Louisiana, which is good for value on your books, because there's a lot of crossover collectors. You've got Dauphin Island in the Bay of Mobile, which is just about right there. Mobile Bay right there, Bay St. Louis over here. So Biloxi's going to be right in here. And of course you have New Orleans and the rest of what everyone considers to be Louisiana further to the west. This is a great map. It's in great condition. A lot of times people remove these to frame them, so you want to see them in the books like you have them. In terms of values, there's a lot of collectors for this now. This is a three-volume set. French Pratz from 1757. We've got two here and one open. That, at auction-- now these are more valuable at retail, but I'm going to give you auction prices-- that said, I'd value, at auction, $3,000 to $5,000. You've got the Hennepin here that has some condition issues, but it's still a good book. I'd say that's $3,000 to $4,000 at auction. So right here we actually have... this is the English edition of Pratz, which is not as valuable as the others, but you probably still... in these two volumes, you said you had the other volume at home.

    GUEST: Yes, yes.

    APPRAISER: So you'd probably get $2,000 for that, in the range. And then on the end, you have the Lahontan, and that's a good $3,000 to $5,000 as well. An exciting thing, as you said, you've got more of these at home.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: So it sounds like you've got a really good collection. ‘

    GUEST: Yes, I just brought what would fit in a shoe box.

    APPRAISER: Well, take care of it, do those little things we talked about. You've been a good custodian so far.

    GUEST: Thanks a million, this is great. Thanks

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