1831 British Railway Book

Value (2015) | $4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction

My father had given this to me when I was a boy. I'd always loved trains, railroads, et cetera. And there was a fire in our family in the '60s, and not much came out of it, and I suspect maybe this did. My great-grandfather had surveyed the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada, and perhaps it might have come from his collection or something along those lines.

Well, one of the things I first noticed when you brought it in was the word "Ackermann." Ackermann was a very famous English publisher of colorplate books. And colorplate books are those books that are usually hand-colored views of topography, city views, travel. And this is indeed one of their colorplate productions. The interesting thing about it is-- and it ties in with your great-grandfather's role in the railway survey-- is that this is actually views from the construction of the first railway in England that was tied to timetables and that carried passengers. So you could actually look at a schedule, see what time the train was coming, be able to catch it, which was completely unusual at the time. And when you turn the pages, you see... these are the color views that were produced by Ackermann to document the railway production. There are six plates in the book. Each one of these are hand-colored from engravings. And the wonderful thing about this is the condition, that a lot of times you see these books that have foxing, there’s some water damage. But this one has survived in remarkably good shape. It's also in the original binding. It's really a pleasure to see it. It's a little something unusual to turn up here in that it's a British railway book, but it just proves that anything can be anywhere. For an auction estimate, I'd feel pretty comfortable putting it in the region of $5,000 to $7,000.

You don't say. Well, well, well, that'll do all right. Got me there.

Appraisal Details

New York, NY
Value Update (2015)
$4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction
Appraised value (2007)
$5,000 Auction$7,000 Auction
Louisville, KY (July 28, 2007)
19th Century
Book, Print

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