Richard Austin


New York, NY
Toured In
4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Richard Austin has over 10 years' experience appraising, cataloguing and selling books and manuscripts from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Beginning in the trade as an undergraduate while attending the University of Texas at Austin for a double major in film studies and English, he trained at one of the world's foremost humanities research libraries, the Harry Ransom Center, in their rare-book cataloguing department. He later organized their most successful public sale of duplicate material while continuing his studies and clerking for local booksellers.

Upon graduation Mr. Austin moved into the auction world by becoming first a cataloguer and eventually the specialist in books and manuscripts for Butterfield and Butterfield in San Francisco. There he remained for three years before accepting a position with Christie's New York as a vice president and department head in Books and Manuscripts. Mr. Austin has managed the sale of such diverse material as Incunabula and modern literature to Neal Armstrong's space suit and a pair of George Washington's pistols. He is currently an independent bookseller, consultant and appraiser in New York.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is an antiques appraisal event and television production; we do not buy or sell objects, and conducting any business with an appraiser at the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW event is strictly forbidden.

If you decide to do business with an appraiser who has appeared on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, please keep in mind these tips before consigning or selling an item:

  • Get more than one referral and check references
  • Get valuations of your item from more than once source
  • Compare options between different types of sellers, i.e., a dealer versus an auction house
  • If you are considering consigning an object for auction, be sure to inquire how the item will be priced, the size of the fee, and the expected amount of time the process may take. Find out what will happen if it doesn't sell.
  • Check the appraiser's professional associations (such as International Society of Appraisers, American Appraisers Association, National Auctioneers Association)
  • Consult an attorney before signing a contract
  • Whatever kind of transaction you decide to enter into, always get a detailed written receipt for your records

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW’s pool of experts are professionals with a wide range of experience in the antiques, fine art and collectibles community, and they are from a diverse background of auctioneers, dealers and appraisers.

All ROADSHOW appraisers are independent volunteers who donate their time and expertise to PBS and who pay their own expenses to be on the show. All business transactions are independent from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.