The Most Valuable Books You May Have At Home
We have commissioned a book expert to compile a list of the most valuable antique books that exist and could be owned by members of the public. Along with the list, our expert has offered some helpful tips to prospectus book investors, on what to look out for when buying a book as a collectable or investment.
20 Most Valuable Books You May Have At Home
The list has been compiled in the format of: book name, year, author, price and any further information on what makes the value of the book.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997), J.K. Rowling – £50,000
If your copy is a hardback and has a series of numbers running from 10 down to 1 on the back of the title page.
The Hobbit (1937), J.R.R. Tolkien, – £40,000
The first version of the dust-jacket has a typo corrected by hand on the back; in perfect condition.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901), Beatrix Potter – £35,000
Identifying a real first edition is difficult, and it has been reprinted in similar format for the last century..
A Christmas Carol (1843), Charles Dickens – £15,000
The best-condition copies have made around this much.
The four Winnie-the-Pooh books (1924-1928), A.A. Milne – from £4,000-10,000
6) Eleven Poems (1965), Seamus Heaney – £3,500
This slim pamphlet published in Belfast makes around this much
7) Foundation Trilogy (1951-1953), Isaac Asimov – £3,000 +
Collectors will pay £3,000 or more for a good set of the three volumes.
8) Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906), Arthur Rackham-illustrated – £2,500 +
A fine copy of the limited edition of this famous book can make over £2,500.
9) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1921), Agatha Christie – £2,000
The book which introduced Hercule Poirot
10) Verve, 1950's art magazine – £1,500 +
Certain volumes of this 1950s art magazine can be worth £1,500 or more as they have original lithographs by Matisse and others.
11) Television: Seeing by Wire or Wireless (1926), Alfred Dinsdale – £1,000
The first English book on television can reach £1,000 at auction.
12) The Cat in the Hat (1957) Dr. Seuss – £1,000
With “200/200” and no mention of “Beginner Books” on the dust-jacket.
13) High Street (1938), Eric Ravilious and J.M. Richards – £1,000
14) A Clockwork Orange (1962), Anthony Burgess – £900
15) Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1916) – £600-£800
With a reduced wartime print-run, and an obituary for W.G. Grace.
16) The Ladies’ Flower-Garden (1840's), Jane W. Loudon – £500-800
17) The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), Arthur Conan Doyle – £500+
18) The Bible (1600 – 1630) - £300
In English and depending on how much is missing will vary the price.
19) The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book (1894-1895) Rudyard Kipling – £200-£4,000
20) A History of British Birds, (various editions), F.O. Morris – £150
A set of six volumes is around this price
Most 20th century books need to have their original dust-jacket to be of collectable value – although there are always exceptions! The first Harry Potter did not have a dust-jacket.
Condition and completeness of the book is paramount – if your book is missing the title page or the spine, the value could a hundredth of what a collector would pay for a mint copy.
Generally, first editions can be identified by having the correct year on the front of the title page, and no mention of any other editions or impressions on the back.
If you have some antique books that you think may be valuable, please get in touch with us using the form below.