A series of leather bound rare books by Walt Whitman

How to Sell Rare Books with Sotheby's

Get Started with an Estimate

Get Started with an Estimate
Register or log in to your Sothebys.com account to request an estimate of your book or manuscript. Complimentary estimates are provided for each novel, letter, map, atlas, document or other book that meets our minimum consignment value ($5,000 in New York, £3,000 in London and HK$40,000 in Hong Kong).

Get an Estimate
a first edition novel in an auction selling rare and antique books

Books Consigned with Sotheby's

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best way to sell my rare book or collection of books and manuscripts?
    Trust Sotheby’s to inspect and evaluate your first-edition novel, antique manuscript or letter, or rare collection of books. If you are considering selling your book, map, ephemera, letter or document, simply send photographs, relevant paperwork and other background information to Sotheby’s for an auction estimate. Our international team of books and manuscripts specialists are experienced in appraising and selling all categories of books and manuscripts including the most rare and expensive examples.
  • When does Sotheby's hold auctions for rare books and manuscripts?
    Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts Department in New York holds regular sales containing all types of books in June and December. Our January sale typically features significant sales of American books and manuscripts. Our offices in Paris and London also hold biannual book and manuscript sales that include books across all centuries and categories.

    Sotheby's also offers specialized sales that occur on a yearly or occasional basis that focus on a variety of specialized categories such as science and technology, musical manuscripts, children literature, antique maps and atlases, and rock and roll ephemera.
  • Can I sell my rare book online through Sotheby's?
    Yes, indeed. Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts department invites participation in our online timed auctions of Fine Books and Manuscripts, including Americana. Past online selections have included cartography from distinguished private collections; an extraordinary copy of History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark in the original printed boards; a first edition, first printing, first issue of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales with the original wrappers; a presentation copy of Karl Marx’s Le Capital; and John Keats's copy of Butler's Hudibras, presented to his brother, George Keats.
  • Can a specialist come to my home to evaluate my library?
    While the easiest way to obtain an evaluation is to submit your information through our online form, our specialists do evaluate books in person as well. Our specialists are located in London, Paris and New York, but they also travel frequently. All upcoming travel dates will be listed on this page. If you have questions about a specific visit or would like to discuss your collection in greater detail, you can call the books department nearest you.
    PARIS: +33 1 53 05 53 19
    NEW YORK: +1 212 606 7385
    LONDON: +44 (0)20 7293 6182

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