A series of leather bound rare books by Walt Whitman

How to Sell Rare Books with Sotheby's

Talk to a Books Specialist

Talk to a Books Specialist
Our specialists are located in New York, Paris, London and they also travel to evaluate books in person. Schedule an appointment or inquire by calling your closest Sotheby's office. If you prefer to email us, please find contacts in the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.

NEW YORK: +1 212 710 5916
LONDON: +44 (0)20 3936 5386
PARIS: +33 1 85 16 83 05
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in auction selling rare 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 book collection. If you wish to sell a 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 manuscript and antique book appraisal and sales, including the most rare and expensive examples.
  • When does Sotheby's hold auctions for rare books and manuscripts?
    Each year in June and December, Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts Department in New York hosts sales of all types of collectible books. Our January sale typically features significant sales of American books and manuscripts, while offices in Paris and London 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 specialized categories such as science and technology, musical manuscripts, children’s 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. For New York inquiries, please contact: Books@sothebys.com.
    For London inquiries, contact: Bookslondon@sothebys.com.
  • 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 experts do evaluate books in person as well. 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, please call the books department nearest you.
    NEW YORK: +1 212 710 5916
    LONDON: +44 (0)20 3936 5386
    PARIS: +33 1 85 16 83 05

More information on how to sell with Sotheby's

Sotheby’s is your best resource to buy, consign and sell a rare book, antique book, used book, first edition book, first issue, first printing, old manuscript, science and technology book, musical manuscript, children’s literature, antique maps and atlases, rock and roll ephemera, sermon, speech, script, draft, literary manuscript, vintage letter, poem, papers, scientific manuscript, treaty, treatise, declaration, archives, scrapbook, notebook, diary, ship’s log, deed, document, lecture, historical document, antique map, corrected proof, typescript or writings on vellum, linen and paper. If you are wondering, “How much is my rare antique book worth?” or looking for antique book appraisal, Sotheby’s complimentary auction estimate service will evaluate a book free of charge.

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