Religious book appraisal

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Mearto Specialist:

David U.

Dr. David U. brings over a decade of experience with a distinguished specialization in Asian and African art history. With a background in art consultancy and art management in various international galleries, he is currently lecturing for a luxury house in addition to his work for Mearto. He has curated numerous exhibitions and produced symposia and publications throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. His extensive professional network, as well as his expertise, enhances his appraisals in the categories of: Asian art and antiques, African, Pre-Colombian and Aboriginal art, swords and antique firearms.

An antique bible is one of the most coveted pieces of religious books in the market. In fact, it might be the most collected type of book in history. Over the years, there have been many versions and copies of bibles that had been printed. It, therefore, poses a challenge for the antique buyer and collector when it comes to identifying the value of an antique bible.

The Bible is also the most widely read book in Western Civilization. As such, there are plenty of collecting possibilities for those who read the Bible. Some even consider it as a family heirloom wherein one specific copy of the bible is passed on from one generation to another. The first complete copy of the bible was published in 1526, and there have been many different versions published since. It is believed that the highest amount of bibles ever published in Europe was during the 1700s.

How Much is an Antique Bible Worth?

Because of the popularity of the bible and the fact that there are numerous copies in circulation, this brings to mind an important question: “how much is an antique bible worth?” Before you put our hopes up, many of the bibles that were printed in America and in Europe from the 1700s to the 1800s were not worth a lot of money. This is mostly due to the volume of copies printed. However, there were also a few copies that were valued for its unique characteristics and appeal.

Factors Affecting Value of Antique Bibles

There are many factors used for appraising the antique bible's value. These are the factors that expert appraisers use to evaluate the value of old bibles in the market:

  • Condition – The historical importance and completeness of an old bible are one of the most important factors for determining its value. For instance, if there are any missing parts, then it can have a significant disparity when it comes to price. The quality of the paper and print is also an indicator of the value. The occasional stains and browning of the paper do not really cause any degradation of the value.
  • Provenance – Any story or historical value that is attached to the book is going to add to its value. For example, if the book was previously owned by a prominent family or person. To be able to get higher appraisal for its provenance, you must be able to provide proof or certification of that provenance.
  • Binding – Antique bibles with full original binding are of the highest value. The presence of the original English paneled calf (from the 17th century) is an indicator of historical authenticity. Since leather binding typically lasts up to 300 years, it is not uncommon to find bibles with bindings that have been replaced.

Is it a Good Investment?

Rare antique bibles that are classified as investment-grade see an annual increase in value of 15-25%. As one of the most important books in history, the antique bibles' value is also one of the most collected religious books. The English bible has a history of over four centuries and is the perfect heirloom to hand down from one family to another. Currently, bibles in good condition with some provenance can be valued by up to $4,000 in most auctions.

What our customers say:

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I received a response and information regarding my items in less than 48 hours, which I appreciated. The appraiser was very knowledgable.

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I highly recommend Mearto if you're curious of the value or background of any item in your home.
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I received a quality appraisal in less than 48 hours. I also acquired a second opinion of an industry expert who concurred with Mearto's appraised value.  

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