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To auction we will go....

February 9th, 2019 at 06:22 am

I've been doing some copy editing for my neighbor, who will be self-publishing his book soon. I knew he couldn't really afford to pay me, so I asked him to do some very simple chores in my yard, like cut down an ailing apple tree, or cut down some old wood posts that pose obstacles for my lawnmower, all that remains of an old picket fence that long ago rotted away.

My neighbor decided to throw in something extra: 2 very old books, one written in Latin and centuries old. One is about Aristotle and was published in 1576; the other is a history of wars in the Netherlands and was published in 1643. Each book is pocket-sized.



These are interesting to look at and admire (for a moment or two), but since I can't read them (despite 3 years of Latin in high school), I don't really have much use for them, and I am on a decluttering kick.



My neighbor told me when he gave me the 1st one that I could feel free to sell it if I wanted, and that's what I've decided to do.

He apparently has a small collection of old books and he once had plans to build a library to house them, but he has since abandoned that idea.

There is a nearby auction house, so I emailed them some photos of the first book, and he said the book "certainly has some value." So I brought both books (along with a loose page from another old book with hand-colored botanic image, which my neighbor had also given me) to the auction place yesterday.

The first book, on Aristotle, was in an "8," condition-wise, auction guy said, and the Netherlands book about a "5" or "6." He will sell them as a lot together, and expects they could fetch from about $400 to $600 for them. Aside from condition, their value is entirely dependent on how much appeal the subject matter has.

He did not take the loose page because even though it is also very old, it doesn't have much value separated from the book; maybe I'll end up putting it in a frame and using it as a decorative object.

He shone a light under the paper and told me they were made using "laid" paper, confirming their authenticity. You can see a screen-like pattern of vertical and horizontal lines in the paper.

According to Wikpedia, before the mechanization of papermaking, the laid pattern was produced by the wire sieve in the rectangular mold used to produce single sheets of paper. A worker would dip the mold into a vat containing diluted linen pulp, then lift it out, tilt it to spread the pulp evenly over the sieve, and, as the water drained out between the wires, shake the mold to lock the fibers together. In the process, the pattern of the wires in the sieve was imparted to the sheet of paper.



I used to sit in on auctions at this auction house but they don't really do that anymore since they can attract many more bidders electronically in a much broader pool of potential buyers worldwide. So I can "watch" the bidding take place online, on the day of the auction in March. That will be fun!!

Since I did not pay for these books, I'll be happy with whatever I get for them.

In other news, I finished my federal taxes but was unable to submit electronically because one of the forms I needed to file, Form 8606, was not yet available on their Free Fillable Forms website! I will have to wait at least another week or so before filing, and only then will I proceed on to the state form.

Because I was slightly overpaid for the healthcare subsidy, my $200 refund has now shrunk to about $17. I am hoping I don't owe anything on the state side.

My father is doing better now that his pain med dosage has been lowered. He continues to make progress, but he's moving very slowly, all the same. He's not yet back at the point he was before his fall.

He has a steady stream of visitors, between the 3 of us, as well as phone calls from others. He also has a bunch of new audio books to listen to from the Library of Congress, a free service for the vision-impaired. My sister and I keep bringing good food for him to eat. And he has 3 doc visits coming up this week with his urologist, retinologist and the surgeon, who will take his stitches out.

My sister said she will get a chair lift installed on the outside stairs. Progress.

4 Responses to “To auction we will go....”

  1. Carol Says:

    Lots of interesting info today. Thanks!
    I wonder if you (your sister) want to look into a simple handrail along the path he uses to your sister's house.

  2. Dido Says:

    Glad your father is doing better and that your sister will install a chair lift! And nice "bonus" on the antique books.

    I just sent you the 2018 8606. I don't think it's the fillable forms version, just a regular pdf but despite the website indication saying the form wouldn't be available until 2/14, I happened across it when I looked again today.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Carol, good idea...thanks!

    Dido, thank you. I actually did print out and complete the form, but I just wasn't able to add it to my return (or fill it out) when I was trying to file my return electronically, on the free fillable form site. I usually fill out the return on paper, then copy all the data online.

    I'll wait til 2/14, but worst comes to worst, if it's still not there, I'll file a paper return.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Fascinating post. I always learn something new from my SA friends! Hope you make out like a bandit on the sale of these books!

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