Bob is a well-known figure in antique and collectible
circles. His ability to spot a bargain and bid
aggressively at an auction is the stuff of legend. Bob
has personally inspected and appraised every item in our
inventory. He's a stickler for detail, and will always
err on the side of caution when it comes to grading. In
50 years of collecting, he has amassed a huge number of
items, all of them interesting and some extraordinary.
Aside from pursuing his labor of love of all things rare
and unusual, his objective is to provide you with the
best possible merchandise at the lowest, most
competitive prices. You can absolutely count on Bob for
a square deal.
Dorothy is a specialist in paper goods of all types. Her
experience ranges from books to postcards, sheet music,
stereoview cards, ephemera, advertising, maps,
brochures, and many others. Like Bob, she is meticulous
when it comes to descriptions and grading. As a
successful antiquarian bookseller for most of her adult
life, she knows the value of spending whatever time it
takes to insure that every item is completely and
accurately described, documented, wrapped, and stored in
a friendly environment. The tens of thousands of items
she has acquired over the years would fill a small
Grading Antiques and Collectibles
There are many grading conventions in use throughout the antique and
collectibles trades. It would be impossible to cover them here. But even
if we did so, such information would not necessarily be helpful to a
buyer unfamiliar with the subtle differences between different grades.
For example, a particular antique toy might rank a C8 or C9 in the
O'Brien grading system, but even if explained in detail, these terms
do not carry any intrinsic meaning. Whereas collectors and dealers have
experience to discriminate between these terms and how they apply to
condition, the average buyer most likely does not.
Whenever possible and when appropriate, we do include a specific grade.
However, we also believe it is equally effective to simply describe an
item as completely and accurately as possible. This serves everyone's
To that end, we try to apply common sense when making reference
to a specific condition. In the above example, we would state that this
particular toy is in near mint condition, in a very good package,
and would be supported by a description of any/all visible defects. We
would also endeavor to provide all revevant size, weight, color and physical
attributes such that the description can stand on its own without images.
Nevertheless, we do try to include as many images as possible so that you
know exactly what we are offering.
We encourage you to
about any item we offer, though you must do this before you
place a bid. Nevertheless, YOU are the final judge. If any item we offer
fails to meet your expectations, we will accept it back, no questions asked.
You pay only the return shipping and insurance cost.
When we refer to a particular book condition (such as VG or Near Fine),
that term carries with it a certain expectation of quality and condition.
The grading standards below are the traditional AB Bookman's formal standards,
and we adhere to them closely and conservatively. Note that we do not offer
any books rated at less than GOOD condition -- all ratings below that
grade are provided for reference only:
As New is to be used only when the book is in the same pristine
condition in which it was published. There can be no defects, no missing pages,
no library stamps, etc., and if it was issued with a dust jacket, that too must
be perfect without any tears.
Fine [F, near-fine, NF] approaches the condition of As New, but
without being crisp. For the use of the term Fine there must also be no
defects, etc. If the jacket has a small tear, or other defect, or looks worn,
those are so noted.
Very Good [VG, VG+] can describe a book that does show some
small signs of wear - but no tears - on either binding or paper. Any defects
must be noted.
Good [G] describes the average used and worn book that has all
pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted.
Note: Good is the lowest grade of
book we offer, and there are very few of those. The terms below appear for
Fair is a worn book that has complete text pages (including
those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title, etc. Binding,
jacket (if any), etc., may also be worn. All defects must be noted.
Poor or Reading Copy describes a book that is sufficiently
worn that its only merit is as a reading copy, since it does have the
complete text, which must be legible. Any missing maps or plates should
still be noted. This copy may be soiled, scuffed, stained or spotted and
may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etc.