There are several types of books and prints when it comes to antiques. One thing for sure you will need the relevant skills and methods in preserving these items because old books and prints can be very fragile over time.
Books and prints are very interesting antiques because they are not as unique as other antiques. Books in fact come in large numbers where a particular book would have printed in various volumes which mean that there are reproductions. Yet, some books are known to worth a lot of money for their historical values.
This means that rarity is not a common element among antique books and prints although there are also one-off items like bonds, agreement and treaties. Take note that it is highly common to have books that are more than a century old but that which makes it an antique are those that are in mint condition and very rare.
If you had the first manuscript of a book by a renowned writer, then it would surely worth millions. Anyone who has this would surely not expect it to be still intact like a book. Valuable books would be the likes of first prints of books that are in good condition.
Books are an interesting antique collection because you can embark in this field through several ways. You could collect books based on the publishers or the eras. There are also known collectors who search for different versions of a same book like one who collects rare Wizard of Oz books.
Among some of the most notable books and prints include the Magna Carta, one of the most renowned documents which was created in 1215 that required King John to acknowledge the rights of the people in England then. The 1675 Polygraphice book on drawing and painting is very popular book while the Divi Brtiannica by Sir Winston Churchill written in 1675 included the history of the kings of Britain. The author was a soldier and historian who is the ancestor of the British prime minister who served during the 20th century.
Among the most expensive antique books sold include the Abraham Lincoln Letter which was written in 1864 by the iconic American president and it is the most expensive presidential manuscript that was sold at a Sotheby auction for $3.4 million.
The Vita Christi Manuscript is another document that had more than 100 hand-painted pictures that illustrated the life of Christ that was sold for $3.5 million. The book The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter fetched $3.98 million during a charity event.
Meanwhile, William Shakespeare First Folio: Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, which was published in 1623 that was auctioned for $5.2 million. It was sold for only 20 shillings when it was published. According to experts, the book Gospels of Henry the Lion was produced in 1188 although that has yet to be validated. It was sold for $12million in 1983 which in today standard would put it around the $25.5 million. The most expensive book would be Leonard Da Vinci Codex Leicester which is owned by Bill Gates who bought it in 1994 for $30.8 million.