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Steven-R, Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 2769
Experience:  I am a retired Major, US Army, and an antiques and collectibles consultant based on the east coast.
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I have numerous of The New York Red Book 1895, 1897,1900, 1901,

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I have numerous of The New York Red Book 1895, 1897,1900, 1901, 1902, 1906 and 1912. Now the 1912, 1906, 1902 and 1901 are stamped on the inside covers with "compliments of john R. Yale, Assembly Librarian. The 1900 is stamped on the inside cover "with compliments of William W. Everett, Member of Assembly. The 1897 has a pen-written "Comp's. of Hon. E. W. Addis, Member of Assembly 1897" and finally, the 1895 one has on the front cover in gold lettering to the bottom right "XXXXX XXXXX, Compliments of the Speaker". Now are they worth anything in general and more specifically, are they worth more with a stamp, gold embossed on front or written compliments by a member of the assembly?

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am pleased to assist you. You have what are termed "reserved copies" which meant they were printed expressly for the use or distribution of assembly members. In content, they are basically identical to the standard editions and generally will only be worth a small premium in most markets, perhaps 10-20%, unless the individual they were assigned to or given by is considered important to potential collectors.


Demand, honestly, is not that high in most cases. Are you looking to sell them, donate them or have them insured?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I am interested in selling them.


Thank you, Matthew. I have reviewed several concluded sales databases as well as open market retail listings, which I assume you have done via Abebook, and find the typical ASKING retail is around $100-150 per volume for sound examples. Yours being the more rare editions, the typical retail would be $125 to $195 each at the retail level.


Unfortunately, I am not seeing many actually sell for anywhere near that much--I found several dozen in library "deaccession" sales (mostly standard editions) that sold for as little as $25 each in recent years, regardless of the edition (personalized, standard guide, etc.) and the track record is not all that strong.


If they were mine, I would likely seek a venue where I could arrange a charitable donation for a tax deduction simply because I don't think private sellers have much chance of placing them in the $100-150 each range, and you could take a write off via IRS form 8283 and use a retail listing from, for example, as a current comp--as long as the total value is under $5,000.


If selling, other than trying a listing on, or, about all you can do is try local book dealers and see if they would be willing to buy them outright--but be aware, in most cases you will likely get offers of about 20% of what they consider to be the retail. Again, books such as this are NOT easy to sell.


I wish I could provide a brighter outlook, but in this economy, some items are very stagnant and fine china and old hardbacks are near the top of the list for slow sales.


You could also try a blog post on a site such as and see if you get any market response. You have a fine set of books, relatively scarce, and in editions which are difficult to replace but that does not always equate to "easy to sell."


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Have a blessed day!

With kind regards,



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