Books collected over a lifetime represent a great deal of thought, effort and expenditure by the people who collected them. Whether for insurance, donation, or estate resolution, appraising a book collection is an important part in protecting and formally recording its value and significance.

Below we list our experience and terms for appraising collections or individual books. For further information, please feel free to contact us at 734.669.0451 or email us at motte [at] mottebooks [dot] com.

Our Experience

Since we started, Motte & Bailey has conducted a number of appraisals for individuals and organizations. While our strengths are in European and American History, Military History and Books About Books, we have also appraised a number of collections concerning:

* 16th century antiquarian works
* American Culinary History
* Illustrated Books
* Breast implant research
* 19th and 20th century children's books
* Kelmscott Press First Editions
* Economic studies
* German Literature and History
* Occult Books
* Horror Literature
* Philosophy

We have performed appraisals for estate, insurance, and donation purposes, and are acquainted with the paperwork in involved. We are familiar and comfortable working with both attorneys and accountants.

In addition, we have an extensive library of reference works, and access to one of the premier public university libraries in the nation. Our principle appraiser has an advanced degree in librarianship, and has worked as a librarian in an academic library for over 14 years and a bookseller for over a decade. In addition, if we feel a given collection is outside our expertise, we will gladly recommend other appraisers with more appropriate backgrounds.

We also regularly provide advice on whether a collection or individual book is worth the cost of a professional appraisal.

References are available upon request.

Our Terms

We require access to the materials for valuation and description, and may need to work briefly at our shop with more rare materials to research them fully. A receipt with date of removal and date of return will be given for all books taken for research.

All materials examined will be listed in a final appraisal document, with exceptional items noted and valued individually and more common items grouped and valued collectively, unless requested otherwise. Brief cataloging noting condition, bibliographic information, and value will be done for exceptional items. Full cataloging for rare items may be done at request.

Fees for collections are $75.00 per hour for appraisals within 100 miles of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and $95.00 an hour for those further away. Site work and office time are included. Travel time is not included in our hourly fees. For individual books, we bill at $40.00 per half hour.

Our fees are never based on the value of the collection. We do not make offers to buy collections we appraise. If a collection is outside our expertise (manuscripts, prints, maps, artwork) we will recommend another appraiser.

For further information, please feel free to contact us at 734.669.0451 or email us at motte [at] mottebooks [dot] com. Please ask for Gene Alloway.