For the bookworms among us, old books are some of our most treasured possessions. But I doubt you own any books quite this old.
An incunable, or sometimes incunabulum, is a book, pamphlet, or broadside that was printed—not handwritten—before the year 1501 in Europe. This means that the book needs to have been printed within the first 50 years of the printing press being invented and put to use.
There are two types of incunabula in printing: the Block book printed from a single carved or sculpted wooden block for each page, by the same process as the woodcut in art and the typographic book, made with individual pieces of cast metal movable type on a printing press.
If you own an incunable book, the condition it’s in, including bookworm holes, doesn’t matter too much. After all, it’s difficult to keep a book that’s over 500 years old looking like new!
The family that runs the pawn shop in Pawn Stars bought one. In the video, a man brings his incunable book in to find out what it’s worth.
The book that the owner brought in is pigskin-bound and dates back to 1484.
However, when the expert was brought in, she provided them all with unfortunate news. The book that the owner thought was from the 15th century is actually had illumination created in the 19th century. How did she know? She knew because of the use of black.
If it had been a real 15th century incunable, the book would have been worth $6,000 to $7,000 at auction. The book that he had would only be worth $3,5000 to $4,000.
What do you think of a book being worth $6,000 to $7,000 if it was printed over 500 years ago? Use the comments section below and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!
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