Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2016 Issue

Finding Lots at Auction Part II – An Even Easier Way

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A listing of Matchmaker matches (click image to enlarge).

Last month, we wrote about the easy way to find books and ephemera offered at over 200 auction houses that regularly or occasionally hold sales in the field (click here). Simply enter your keywords in the box near the top of this page and most others and click "Search" (note: if the heading to the left of the search box does not already say "Upcoming Auctions," click the little triangle next to it to select upcoming auctions). In less then a second, you will have your matches.

 

As easy as that is, you do have to enter your keywords once a day to find new matches. Even that is really simple... unless you have group of keywords you follow. If you have a dozen of them, it could be a bit tedious. Then, if you want to go back and look at the matches of interest later, you have to search all over again. So, here's an even easier way to find and remember lots of interest to you at all of these auctions.

 

The Rare Book Hub provides a free service called "Matchmaker." You will need to have an account with RBH and be logged in since we have to know who is to receive your matches. If you don't have one yet, sign up for a membership here. Any membership level will do, including a free one.

 

Next (while logged in), click the Matchmaker link on the top toolbar. The rest is essentially self-explanatory, but for those seeking a bit more understanding, here are a few tips.

 

1. Enter you keywords. Click "Add Keywords" and enter your terms. Tip – use as few as possible. It must match all words, so if you enter "Mark Twain" and the lot description says "M. Twain," you will not get a match. Try just "Twain." You may also enter a date range for publication, but this is not necessary. For example, if you collect Dickens, but only first or early editions, you might enter 1800-1900. That way you won't get flooded with later editions.

 

2. Testing keywords. Once you have entered keywords you can test them by clicking the "test" icon. That will show you current accumulated matches for each term. Those are the matches you will receive on the first day. On succeeding days, you will only receive matches for lots newly posted in the past 24 hours. You will find your matches (starting tomorrow) by clicking "Live Auctions" on the Matchmaker page.

 

3. Deleting matches. You may delete matches you do not wish to retain in two ways. You can either "Delete all" on the main Matchmaker screen, or individually from your list of matches.

 

4. Sales results. If you retain matches until the results are received, they will display the sales prices achieved once those results are posted.

 

5. Finally, here are a few extras. Returning to the main Matchmaker screen, click "Matchmaker Preferences." Would you like to receive a daily email alert when you receive new matches? This way, you won't have to go to Matchmaker everyday to check whether something new has come in. Click "yes" if you would like an email, "no" if you would not. The Preferences screen will also let you decide which type of matches you would like to receive (from auctions and/or dealer "Books for Sale" listings), how long you would like Matchmaker to retain your matches before they are automatically deleted (default is 7 days but can be extended to 45), and which fields you want matched (you will probably want to match all).

 

6. Books for Sale and eBay. "Books for Sale" are listings by participating dealers. You will receive matches of these too unless you turn them off in Matchmaker Preferences. You may also obtain matches from eBay listings, but this requires membership at the Octavo or Folio level.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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