Rare Books Insider – Nov 11, 2021

Welcome to Rare Books Insider – FREE Version.

We use Moneyball tactics to discover undervalued, mispriced, and hidden gems in Fractional Investing.

Rare books have been ticking up since late spring after a big drop in April. Overall most books trade at a 20% premium on fractional marketplaces relative to their inferred value.

Last week’s performance

Fractional secondary markets

Two books traded last week on Rally – Howl by Allen Ginsberg (+20%) and The Time Machine by Wells (-5.6%). Howl is now around 100% overvalued and The Time Machine is perhaps 60% over the odds.

video games index
All stats come from assets trading on the secondary markets at Otis, Collectable, and Rally


Bonhams Los Angeles wrapped up their History of Science and Technology auction 3rd November with a wide variety of fantastic items sold.

The first letter known to be signed by Steve Jobs went over over $500k, 2x its estimate.

Deviating away from books for a moment, another Apple item, the earliest known Macintosh to appear at auction, sold for $40k. A slightly newer model sold for $17k. There’s a much newer Macintosh Plus with a Jobs signature available on Rally for $200k.

A slightly more morbid piece, a collection of research around the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, sold for more than 3x its estimate at $69k.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

An original manuscript leaf from Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles sold for $423k at Heritage on 6th November. Meanwhile a signed copy of Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court fetched $68k.

Following up their Fine Books and Autographs auction, Swann Galleries opened Contemporary Artists’ Books for auction Tuesday November 9. All lots on auction come from a single caring and meticulous individual. Many of the works have been previously out of reach for collectors and only known through institutional copies.

Several beautiful pieces smashed their estimates.

This Week & Next Week

Secondary markets

On Rally, Journals of the Continental Congress closed down 21% Monday while Goldfinger advanced 11.5% Tuesday.

Four more books trade over the next couple of weeks. The star is Gatsby, which traded well under FMV when it was last available. If you’re into books’ backstories, make sure to click the link for Alice in Wonderland. It’s wild.

Churchill: The Second World War (Signed 1st Ed)

  • Market Cap: $22,500
  • Inferred Value: $12,000
  • Platform: Rally
  • Date: 11/10/21

Robert Frost: “A Boy’s Will” First Edition

  • Market Cap: $15,200
  • Inferred Value: $11,000
  • Platform: Rally
  • Date: 11/11/21

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby (signed first edition)

  • Market Cap: $135,800
  • Inferred Value: $190,000
  • Platform: Rally
  • Date: 11/18/21

Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1st Ed)

  • Market Cap: $24,000
  • Inferred Value: $18,000
  • Platform: Rally
  • Date: 11/15/21

At Auction

Some American founding documents and books are at auction this week and next at Sotheby’s.

The first book-form copy of the American Declaration of Independence is currently at $120k with a fortnight left (estimate $200k to $300k).

The first separate printing of the amendments that became the Bill of Rights is up to $450k with an estimate reaching $1m.

The big daddy, the first printing of the final text of the US Constitution, is up for live bidding on 18th November. Estimates are between $15m and $20m.



Wyatt Cavalier

Wyatt Cavalier

With a background in finance & intelligence analysis, Wyatt has an unhealthy obsession with finding the best blue chip investment opportunities. His previous newsletter, Fractional, resonated deeply with subscribers, bringing actionable insights and unconventional trading strategies. His rare book collection specializes in banned editions. He currently lives in Spain with his beautiful wife, three young boys, and dog Monty.

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