Book prices in 1909 and 2016

It is interesting to see how the values of certain books have risenpeel-somaliland
—sometimes amazingly—or fallen— in real terms (taking inflation into account)over a long period. The following twelve titles, advertised for sale at a discount in a full page advert taken out by Edward Baker’s Great Bookshop in John Bright Street, Birmingham, in an issue of the Bookman for June 1909, represent a selection of some of those works that have risen most in value by today’s standards.
Because the bookseller of 1909 describes them as ‘ in new condition’, the retail values sampled from Abebooks today are for those books graded as being in very good or excellent condition. In all cases the 1909 discounted prices are recorded side-by-side with those taken from Abebooks.

Inigo Triggs, Art of Garden Design in Italy (1906)       21s.                                £480

Rev. J.M.Bacon, The Dominion of the Air (1902)        2s.                                    £92

Edward Clodd, Tom Tit Tot (1898)                               2s.                                     £87

Complete Works of Edward Fitzgerald                     £3 3s.                                 £100

Octave Uzanne, Fashions in Paris (1901)                   6s.6d.                             £180

R.N.Hall, Great Zimbabwe (1905)                             6s.6d.                               £150

Morrison’s Lonely Summer in Kashmir (1904)         4s 6d                               £167

A.E.Waite(ed), Hermetic and Alchemical Writings   21s.                                  £1,046

of Paracelsus the Great (1894)

C.V.A Peel, Somaliland (1900)                                   4s                                     £2,092

Pitt-Rivers, Antique Works of Art from Benin (1900) 5s.                                         £95

Sweet and Knox, On an Mexican Mustang through Texas (1905) 3s.                  £125

Schilling, In Wildest Africa (1907)                             12s.                                    £343

[R.M.Healey]

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