Collecting Delaware Books

Typical Delaware Book Auction Report

[Note: This article is typical of Delaware book auction reports that appear almost every issue in Collecting Delaware Books].

The Smyrna-Clayton Heritage Association held another Delawareana auction on March 10, 1997. Profits from these auctions will be used for the restoration of the Smyrna Opera House. They are well-atteneded and orderly.

Prices at SCHA sales are usually strong, however this one produced some astonishing and perhaps unrealistic prices, probably as a result of auction fever among three very competitive biders. Nancy Sawin's History of the Sanford School went for $100. A January Summer by Dallas Sharp brought $65. Harold Hancock's Delaware During the Civil War was hammered down at $190. These prices are several times the usual retail. Additional, more realistic, prices realized are as follows.


Cannon: Concord Story, 1984, signed, $27 Yearbook for Delaware College 1919, $36 Harpers Weekly, 1876 story and picture on whipping post, $42 Harpers Weekly, 1877 story on croaker fishing in the Delaware, $25 Hoffecker: Brandywine Village, pb, signed, $26 Janvier: The Dutch Founding of New York, $38 Zebley: Churches of Delaware, signed, $120 Sweeney: Grandeur on the Appoquinimink, dj, signed, $27 Ward: Dutch and Swedes on the Delaware, $40.

Weslager: Delaware's Buried Past, dj, $20 Lewis: The Delaware Scene, signed, $90 Munroe: Federalist Delaware, $30 Centreville, Delaware, 1750-1956, pb, $22.50 Business Directory of Wilmington 1903, with map, $180 Johnson: Swedish Settlements on the Delaware, 2 vol., 1911 ed., $110 Runk: Biographical and Genealogical History of Delaware, 2 vol., $350 Cooch: Little Known History of Newark, Delaware and Its Environs, dj, $80 Lindestrom: Geographia America with an Waccount of the Delaware Indians, $60.

Eckman: Crane Hook on the Delaware, pb, $19 Cooch: Battle of Cooch's Bridge, dj, $105 Errigo: St. Joseph's on the Brandywine, dj, signed, $45 Talley: A History of the Talley Family on the Delaware, $120 Blagg: Dover, A Pictorial History, $22.50 Elliot: Last of the Steamboats, $100 Silliman: Biography of the Delaware Trust Co., $30 Wilmington, Delaware 1832-1932, pb, $17 Lofland: The Poetical and Prose Writings of the Milford Bard, $60 deValinger & Shaw: A Calendar of Ridgely Family Letters, 1742-1899, 3 vol., $75.

Martin: History of Delaware Through Its Governors, pb, signed by author and four former governors, $40 Cartwright: A' La Carte, dj, $11 Yearbook of the Delaware State Bar Association, 1936, $30 Ayres: The Hotel Du Pont Story, $14 Harris: From Apathy to Awareness, the Contributions of Willard Hall to Delaware Education, dj, signed, $22.50 New Testament, printed in 1798 by Peter Brynberg, Wilmington, almost disbound but complete, $50 Carpenter: Game Trails from Alaska to Africa, signed, $32.50.

Auctioneer Mike Robertson (center) at the SCHA auction
March 9, 1998, flanked by clerk Peg Snow and association
president John Dickinson. The 4-foot long rocking goose
went for $300.

Smithers: The Life of John Lofland, $22.50 Delware Federal Writers Project: Delaware, A Guide to the First State, 2nd prntng, map present, $15 Lunt: Taylors Gut, dj, $45 Scharf: History of Delaware, 1888 edition, original binding, $275 Lewis: The Bay and River Delaware, dj, signed, $75 Hancock: Delaware During the Civil War, dj, $190 Johnson: Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates, $110 Weslager: The Garrett Snuff Fortune, dj, $80 Weslager: The Richardsons of Delaware, map present, dj, $95 Johnson: The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware, 2 vol., $80 Montgomery: Reminiscences of Wilmington, 2nd edition, $37.50 Bevan: History of Delaware, 4 volumes, $110.

Delaware Constitutional Debates 1897, 5 volumes, $195 Giles: Patty Cannon, $20 Delaware Governors 1776-1898, pb, $27.50 Delaware State Hospital, Farnhurst, 1889-1939, pb, $40 Spruance: Delaware Stays in the Union, pb, $37.50 Pepper: Folklore of Sussex County, Delaware, pb, $52.50 Sipple: Delaware Through the Years, $22.50 Delaware Federal Writers Project: New Castle on the Delaware, pb, $37.50 Powell: A History of Delaware, $45 Hoffecker: Wilmington, Delaware, History of an Industrial City, dj, $20 Reed: Delaware, A History of the First State, 3 volumes, $200 Fleming: Delaware, Small Wonder, $50.

George Washington and Delaware, pb, $35 Riggs: Guide to the Manuscripts in the Eleutherian Mills Historical Library, $40 Conrad: History of the State of Delaware, 3 volumes, $175 Footner: Rivers of the Eastern Shore, $17.50 Taber: Delaware Trees, $27.50 Zebley: Churches of Delaware, dj, $150 Fleming: Delaware's Outstanding Natural Areas ..., dj, signed, $15 Sparklin: Lilly-Jo, dj, signed, $20 Blandford: Off the Capes of Delaware, $22.50 Wilson: Forgotten Heroes of Delaware, pb, signed, $65 Rodney: New Castle Common, $32.50 Constitution of the U.S., Press at Kells, $17.50 Mariner's Bethel Methodist Church, Ocean View, pb, $27.50 Lunt: Tales of the Delaware Bench and Bar dj, $105.


Some of the higher postcard prices include Village of Blackbird, realphoto, $90 Clio landing at Odessa, realphoto, $55 PRR depot Wyoming, $39 steamer Avalon and canning factory, Seaford, $31 steamer Frederica, $33 canon at Ft. Delaware, 1901, $47.50 tea room in New Castle, $32.50 Green in New Castle, $32.50.

Other Paper

A 1798 document selling a young female slave, $60 'Murtherhiln' Hundred land sale document signed by John Penn, $75 poster "Delaware Oysters are Safe" $65 poster, James H. Hughes for governor.

Non-paper Delawareana

Some of the more interesting non-paper Delawareana fetching higher prices include a pewter mug, Delaware State Police 50 Years, $21 Du Pont blasting machine, $350 pint milk bottle, Crossley & Son, Clayton, $45 Old Forester whiskey bottle "Especially for Western Sussex Democrats 1963," $75 metal Du Pont National Perpetual Calendar, $300 Du Pont black powder box, $45 three-color neon "Bud Light" sign in shape of Delaware, $145 oil painting, Rev. Dr. Benjamin E. Warren by John Shroeder, $410.

Round pint milk bottle, Joseph's Dairy, Coolspring, $90 bottle, "Delicious Delaware Punch" $30 framed 1874-75 architect's drawing and plans for Hudson House, Smyrna, $180 1911 "production or manufacturing" license, $75 porcelain beer bottle, Robinson and Moore, Wilmington, $42.50 beer bottle, Foord, Wilmington, $35 quart milk bottle, embossed baby face, Hy-Point, $80 pint milk bottle, "Always Insist on GOOD MILK," W.B. Mears, $35 banner, 300th anniversary of New Castle, $32.50.

Future Sales

The Smyrna-Clayton Heritage Commision has two future Delawareana sales scheduled. A private collection will be sold at the Clayton Fire Hall on Monday, June 2. A regular sale of consigned lots will be Monday, August 18 at the same place.

Back to Articles list.

Back to home page.

Contact John P. Reid