Spring Book, Map, Documents & Prints Auction

Auction Features Antique Books, Maps, Historical Documents, Important Prints & More

Glossary of Autograph Abbreviations & Terms

Investing in antique and/or rare documents and manuscripts can be confusing at times given the many abbreviations and terms used by auction houses, appraisers and experts.  The following is a list of the primary terms and abbreviations often used by buyers and sellers of documents and manuscripts.

Historical Manuscripts as Archives: Some Definitions and Their Application

HISTORICAL manuscripts are regarded primarily if not exclusively as materials for research, whatever their origin or provenance. That august word provenance as the hallmark of archives has given archival records a superior status in the minds of some historians as well as archivists. It is agreed, at least among archivists, that archives are something more than raw materials for the scholar's use; indeed, such a gross understatement of their function would be seriously challenged. Whatever one's point of view, attempts to distinguish one class of records from another raise the question: What is the relation between historical manuscripts and archives ? Is the one only the needy next-of-kin of the other?

Antique & Vintage Scales

Collecting Antique and Vintage Scales. Balance Scales include a fulcrum, a beam that balances on it, two pans at the ends of the beam to hold the materials to be weighed, and counter-balancing weights. Balance scales that require equal weights on each side of the fulcrum have been used by everyone from apothecaries and assayers to jewelers and postal workers. The most accurate mechanical equal-arm scales, as they are called, are housed in wood-and-glass cases to keep dust from tipping the scales, so to speak. Firms known for their high-quality balance scales include Philip Harris of England, Becker of Belgium, and U.S. maker Kohlbusch.

One Antique Map Collector’s Views

Antique maps and atlases are certainly a niche collectible, but are gaining in popularity, according to Crouch, a London-based dealer. “People tend to collect maps of places with which they have a special connection,” he says. “As people travel more, they have stronger feelings about a wider range of places around the world. Maps and atlases are by definition global, so we see buyers from all over the world too.” He says that’s why the prices of maps featuring countries with rapidly growing economies such as China, India and Brazil have increased the most in recent years.