Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2019 Issue

Shapero Rare Books' Parent Reports a Return to Profitability


From Shapero Rare Books Facebook page.

Things are looking up for rare book seller Shapero Rare Books and its parent company. Shapero Rare Books is part of publicly traded company Scholium Group, which means it is required to provide audited statements to the public. As such it offers a window on conditions in the rare book trade.


After a tough fiscal 2019, which for Scholium concluded at the end of last March, the six months ending September 30 showed a year-on-year improvement both for the parent company and the Shapero division. Their stamps division also saw improvement, though Scholium Trading, which trades artwork in conjunction with other sellers, saw a decline.


While the group made a “small profit” during the period, they noted, this was “a considerable improvement compared with the loss incurred during the six months ended 30 September 2018.” As for the rare books division, the company announced, “Shapero Rare Books has also continued to improve its profitability compared with both of the six month periods previously.” In other words, its performance improved both over the last six-month period and from the same six-month period a year earlier.

Jasper Allen, Chairman of Scholium, stated, "We are pleased that the Group has traded profitably. The improvement in the results from both Mayfair Philatelics and Shapero Rare Books is encouraging given the challenging retail environment."

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Adam Smith, <i>Wealth of Nations,</i> first edition, descended from William Alexander, London, 1776. $70,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> George Gershwin, photograph signed & inscribed with autograph musical quotation, <i>An American in Paris,</i> 1928. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Friedrich Engels, <i>The Condition of the Working Class in England,</i> first edition, NY, 1887. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> <i>Bury St. Edmunds Witch Trials,</i> first edition, London, 1682. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Robert Rey, <i>Estampes,</i> complete portfolio of 12 wood engravings, Paris, 1950. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Archive of 47 letters by Enrico Caruso to a lady friend, 1906-20. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Books of Hours in Flemish, Netherlands, 15th century. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Jack Kerouac, <i>Doctor Sax,</i> deluxe limited edition, signed, NY, 1959. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Walt Disney, signature on title-page of Ward Greene’s <i>Lady and the Tramp,</i> first edition, first printing. $3,000 to $4,000.

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