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  Saving or scrapping space auction catalogs

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Author Topic:   Saving or scrapping space auction catalogs
David Carey

Posts: 725
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 01-14-2019 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cleaning up a bit and have a few dozen space auction catalogs from ~2009 onward that I'm no longer needing. Auction houses include Regency, RR Auction, Goldberg, Bonhams, Heritage.

Before I send to the recycle bin, anybody perceive value that would make them worth saving?


Posts: 1031
From: Dallas
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-14-2019 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I pondered the same recently. My collection dates back to the 80’s and 90’s though. I tried to sell them off recently and wanted to keep them all together. The party I was negotiating with wanted me the dump all the paper catalogs past 2007. I didn’t have the heart do to it, but sadly, it likely has to happen because those items and their prices are can mostly be found online now.

The bulk of the value of my catalogs are the superior, odyssey and Regency-Superior books that contain treasures not yet unearthed since those sales.

I just don’t have the time to digitize them myself.

Anyways, yeah, it might be tough to even get $10 a catalog for the recent sales, so chucking them might be in order for both of us.


Posts: 154
From: Michigan
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 01-15-2019 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thisismills   Click Here to Email thisismills     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An interesting topic. In a collector market where few dedicated publications exist (outside of this site) and many items (specifically of the flown variety) are unique, auction catalogs fill the void for driving interest and hope of obtaining a rare item in the future. For me at least, it is quite literally how I find out that the item exists if the current owner doesn't have it on public display.

Since Regency-Superior closed and took their online archive with them, those catalogs will have more immediate value for collectors. The online archives of Bonhams, Christies, Goldberg, Heritage, RR, etc. are great for research and certainly take up much less space versus holding on to all the catalogs. While these auction houses aren't likely to go out of business any time soon, they could, and maybe without warning, expunge past sales after a certain amount of time has passed. When this happens, the reference value of those newer catalogs rise. Right now the shipping alone is usually enough to make selling them cost prohibitive.

It would be great to create a digital archive of them independent of the original publishers for reference. As with any project like this, there are obstacles, requiring passion, effort, and usually money to overcome.


Posts: 2107
From: McKinney TX (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 01-15-2019 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you are going to toss out auction catalogs, at least make sure you retain a copy of any page that contains the description of the items you won ... might want to keep a copy of the cover of the auction as well. This information should be included with any other documentation you have to enhance the provenance.

David Carey

Posts: 725
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 01-16-2019 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the inputs.

Like Jason I've no time to archive digitally so, with reservations, off to the recycle bin they will go.

And yes, John, absolutely agreed. I've saved all catalogs intact where there were collection items represented.

I also saved some "vintage" late 80s early 90s catalogs for reference. Almost aggravating to look through when you see what was available and the modest estimates of the day!

In any case, glad no one argued they must all be preserved — allows me to prove I can pare down a bit instead of only acquire.


Posts: 93
From: Dallas, Texas, USA
Registered: Oct 2008

posted 01-17-2019 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NASAgoob   Click Here to Email NASAgoob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great topic and discussion. I only have a small collection of 13-15 and mostly Heritage. Also, Heritage provides PDF version at no cost.

I enjoy looking at them occasionally to study items, prices, and dream about additions to my collection. Being fairly new, has also helped validate an item that I was unfamiliar with.

I wouldn’t want 100s of these, but I enjoy my limited set. I also want the complete set of the Heritage-Armstrong as they continue this year.

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