Lee Raffaele Biondi


Buying, selling, appraising, & brokering high-end rarities


- Present

Owner of BIONDI Rare Books & Manuscripts, LLC.

Private dealer, no open shop. Located in Santa Barbara, Calif. (formerly in Venice Beach, Calif.).

Buying, selling, appraising, and brokering high-end rarities, especially early printed Bibles in all languages, and Ancient Biblical Manuscripts, including Septuagint Fragments and Dead Sea Scroll fragments.

I am one of only a handful of dealers ever to have bought and sold genuinely ancient Biblical manuscripts, that is from 200 BC to AD 500, and one of the few ever to deal actively in ancient languages such as Bactrian, Ugaritic, Assyrian, Sumerian, Proto-Canaanitic, Paleo-Hebrew, Demotic and Hieratic Egyptian, Aramaic, pre-Islamic Arabic, Indus Valley Script, etc. whether on clay, linen, metal, parchment, bone, bark, or wood.

I am, I believe, the only dealer ever to purchase and sell Dead Sea Scroll Biblical fragments, Homeric papyri, Dunhuang manuscripts (Chinese), and Hayakumanto Dharani scrolls (Japanese).

Appraised over $900,000,000 worth of rare books and manuscripts in the last 25 years for private individuals and institutions. Accredited Senior Appraiser, American Society of Appraisers, Personal Property Division, Los Angeles Chapter and Accredited Member, International Society of Appraisers.


- 2005

From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Bible in America

Curator. Exhibition of Biblical artifacts, Biblical manuscripts (including authentic pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and early printed Bibles.

Author of the Exhibit Guide From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Bible in America, which sold over 45,000 units to the public.

Public lecturer during the tour with over 1,000 public lectures during this period covering many different aspects of the history of the Bible. Over 100 radio and television appearances on the topic of the history of the Bible. Tour cities included: Nashville (4 weeks); Dallas (16 weeks); Huntsville, Ala. (5 weeks); Cleveland (5 weeks); Pittsburgh (4 weeks); Indianapolis (5 weeks); Saginaw, Mich. (5 weeks); Elkhart, Ind. (5 weeks); High Point, N.C. (12 weeks); and Paducah, Ky. (5 weeks). The exhibition was re-created in 2009 in Singapore.


- 2003

Owner of BIONDI Rare Books & Manuscripts, LLC.

Owner of Gallery located at 8450 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, Calif. Exhibitions at the Gallery included Illuminated Manuscripts (value of over $15,000,000), American 20th Century Literature (over $1,000,000), and Eastern Manuscripts (value over $10,000,000).

Exhibited inventory of over $15,000,000 at: Palm Beach Fine Art Fair 2001; Madison Square Garden Fine Art Fair 2001; Maastricht European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) 2002; Tokyo Illuminated Manuscript and History of Writing Exhibition (Yushodo, 2002); Basel Antiquities Fair (CULTURA) 2002; Maastricht European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) 2003.

My Gallery and private transactions specialized in printed Bibles and Biblical manuscripts, ancient writing systems, and medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts (both religious and secular).


- 2000

Manager of Heritage Book Shop, Inc., in Los Angeles, Calif.

Over 10 years experience as manager of the largest and most successful antiquarian book shop in the United States: Heritage Book Shop, Inc., of Los Angeles, where I specialized in manuscript & early printed Bibles, and the 19th Century novel, especially Charles Dickens.

Management duties at Heritage included staff management, but were mostly buying, selling, pricing antiquarian books, and writing and publishing catalogs (about 4-5 per year), and describing & pricing rare books and manuscripts dating from the 13th Century to modern times.

As manager of Heritage Book Shop, I exhibited rare books and manuscripts at the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America book fairs from 1990-2000 in New York, San Francisco, Boston, London, and Los Angeles.

For Heritage clients, I built several of the finest private collections in America, England, Japan, and Mexico in the fields of: 19th & 20th Century British, French, and American Literature; Fine Printing; Economics; Shakespeare; Homer and Homeric Studies; History of Science; Pacific Voyages; Children’s Books and Color Plate Books.


- 1990

Senior Manager & troubleshooter at Crown Books in Calif.

Reorganized staff at problem stores in the Greater Los Angeles area. Solved such problems as insufficient turn judged by inventory amount; insufficient turn judged by square footage; loss prevention excesses; etc.

Opened their Pacific Palisades store from scratch, overseeing construction, completion, original staffing, etc.


- 1984

Paramount Studios and Showtime Television, etc.

Produced (and occasionally wrote) on a regular professional basis television and film projects directed by and/or starring: Danny DeVito; Rhea Perlman; Billy Crystal; Christopher Guest; Rob Reiner; Harry Shearer; Howard Hesseman; Michael Richards; Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Belzer; et al.

Wrote and directed various television projects for Showtime, Paramount, and lesser cable outlets such as ON-TV, the Z Channel, Electric Blue, Manhattan Cable, etc.

In 1994, National Lampoon produced my original screenplay Favorite Deadly Sins, starring Andrew Dice Clay.

Member emeritus: Writers Guild of America, West and Dramatists Guild of America, East.


- 1981

Manager at Doubleday Books.

Manager of their flagship Beverly Hills store at Rodeo Drive and Little Santa Monica.


- 1980

Professional writer in Miami, Kingston, and New York.


- 1975

College at University of Miami. Graduated at age 20 with 4.0 GPA, ranked #1 in the Class of ’75. Summa cum laude. Bachelor’s Degree with double major in Mass Communications (Film and Television Department) and Philosophy (Intellectual Development of Europe).


- 1972

High School at Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Presidential Scholar; officially ranked as one of the top 104 graduating seniors in the United States of America in 1972.