Worked 34 years at the top level of the antiquarian book trade

Rarest of the Rare

I have worked 34 years at the top level of the antiquarian book trade.

Over 10 years of experience (1990-2000) as Manager of the largest, finest, and most successful antiquarian book shop in the history of the United States: Heritage Book Shop, Inc., of Los Angeles—where I specialized in manuscript & early printed Bibles, medieval and Renaissance books & manuscripts, fine printing, fine bindings, the 19th Century novel (especially Charles Dickens), and finely bound collected sets. My responsibilities were buying, selling, and pricing antiquarian books in many different fields, as well as staff management.

From 1990 through 2000, I personally generated or saw through the press 4-5 catalogs per year, describing and pricing rare books & manuscripts dating from the 13th Century to modern times.

As an independent private dealer since 2001, I have continued to specialize in rare, early printed Bibles & Biblical manuscripts, Ancient Writing Systems, and medieval & Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts (both religious and secular).

From 2001 through 2003, I had an open shop and gallery on Melrose Place in West Hollywood, specializing in Illuminated Manuscripts.

Since 2003, I have been exclusively a private dealer, broker, consultant, and appraiser.

I am one of only a handful of dealers in history to have bought and sold genuinely ancient Biblical manuscripts that are 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, 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 fragments (in Hebrew, Paleo-Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), early Homeric papyri, New Testament Greek papyri, Greek Septuagint papyri, Dunhuang Manuscripts (Chinese), and Hayakumanto Darani scrolls (Japanese).

As an independent expert in the history of Biblical Manuscripts and other Ancient Writings & Writing Systems, I have lectured at hundreds of churches, schools, private and civic luncheons & dinners, museums, and universities.

I have been interviewed widely on the history of the Bible and Ancient Writing on Christian & secular radio, Christian & secular television, and Christian, Jewish, & secular newspapers around America and Europe, including USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

I have also lectured widely (hundreds of times nationwide) on various bibliographical, valuation, and historical aspects of rare books and manuscripts, including:

Charles Dickens; Jane Austen; the Renaissance overlapping of the manuscript & early printed traditions of Holy Scripture & Classical Literature, Theology, Philosophy & Science; the history and social impact of the Geneva Bible; the making of the King James Bible; the Development of Ancient Writing Systems; the history of The Apocrypha; and the Bible in America.

I have published biographical, bibliographical, and valuation articles on:

Charles Dickens; Anthony Trollope; Edgar Allan Poe, including a bibliography of all first appearances; The Arabian Nights in Arabic, French, and English; Victorian Women Novelists; Jules Verne in French and English (including British and American first editions); Ian Fleming, including writing the definitive bibliography of the James Bond novels in British and American first editions; Boris Pasternak’s working and type-setting manuscripts of Doctor Zhivago in Cyrillic and its printed editions in Russian, Italian, and English; the works, bibliography and market values of the greatest writer of the 20th Century, James Joyce; the history of The King James Bible and its valuation; and the origins of Semitic and Western writing systems & alphabets.

I am a 16-year member of the editorial board and contributing columnist of FIRSTS Magazine, a magazine for collectors of Modern First Editions.

I am an acknowledged valuation contributor to the second through fourth editions of Collected Books: The Guide to Identification and Values by Allen & Patricia Ahearn, especially the Dickens section, pp.221-224. This publication is a vade mecum of the antiquarian book trade for valuation purposes.

My paperback history of the Bible—From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Bible in America—has sold over 45,000 copies to the public, covering the History of Scripture from the very origins of human writing to the first Bible that went to the moon, and has been translated into and published in Mandarin Chinese and Indonesian.

I have built several of the very finest private collections in America, England, Japan, and Mexico in the fields of: 19th Century Literature; 20th Century Literature: the History of Printing; the History of Writing; the History of Economics; the History of Political Theory; the History of Science; Pacific Voyages; Children’s Books; the History of Theology; and the Bible.

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

In 2000 and in 2001, I organized, supervised, and promoted joint commercial exhibitions of illuminated manuscripts in Los Angeles and Tokyo worth over $20 million with dealers from Los Angeles, Paris, London, Hamburg, and Amsterdam.

As a private dealer since 2001, I have exhibited rare books, manuscripts, and writing-related antiquities for sale in New York (Madison Square Garden); Palm Beach (International Fine Art Fair); Dallas (The Biblical Arts Center); Los Angeles; Tokyo; Maastricht, The Netherlands at The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF—the world’s largest and most exclusive and prestigious); and Basel, Switzerland, at the CULTURA Art and Antiquities Fair (the world’s finest and most respected in antiquities).

I routinely provide appraisals for insurance coverage, gift or estate taxes, charitable contribution purposes, 401(k) holdings, and net worth statements.

In sum, I have worked as a qualified appraiser for insurance and official tax purposes in the field of Rare Books & Manuscripts for over 20 years.
In the last 15 years, I have appraised over $900,000,000 worth of rare books and ancient manuscripts.

My appraisals comply with current Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), the Code of Ethics and By-Laws of the American Society of Appraisers (of which I am an Accredited Senior Appraiser: Personal Property, Los Angeles), all government regulations, and all IRS policies (including the most recent definitions in IRC Sec. 170(f)(11)(E)) and other provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. For Non-cash Contributions to 501(c)3 institutions, my appraisal fee includes, without additional charge, a properly filled-out IRS Form 8283 and any conversations or correspondence with the client’s accountant that may be necessary. I conduct comparative research (“comparanda”) going back over 30 years at auction—both on the open market and on the high-end private market, to which I have a very exclusive access level based on my extensive experience and highly-placed contacts.

I appraise only within the fields of my considerable expertise: Rare Books & Manuscripts, especially Ancient Manuscripts and Biblical material. I will appraise a single item or an entire collection, if the material merits an appraisal at my level of expense and expertise. I will advise in advance if conditions are otherwise.

Full scientific reports by my science consultants in Germany are available for extremely ancient material. I generally use Antiques-Analytics in Eppstein Germany, and a sample of their work for me on Ancient Manuscripts can be provided to interested clients.

If required, top scholars in specific ancient languages and paleography are consulted, and their separate reports are included. I have such experts ready in almost every ancient language and medium.

As a Rare Book & Manuscript expert witness and appraiser, I am represented by LEXPERT Research of Malibu, a provider of expert witnesses for California attorneys. I am listed with LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell (America’s leading directory of litigation support services) as Expert Witness, Rare Books & Manuscripts (under Experts and Services) and Expert Appraiser, Rare Books & Manuscripts (under Appraisals and Valuation).

All appraisal work is completed and billed by either my daily or weekly rate (in Los Angeles or out of town), or by negotiated fixed rate never related to the value assigned to the material.

I have done five-, six-, seven-, and eight-figure appraisals of single items and/or collections for:

Cornell University; Princeton University; Stanford University; The Rawlings Foundation; Heritage Auction Galleries (Dallas); Columbia University; The Remnant Trust; The Robert Maxwell Archives (Lot-et-Garonne, France); United States Council for International Business (USCIB); American Communications Network; The William B. Provine Archives of Evolutionary Science; Boston University; The Rothschild Family Trust; The Biblical Arts Center (Dallas); Bible League Asia (Singapore); Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, TX); Credit Suisse/First Boston; Berkeley Asset Protection; OneBeacon; Lloyd’s of London; Marsh; Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA); The Early Manuscripts Electronic Library at UCLA; Whitworth University; Arizona State University; Princeton Theological Seminary; Wycliffe Bible Translators Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (Dallas); West Africa Theological Seminary (Lagos, Nigeria); Georgetown University; The Pierpont Morgan Library; The Huntington Library; Phillips Exeter Academy; University of Pennsylvania; and many other clients, public and private, large and small.

There is no academic or professional education course or series of courses that can prepare one thoroughly for appraising material as rare and arcane as the type of antiquarian books and ancient manuscripts in which I specialize; the extensive hands-on experience factor is the determining factor in qualification.

That said, I have taken and passed the regimen of courses for membership in the American Society of Appraisers: The 15-hour USPAP at University of California, Irvine; the 7-hour USPAP Personal Property specific course; and Principles of Valuation, Personal Property 201, POV/PP202, POV/PP203, and POV/PP204 at SUNY (State University of New York), Purchase College, and many additional college classes in the field.

For the record, my educational background is: 

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 and Philosophy (Intellectual Development of Europe).
High School at Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Presidential Scholar; officially ranked by the United States Government as one of the top 104 graduating seniors in the United States of America in 1972.

Member or Member Emeritus:

Writers Guild of America, West;
American Society of Papyrologists (ASP);
Association Internationale de Papyrologues (AIP);
American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR);
Society of Biblical Literature (SBL);
International Center of Medieval Art;
The Charles Dickens Society;
The Jane Austen Society;
Internationale Coronelli-Gesellschaft fur Globenkunde
(The International Coronelli Society for the Study of Globes);
The Tyndale Society (USA);
Advisory Board, Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins

Accredited Senior Appraiser, American Society of Appraisers (ASA), International Society of Professional Valuers, Los Angeles Chapter (Personal Property), abiding by their standards of ethics, competency and practice, in accordance with The Appraisal Foundation (Washington, DC). Accredited Member, International Society of Appraisers.