Culvertons Antiques

01306 770212
0777 5426867

Our book valuers will identify works that are currently in demand and advise clients as to the most effective route when considering sale.

Tim our resident specialist, assisted by Jonathan our general valuer, are Culvertons’ book valuers. With an ever watchful eye on the current trends that directly impact upon the value of our clients’ collections they will accurately appraise and give an estimate of value for probate, insurance and tax purposes. When requested they can offer positive solutions as to 'just what can be done with large quantities of unwanted books', and are happy to offer help, advice and share their insight with customers.

Interest in antiquarian books on China continues to grow, fuelled by an interest within the country itself, coupled with the growing wealth of buyers from that country. This means that prices for Chinese material, whether books, maps or photograph albums, continue to rise.

There has also been a growing interest in ephemera over the past couple of years: albums, letters, journals and posters. The appeal perhaps lies in the uniqueness of these items: a diary kept by a soldier on the Western Front during the First World War has a poignancy through the very fact of its survival against the odds, and isn’t available on the internet. It might be a nineteenth century photograph album of working elephants in Burma, or a poster advertising an early concert by The Sex Pistols-the interest will be there, with prices to match.

Tim - a brief resumé

Tim has spent over 25 years in the second-hand and antiquarian book trade, and before opening his first shop he worked in some of the legendary and iconic centres of the British book trade, such as Charing Cross Road and Hay on Wye, the 'Town of Books'.  Having always enjoyed reading, his interest in old books really began while studying for an English degree, where any spare time was spent combing the local second-hand book shops for interesting and unusual items. 

After leaving university Tim's first experience of working with antiquarian books was at Thomas Thorp, the famous and long-standing family book shop in Guildford High Street, where ancient typewriters were still in use and even more ancient aunts were the order of the day.  Valuable experience was gained here, and spells at Quinto in the Charing Cross Road and The Cinema Bookshop in Hay furthered his knowledge, enabling Tim to open his own premises in Dorking at the age of 25.

Over a period of 13 years all aspects of running a second-hand and antiquarian book shop were experienced, from purchasing single volumes to entire libraries, arranging the rebinding of books, providing open market valuations to dealing with eccentric customers, who wanted nothing more than a good chat!  A very wide range of books was stocked, from academic paperbacks to rare and unique books, such as the seventeenth century book on ornate Italian carriages which had been inscribed by the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor at the house of Sir Christopher Wren in 1697.  

Tim now concentrates on selling at book fairs and online, where physical books are still much in demand despite pressures from new virtual alternatives such as ebooks.  Tim said recently: 'I find it immensely reassuring that so many people, including the young, still find that there really is no substitute for handling a book.  And long may that continue!'

Our impartial, competitive and confidential services

Culvertons are book valuers and appraisers, offering a broad range of services principally in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Hampshire, and throughout London but also the rest of central and southern England.

An accurate estimation of the value of chattels (moveable goods) is a requirement by HM Revenue and Customs for Inheritance Tax purposes. It is also used by the legal profession for Divorce Proceedings and insurance companies for financial protection cover. Whether a valuation for books forms part or all of the submission, a Culverton's report meets the legal requirements placed on solicitors, executors and businesses, as well as private individuals.

If you wish to arrange an appointment or have a question about our services or how we would assess items in your possession please send us an email via are contact page.

Culvertons also offer a most competitive package of additional services relating to the handling of estates, which aims to reduce the burden placed upon executors and solicitors.

Culvertons‘ knowledge, experience and advice are just a phone call away.