Are you Sitting on a Gold Mine?

This map from 1595/6 is currently on auction. Photos:

A beautiful map from 1595/6. Photos:

Perhaps it’s time to take a close look at the dust-covered books on your bookshelf. For the past six years the Constantia based online auction site has auctioned rare old books, maps & prints, documents, letters, vintage photos and ephemera (items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones). And the prices have made some people very, very happy… is the only online rare book auctioneer in the world, and booksellers from across the globe flock here to sell their books, and make good money. ‘Good money.’ What am I talking about? I should have said ‘great money,’ and especially so for South Africans and denizens of other countries with benighted currencies, since bidding is conducted in US Dollars.

William Burchell's Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa.

William Burchell’s Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa.

What sort of prices am I talking about?
A beautiful and ancient map of the west coast of Southern Africa, dated 1595/6, is currently on offer on this site. It has a reserve price of $3,750, which translates to a red-hot
R51, 041.

And another example: According to, “When William Burchell’s two volume Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa was published in 1822, only 500 copies were printed, and few have survived in pristine condition.
Other copies have sold for R100 000 and the book is sought after for its hand-drawn maps and hand-coloured illustrations depicting a South Africa long before the age of Instagram.”

How old is old?
Old is relative in this case, just as in real life. It can be really ancient or it can be a first edition of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960).

If you think you have something precious, and want to auction it, you can do so without being a bookdealer.
Here’s how to you go about it:

“Bookdealers must be vetted by us,” states “This ensures lots are catalogued accurately and maintains a high standard of content on the site.
If you are a private seller and are looking to consign books or any other related material, please do get in touch with the auction team. As only book dealers are allowed to consign stock, we can recommend dealers who could sell the stock on your behalf.” was set up by Capetonian antiquarian bookseller Paul Mills, who has been an active dealer in the international rare book trade for over 35 years.

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