Value of British Encyclopedia?

April 4, 2021

Value of British Encyclopedia?I have a pristine set of The British Encyclopedia, Illustrated 1933 edition, and am wondering what it is worth. Can you help me, please?



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April 5, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

Do you have all 10 volumes? If so, it appears your exact set just sold in March on eBay for £8.00.

Value of encyclopedia is based on three primary factors (none of which are age--because I have seen newer sets sell for big money and 100 year old sets never sell)

The three keys for valuing encyclopedia are:

1. Content (more photos than text fetch more because artists purchase them for crafts)--also there is content people want to remove and frame--especially those with color and glossy pages. Or lots and lots of neat maps.

2. Condition--pristine fetches more than those that have issues or worse--smells

3. Scarcity. There are some books that people collect because they are scarce. Some sets were made in limited quantities with special covers and such and those are often more sought after than the ones (in the US) that you bought at the grocery store when you earned so many yellow stamps.


Let us know how your sale goes! Thanks for sharing!

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April 6, 20210 found this helpful
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You do not say if you are in the US but it appears that most copies of this set are listed for sale or sold in the UK and shipping to the US is extremely high. So if you are in the US, it may be possible a nice set could have a higher value but sales are slow and may takes months/years to sell.

It appears there were 2 types of bindings made; a maroon (faux leather) and blue like your set. I'm not sure there is a difference in value but it's possible to find sets listed for sale and prices are varied from low to very high but very difficult to find sold sets and the sold sets are low value; under $40. I could not find any set that has been sold in the US.


You can find sets listed for varying prices but that does not mean very much as only a sold set can give you an indication of what someone actually pays for a set.
High - but others listed for less money - still unsold: (Affiliate Link)

Set?tag=thrif06-20 listed for sale in UK for $25.70 (US) plus shipping:

This set sold for $41 this year - sold in UK:

This set sold (12 volumes - added dictionaries) in 2019 for $110 - in Singapore.

These are just examples to illustrate that for sale prices are just whatever a seller decides his set is worth but only sold items show value.
If your set is in excellent condition then you can set your price higher - maybe $100-$150? - and list with best offer considered and see if you receive any offers. If no offers, you can lower your price or just wait like so many other sellers do.


You should have at least 10 pictures; showing full condition of books - spines, front, back, all sides and several inside pictures.
If you are in the US you can offer media mail as it is much cheaper and a set of books cannot usually be shipped in one box.

Pghgirl provides excellent advice and I agree with her about the age of books as other conditions are usually more relevant than age - unless it is extremely rare.

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 440 Answers
April 15, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

The British Encyclopedia Illustrated 1933 has 10 volumes, but I see that this encyclopedia is sometimes sold with the addition of 2 volumes of "The British Dictionary Illustrated" as the 12-volume British Encyclopedia


This British Encyclopedia has not only blue hardcover, but also maroon, but since they have the same Jan 1, 1933 edition and the same editors J.M. Parrish. John R. Crossland. Angelo, there should be no difference in price. The price depends only on the condition of the volumes.
At the moment you can sell each volume separately for 9-13$
or all 10 volumes at once for 28-30$.

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April 4, 20210 found this helpful

There is a set on ebay priced @ $40:

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April 4, 20210 found this helpful

If you can hold on to it until 2033, it will be 100 years old and considered an antique. It will be worth more than it is now.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
April 5, 20210 found this helpful

At this present time the worth is between $25 and $35.They tend not to bring in much until they are over 100 years old. Then the value goes up . Here are what others are asking-

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April 5, 20210 found this helpful

Thank you for taking the time to reply

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