National Geographic's Collectors Corner

Collaborative site for collectors, dealers, & anyone interested in our history.

but I have a complete collection of NG from the first issue ( complete original issue of the first 20 years from Buxbaum..also his original collectors guide ) until I stopped collecting several years ago. This collection included many of the very early hard back book and other collectables including numerous maps and miscellaneous item. I am not interested in piece mealing the collection. So only serious collectors please respond..... 

Views: 226

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


For reference, please see this link:

I must admit that I'm a little confused with what exactly you're offering to sell. I'm sorry to be so dense - but I too am getting old. However, I 've always needed things spelled out for me so I can't use my age as an excuse.

Are you saying you have a complete collection of "originals" for the first twenty years of individual issues (and what is Buxbaum's contribution to your collection, e.g. did he certify the originals)?

Of the hard back books, are these bound volumes of magazine issues or first editions of special publications like the Book of Birds, or are they something altogether different?

Back to Buxbaum, is the original collector's guide you mentioned the 1956 edition, or the 1935 pamphlet he published?

Needless to say, I'm interested - but need a bit more clarity please.

Thank you in advance for your time to explain things to me.

I have a collection that includes some originals from the 1st twenty years. I have a complete collection of the first reprints that I purchased from Buxbaum 30+ years ago. I have the 1935 pamphlet signed by Buxbaum and also the 1956 collectors guide. Moost of the early hard back books printed around 1900 -1950. Book of birds etc including the war year publication of Australia and New Zealand with the gold lettering still intact. Many of the quarterly special books etc. There is just so many things collected over the years.

Thank you kindly for taking the time to respond in greater detail.

Unfortunately for me, as Dale exquisitely wrote below, I fall into paragraph 2. I already have a fairly substantial collection slowly assembled over the past 35 years and most likely do not have the resources to offer justice to your years of collecting.

I believe Dale could probably direct you to better (or at least the same) sources I could and would be willing to discuss these options with you (email: if you wish. My best to you no matter your choice.

Kindest Regards,


You have raised a very important issue for all collectors. Having usually spent some significant part of a lifetime collecting the items, how does one later realise their true market value? Leaving them to one's estate is fine, but it is very unlikely that the inheritor of the estate will know the true worth of the collection. This leads many collectors to the situation you now face.

But how to sell such a collection? There are several options.

1. Sell it off piecemeal. eBay seems the best option here to get to an international market, A potentially long and tedious process though (years). Difficult to know what you'd get. Many people buy on eBay expecting a bargain. You'll probably realize full value for the rarest items, but must be judicious in the timing - for example, never sell something of real value during holiday seasons or at odd times of the day.

2. Sell it as a whole to another collector, just as you have indicated. If you can find such a buyer, this is the ideal option. Unfortunately, this is also the least likely option. Experienced collectors will have already accrued their own substantial collections and will have the majority of what you want to sell. They will want to cherry-pick your collection. There will not be many inexperienced collectors who could afford to buy a complete collection or fully appreciate the true value of such a collection, but you never know.

3. Sell it to a dealer. This is usually what happens with estate sales. Dealers need to make their own profit on such a deal and have their own substantial overheads. Most will probably offer you between 10% of 30% of what the collection would be worth. But they will take it all off your hands.

4. Sell it on commission through a dealer. Not all dealers do this. If they do, their commission will vary, but 10% to 20% of the sale price would be the normal range. Could also take a long time to sell off the whole collection (1 to 2 years), but at least you don't have the personal hassle. May be the best path to realize the best returns as dealers personally know most of the 'serious' collectors. I know some great dealers in the US (and must emphasize that I am not one!!).

5. Put the whole collection up for auction through a reputable international auction house that deals with rarities. I have no experience here.

Happy to discuss with you further via email:

If I correctly understand what you have described of your collection (with the same concerns expressed by Melvin), I believe that you have a valuable collection and hope that you will be able sell it in a way that fully realizes its true market value.

Best of luck,

Thank you very much for the detailed listing of options. I will either sell it intact or not at all. Too many things to do to waste the time selling it a little at a time. Dealers and E-Bay are of no interest to me. I am looking for a serious collector or I will keep the collection. Might be interesting in my old age.

Oops, made a mistake with my email address, should be:

You’ve stated this “dilemma” more concisely and succinctly than I’ve ever seen before - thank you!

I’ve copied it into my personal files for future reference – may even put it in my will (at first I wrote this as a joke – but now seriously thinking about it to assist my heirs along with a list of known dealers).

May I copy this as a guide, with proper reference to you, on eBay?


Feel free to use it anyway you want.

I this collection still available and do you have a breakdown on what is included.  I'm looking to fill gaps in my collection, mostly issues prior to 1900.  Thanks


I am not interested in selling individul pieces. Sorry
Hi:  I understand that you are not interested in selling individual issues, but if you have enough that I need, I would be interested in buying the entire collection.

The collection is no longer available. It appears that there were many rare/unusual  items other than the magazines.

   Thank you for your interest



Legal notice about this site

Note: Any sales or trade arrangements are solely between users of this site; The National Geographic Society is not a party to and does not endorse or promote any particular sales or trade arrangements between collectors, dealers, or others. Due to the immediate nature of this medium, National Geographic Online also does not review, censor, approve, edit or endorse information placed on this forum. Discussion boards on National Geographic Online are intended to be appropriate for family members of all ages. Posting of indecent material is strictly prohibited. The placement of advertisements or solicitations unrelated to National Geographic also is prohibited. National Geographic Online shall review information placed on this forum from time to time and delete inappropriate material that comes to its attention as soon as it is practicable, but cannot guarantee that such material will not be found on the forum. By posting material on this discussion board you agree to adhere to this policy prohibiting indecent, offensive or extraneous advertising material, and to legally assume full and sole responsibility for your posting.

© 2024   Created by Cathy Hunter.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service