PBA Galleries



2015-06-26 10:43:46

PBA Galleries is an American auctioneer and appraiser, based in San Francisco, USA.

It specialises in the sale of rare books, manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, prints and photographs.

Its website describes it as “one of the largest and most successful specialty auction houses world-over”.

Mission statement

The website states:

“It is PBA Galleries' primary goal to maintain our high level of standards in the fine arts field and provide the best service to all who are interested in buying and selling at PBA Galleries.”

Foundation and ownership

After the demise of California Book Auction Galleries in 1992, former employees decided to found PBA Galleries. It is currently owned by software programmer and book collector, Roger Wagner.

Expertise and services

According to its website, PBA holds bi-monthly auctions of rare books, manuscripts and other paper-based rarities. Auctions are held in its auction house in San Francisco, and bidders can participate from the floor or ‘live’ via the internet.

Collectors looking to sell can consign their rare books to PBA, who will professionally appraise, photograph, catalogue and advertise items.

The website also features ‘Bibliobot’, and instant appraisal service. By filling in details about the author, title, age, etc., a collector will receive a value for their item.

Auction catalogs



Notable sales

In 2008, an 1814 account of the expedition of Captains Meriweather Lewis and William Clark across the Northern America was auctioned by PBA Galleries.

The book was sold for a house record of $212,000; it was purchased by book dealer W. Graham Arader.

In 2011, the auction house auctioned a final version of the NASA flight plan for Apollo 11, signed by astronaut and first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. It realised $51,000 – five times its pre-sale estimate.

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