Whether you’re a member of the Hollywood elite with a book addiction or a less notable bibliophile, you’ve probably desired to see the insides of a book up for auction but haven’t had the time or money to fly to the auction location to inspect it. While many auction houses have made it easier for you to bid long distance, with online and phone bidding, getting a good look at the goods (or bads) remains a problem.
This is especially true of books. But Joe Fay, Manager of Rare Books at Heritage Auctions, explains how the auction house is addressing the issue for book collectors:
Books are especially difficult to fully represent with photography, or to completely describe to someone else in words. A 300-page book has about 320 surface areas to show, counting the covers, all sides of the book, any preliminary pages, and so on. So, here in the rare books department, whenever we can, we take advantage of Heritage Auctions’ continued commitment to employ technology to make the auction process easier, faster, and more transparent, and to deliver to bidders as much information as possible in order to help them make an informed decision about a lot. One particular way we do this is through the use of Video Lot Descriptions (VLDs) for premium lots in our auctions.
A Video Lot Description is a two to four minute video presentation of an auction lot, produced entirely by Heritage Auctions, and hosted on a given item’s webpage once online bidding opens.