Appraisal Services

Co-owner John Schulman is a seasoned appraiser for estate, legal, tax and insurance purposes. We have done appraisals for donations to CMU, University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University, Carlow College, the Heinz History Center, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Penn State. We have worked with hundreds of individuals, providing appraisals (for tax, insurance and legal purposes) of books, ephemera, autographs, manuscripts, photographs, documents, and family archives. We work closely with a number of honest antique dealers, auctioneers, and estate sale professionals; we also consult with a number of libraries in the area and can facilitate the donation of unwanted books.

Caliban Book Shop is a member of the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Assocation of America), the main professional organization of book dealers and appraisers specializing in rare books, etc.  Mr. Schulman has spent much of the last twenty years appraising for PBS's Antiques Roadshow. He also organizes the Discovery Day appraisals for the ABAA-sponsored antiquarian book fairs in Boston and New York City. He now has a national reputation for his evaluations and is consulted by collectors and institutions across the country. Recently, he helped place the Izzy Young Archive with the Library of Congress.

Appraisals for tax, insurance and legal purposes require research, meeting IRS and government standards, and making sure they meet or exceed the standards set by insurance companies and other agents, in case of a dispute. We have never had our appraisals questioned, thanks to the high degree of professionalism and research evident in our work. Please inquire as to our fees and turnaround time. Our fees are straight hourly rates, and are not based on the (potential) value of the items under review.

On the other hand, should you wish simply to gain a better understanding of whether you have something possibly rare or saleable, we offer FREE verbal (that is, not guaranteed or written-up) evaluations if items are brought to our store by prior arrangement. If you wish to bring items down to get our opinion, please call ahead.