PBA Galleries

Pacific Book Auction Galleries was founded in 1992, changing its name to PBA Galleries in 2001. The auction house holds regular sales at its galleries in the Van Ness area of San Francisco.

Specialising in rare books and manuscripts, their sales often focus on a particular area of collecting such as cartography, exploration, children’s books and Americana. They also offer private library sales.


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19th century bartender's 'bible' makes record in San Francisco sale

16 August 2021

Published in 1862, one exceptional lot in a Californian sale that focused on food and drink was billed as “The Canonical Text in Bartending”.

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Example of 'the first American board game' sold in San Francisco

07 June 2021

The Travellers Tour through the United States of 1822 was once described as the first American board game.

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Huge baths picture makes a big splash

15 March 2021

At nearly 7ft high, a fine example of a four-sheet coloured lithograph of the Sutro Baths sold for $10,000 (£7355).

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Winnie The Pooh set signed by ‘Christopher Robin’ emerges in San Francisco

01 March 2021

A 50th anniversary edition of the much-loved AA Milne and EH Shepard books, a boxed set published in the appropriate years of 1974-78, is shown below.

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Your 13 steps to riches

01 February 2021

First edition of Napoleon Hill’s 'Think and Grow Rich' sells at auction

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Bobby meets his ‘Boswell’

23 November 2020

Top lot in a golfing sale at PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) was a 1927 first of Down the Fairway: The Golf Life and Play of Robert T Jones, Jr.

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Dickens and Dostoevsky lots attract bids at PBA Galleries sale

21 September 2020

Plenty of Dickensian lots were on offer in a sale held by US saleroom PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium).

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Savvy caddy makes a happy golfer

10 August 2020

One of the specialist golfing sales held by PBA Galleries (20% buyer’s premium) of San Francisco included the work of a Scottish-born designer of golf courses who is said to have laid out some 400 of them.

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The worldwise works of HG Wells

11 November 2019

Sold for a record $2750 (£2220) at PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) in California on October 10 was an inscribed copy of The World Set Free, a prophetic novel by HG Wells.

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Golf guide chips in for a sport surprise

04 November 2019

Golf books do not bring as many really high prices as was once the case, but the most recent of the regular sales in this category held by a Californian saleroom did contain a couple of surprises.

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William Nicholson’s 'Alphabet' in San Francisco sale

28 October 2019

With the title and 26 plates tipped onto brown paper leaves, a large ‘library edition’ copy of William Nicholson’s famous Alphabet, published by Heinemann in 1898, is estimated at $800-1200 in a November 7 sale at PBA Galleries of San Francisco.

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Buck’s 'The Good Earth' makes rare appearance in San Francisco

05 August 2019

Published in 1931, Pearl S Buck’s 'The Good Earth' was the best-selling novel in the US for both that and the following year, as well as the winner of a Pulitzer Prize.

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Colin Dexter's Quinn takes top spot

15 July 2019

A Colin Dexter first brought one of the higher bids at Keys (20% buyer’s premium) of Aylsham in its June 13-14 sale.

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Early Golf magazine sells a fair way above guides

17 June 2019

Early magazine runs brought some unexpectedly high prices in the latest of the regular golfing literature sales held by a Californian saleroom.

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21st century tastes: How the growing interest in the history of food and drink is influencing the market for early recipe books

21 May 2019

Old cookery books are more than simply receptacles of food history. They speak of technological change, the availability and discovery of ingredients that came with the expansion of the known world and how the social standing of the cook or chef changed over time. They are also very much in collecting vogue.

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Medley of tastes on offer in California

18 March 2019

A Californian sale of March 7 certainly offered great variety in age, content and price range. Promoted as A Biblio-Medley for All Tastes, it ran to well over 500 lots across its printed and supplementary, online catalogues – with at least one lot, a volume of the works of Arthur Hallam, sold for just $10.

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Philip K Dick references the Dane

19 November 2018

Two copies of Time Out of Joint, an early dystopian work by the well-known sci-fi writer Philip K Dick, were offered in a PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) sale of October 18.

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Golfosaurians and other course tales

12 November 2018

One of just 100 first edition copies of National Golf Links of America by Charles Blair MacDonald was the top lot in a recent US golf sale at $15,000 (£11,450).

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From Tolkas with ’Love to dearest Bobsie’

22 October 2018

The dust jacket is far from pristine, but this 1933 first of The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas is signed and inscribed by both its subject and her lifelong partner, the writer Gertrude Stein.

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War on the American frontier is the focus of San Francisco sale

17 September 2018

Accounts of wars and skirmishes in the southern states of North America and Mexico were one notable feature of an August 23 sale held in San Francisco.

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