Will Seippel | February 1, 2023

In this video, I discuss a great find: a well-preserved, leather-bound antique book inside its own case. The book inside turned out to be a fantastic example of one of the first-thousand editions of the 1891 text, Retrospection and Introspection, by Mary Baker Eddy. As hinted by its protective casing, the book would have been expensive to produce, complete with leather bindings, gold gilding, and silk lining. These features are unusual for a work that would have been widely issued, suggesting this was a special copy made for someone. We’ll have to do more research to find out its background!

We do know that the author is one of the most influential American women. Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910) founded The Church of Christ, Scientist—also known as Christian Science—in 1879. She wrote many important works on the religion and established significant publications, most notably the Christian Science Monitor newspaper. In Retrospection and Introspection, Eddy recaps her life and the background of the principles behind Christian Science.

hardcover Mary Baker Eddy Retrospection and Introspection
One eBay seller sold this hardcover copy of Retrospection and Introspection by Mary Baker Eddy for $350.00.

Using WorthPoint.com, we can see a book of this caliber is especially rare. Most of its copies sold were hardcover editions, ranging in value between $6.00 and $350.00. Well-kept first editions or those a part of volumes with Eddy’s other works have sold for higher amounts. WorthPoint also holds realized prices for rare items like Eddy’s hand-signed letters, with examples of her signature in our Marks database.

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Will Seippel is the CEO and founder of WorthPoint, the world’s largest provider of information about art, antiques, and collectibles. An Inc. 500 Company, WorthPoint is used by individuals and organizations seeking credible valuations on everything from cameras to coins. WorthPoint counts the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the IRS among its clients.