A Utah woman was in for a shock when she learned the true value of her great-grandmother’s church hymnal.
Rare book appraiser, Ken Sanders, spoke to the woman on Antiques Roadshow in March 2017.
The woman had stored her great-grandmother’s belongings in her basement for years. Among all the other things was a historical treasure that sat untouched in the house.
The woman’s ancestor had left behind a Bellows Falls Latter Day Saints church hymnal. She was a devout person who belonged to The Latter Day Saints.
The hymnal was published in 1844 and the date was mentioned on one of the first few pages of the book. The woman had decided to have the book appraised at PBS’ Antiques Roadshow when it stopped by Salt Lake City.
Ken Sanders, a rare book appraiser, and the woman sat at the table talking about her unknown treasure. He first informed her that the book was published nine years after the first ever hymnal was published by the church in 1835
She must have then realized that the value of the book could be high. However, the appraiser revealed that the book was made of both musical notations and lyrics. The fact that it was old and rare added more value to it.
Back in those days, hymnals were made in a way that they could be disposed of after they were used for a certain number of times.
Sanders seemed impressed that the book was in a good condition. He said, “It makes them very uncommon to actually still exist a century and a half or so later. So, you’ve got a very scare and rare one.”
The expert then reveals the value of the book. He asks her if she has any idea of the value and she says that she has absolutely no clue.
He then breaks the news to her and she has tears in her eyes when she hears that the book could sell for about $40,000 to $50,000 at retail.
The woman is shocked by the revelation as she covers her mouth with her hands. With tears in her eyes, she asks Sanders what she should do with it.
He asks her to “keep it very very safe, like in a safety deposit box.”