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Wisden Almanack Auction Website
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Help: General                   
Welcome to WisdenAuction.Com!

Our expertise is in all things Wisden, so we are delighted to bring you this opportunity to buy or sell your spare Wisdens using our site. To find a Wisden you can run a search from the Home Page or you can browse items by category via the browse tab (click Browse at the top of the page). To place a bid or sell an item you need to register for a WisdenAuction.Com account. Registration is quick & easy, please see the Registration Help section for more information, it takes about 30 seconds.

Draft Glossary Added below.

Finding that Missing year.

Please see Find That Year Help for easy step by step instructions on how to find the year you need. 

A note on our Unique Wisden Fields that can be seen on every listing.

If you list an Old Original Hardback, you will be asked about the Gilt & Hinges of the book, these questions you are asked will be different if you are listing a Rebound Wisden or an Original Paperback and questions about the Dust Jacket (DJ) will come into question for hardback books listed after 1965. These questions all have drop down lists which makes listing a Wisden easier and it helps the buyer can see exactly what the Wisden is like. Please enquire if you would like to see another "Unique Wisden Field" or just need help filling them out, many are optional but the more completed the better the user experience and more chance of a sale/bid.

Listing Types 

Auction - A Traditional Auction listing allows you to sell items to the highest bidder. You specify the start price, and people bid against each other in specified bid increments. Traditional Auctions allow the Seller to set both a Reserve and Buy Now price. When listing a Traditional Auction, the quantity of goods is equal to one.

Buy Now - When listing an item, you have the option of setting a Buy Now price. The Buy Now feature allows instant purchasing and items using this are more like a usual online store as the auction element is not in place here. All items from use the buy now format. These items use a Fixed Price - A Fixed Price listing does not allow bidding. The seller specifies the only acceptable price for the lot. You can sell one item or multiple identical items with one Fixed price listing. Because there is no bidding on fixed priced listings, all items are Buy Now.

Setting a Reserve - The Reserve price is the absolute minimum amount the Seller will accept for an item. Buyers are notified after placing their bid if it is below the Reserve price. If a Buyer's maximum bid is greater than the Reserve price, the Reserve is automatically met and that user is the high bidder.

Sniper Control - WisdenAuction.Com uses sniper control.

Sniper control extends the auction end time by 2 minutes if a bid is placed within the last 2 minutes of the auction. Please bid early.



Searching - There are two ways to search for items, Basic Search and Advanced Search.

Basic Search - Accessible from both the Home Page and the Browse Tab.

  • Enter Keywords such as year E.g. 1864 or 186 for all the 1860's, or Hardback for example and hit "GO". 

  • If searching on Item Number or User Name of the seller please enter the item number or the User ID of the seller and select the appropriate radio button then click GO.

Advanced Search - Accessible by clicking the "Advanced Search" button on the Home Page

The following options are available for the Advanced Search:  

  • Category - Select a specific item category or "All Categories." Using the category search will enable the "Unique Wisden Field" to be enquired upon.

  • Keywords. Enter the keyword , to search the Title & Descriptions check the Include Description box.

  • The following options are available for keyword search:

    • All of these words

    • Any of these words

    • Exactly these words

  • Item Options - Used to search the Unique Wisden Fields

  • Refine Your Search - Narrow the search. Reduce the number of search results by setting specific searchable properties.

    • Price Range

    • Start Date

    • End Date

    • Words to Exclude

    • Listing type

      • Fixed Price

      • Auction

    • Listing Options

      • Completed

      • Buy Now! only

      • No Reserve only

      • With Pictures only

  • Display Format - How to organize the items your search returns.

    • Items Ending First - Items with the least amount of time left first.

    • Items Ending Last - Items with the longest amount of time left first.

    • Newest Items First - Items with the most recent start date.

    • Oldest Items First - items with the oldest start date.

    • Lowest Price First

    • Highest Price First

    • Most Bids First

    • Least Bids First

    • Alphabetically

    • Reverse Alphabetically

Press "GO" to activate your Advanced Search

You can also use the Advance Search to see all Sold items which may help you work out the price required to buy or sell a Wisden. Enter parameters and Select the Completed tick box.


Draft Glossary (Written 29-11-11)

Bat Bookmarks : Between 1933 and 1939 Wisden issued a small bookmark tied to the book with string, it was only issued in the softback but was the shape of a bat , the handle does tend to be missing but the string is attached to the same place in each Wisden. 

Boards : Usually short for Hard Boards. There are two prominent meanings for Boards, either the outermost casing of a rebind (these can come in various colours and designs, some with letters some without, depends on what the binder/collector chose at the time) , it is also the word for the brown outsides of an original hardback, these have two forms, pre & post 1938, both have gilt to the front and spine. (See rebinds, Original Hardbacks, Gilt)

Bowing : Mainly in the softbacks, the spine can warp over time, 1940 & 1963 are the prime candidate for this, looking down on the book, the best copies have  a straight spine (a rectangle is seen when looking down on the book) , the worst copies are badly bowed and  have a spine like a “(“ or ”)”


Covers : For Rebinds and Softbacks, they are the outside of the original book published by Wisden, also known as wrappers. The outside of an Original Hardback is sometimes know as “cloth covers”


Dust Jacket (DJ) : In 1965 Wisden issued a paper wrap around to all of its hardbacks, this is the dust jacket. They are yellow. From 1965 to 1978 they have multi coloured text. From 1994 they are laminated. Facsimile DJs are also available but are just yellow and black (and state that they are facsimile on them).


Ex-Library : A lot of Wisdens have been housed in a library, some do take a bit of a beating and it can mean the book is well read, have stamps inside and also a book plate from the library , they can be removed but either way they tend to hold less value than an equivalent non library Wisden.


Facsimile Spines: When an Original Paperback Wisden has fallen apart due to age or to cosmetically touch up a Wisden, a facsimile spine can be added to replace the original spine, these spines look the same but strengthen the book so that it can be easily read or look a bit more uniform on the shelf. The modern day equivalent of using a few strips of clear tape. (See Original Paperback)


Foxing : Foxing is one of the most talked about definitions, it tends to be small (Brown?) spots within a book, usually caused by a chemical reaction over time, hence the photoplate and tissue paper are impacted the most from the chemicals in the photography procedure. It can be more than spots in sever cases , large blocks of pages can be darkened.


Gilt : Gilt is another word for Lettering, it comes from the phrase gilding, the tiny amount of metal that is gilded onto the books. For 1896 to 1932 it was gold leaf, 1933 to 1937 it was copper plate (hence they fade badly) , 1938+ it was more coloured in with gold looking paint but Gilt is used for lettering in the more general sense. Beware that some books may have had this redone in recent times usually to the years 1933 to 1946.  (See Re-gilding)


Hardbacks : Hardbacks have been used to refer to rebound books in hardboards but the more genuine meaning of this is Original Hardback, there is nothing more of a let down than to receive and email saying I have 1930-1939 in Hardback to find they are rebound Wisdens! (See Original Hardbacks, Rebinds).


Hinges : On an Original Hardback, just like with a door , the boards are attached to the main book with a hinge, in certain years, these tend to be weaker than others (1903 being the worst) , a nice test of their strength is to lay the book on the desk and open the front board to 180 degrees and release it,  the best hinges will spring back and close the book, a good hinge will hold its own at 180 degress, but a weak hinge will allow the board to fall to the desk and not support itself. Worst still the hinge may be split, if so you will see gauze or webbing exposed , the biggest extreme is when te boards are coming away from the pages. Hinges are mentioned to a lesser extend in a rebind & softbacks but in poor copies it may state that they have broken hinges.


Leathers : In 1995 , Wisden issued a Limited Edition Wisden, it came in a slip case was numbered and  limited to 100 and was bound in red leather and signed by the editor, in 1996 (to date) 150 were issued, the first 5 go to the cricketers of the year and have their name on the front of them, Wisden allow you to keep you number going forward if you subscribe to them. Leather can also be mentioned when talking about a rebound Wisden, the replacement or New boards are sometimes in leather.


Lettering : See Gilt.


Linens : Also known as Linen Cloth Covers (or Softbacks) , in 1938 Wisden changed the format of the Wisden and they replaced the Paper covers with Linen Cloth Covers, hence the formats available from Wisden in 1938 were Linen Cloth Covers and Original Hardbacks  (See Paperbacks , Softbacks).


Original Hardbacks : One of the two forms of Wisdens produced off the printing press at Wisden, they come off the presses in Original Paperback (Linen Cloth 1938+) and Original Hardback, the latter are brown with two main styles, before 1938 they had gilt running vertically down the spine , “YEAR. WISDEN’S CRICKETERS’ ALMANACK. YEAR.”  from 1938 the gilt runs horizontally to the top of the spine. “WISDEN CRICKETERS ‘ ALMANACK YEAR” – some variations exist. To the front, the modern day are similar to the spine (with the edition to the bottom) , the pre 1938 Wisdens have the text centrally to the front board 

JOHN WISDEN’S CRICKETERS’ ALMANACK For YEAR.”  With edition to the top and the publishers details to the bottom. Original Hardbacks pre 1938 have distinctive Yellow pastedowns to the inside page and the opposite page and also to the last page and inside rear cover, Hardbacks are considerably more sought after (hence more valuable) than paperbacks, even though they started in 1896 (not 1864). The hardbacks were issues with a Dust Jacket in 1965. Not to be confused with a Hardboard Rebind (See Lettering/Gilt,  Pastedowns , Dust Jacket, Paperbacks, Linens, Rebinds).


Original Wrappers : Another term used for Paperback (See Paperback)


Pageblock : The Pageblock is the name for the 3 sides of the Wisden other than the spine, where the internal paper ends, it is usually nice and white but in some years (like the early 1980s and late 40s) it does “brown”.


Paperbacks : Paperbacks are the original style of Wisden. They tend to be called just Paperbacks rather than Original Paperbacks and are also know as Softbacks, they are Wisdens printed on paper (covers and insides) and issued by Wisden from 1864 to 1937, this format became a Linen Cloth Cover in 1938. Hence the paperback was the only style Wisden sold from 1864 to 1895  (See Softbacks , Linens).


Pastedowns : When you open up an original hardback from 1896 to 1937 the inside of the boards (front and back) are yellow (as is the opposite page), these yellow pages are know as paste downs (1 word or 2?) as the inside of the boards looks like this is how it was created.


Photoplate : In 1889 Wisden issued a “photograph” within the book, it was a full page and accompanied with some tissue paper opposite, apart from in 1916 & 1917 it is in every year and the tissue paper stopped in 1918 where it became more modern. When Wisden changed the format in 1938, more photos appeared in the good book.


Publisher Rebinds : Wisden themselves sometimes did the binding for Customers, they had their own unique boards and rebinds in this form are said to be Publishers Rebinds. The have lettering to the spine and front, similar to the old style hardbacks, the year can be a different shade as Wisden added this at a later date. Some rebounds have been found to have near perfect hardback boards. Some have covers some do not. (See Rebinds)


Rebinds : When a wisden has fallen apart due to age, one remedy to this is to strengthen it by replacing the old spine with a new one , the old fashioned way was to encase the whole outside of the book in new hard boards (a new remedy is to apply a facsimile spine) , rebinds were also used to make a collection more uniform, a lot of sets that come to auction are uniformly rebound, the taste of some collectors was/is to have all the books looking the same and as originals themselves can even look different (or just hard to find) a collector could instruct a binder to apply the same boards and style to every wisden they owned. Ongoing maintenance to this can be troublesome but some sets come with “future bindings” , I think 2020 was the furthest into the future I have seen.  (See Facsimile Spines, Rebinds with Original Wrappers, Rebinds without Original Wrappers, publishers rebinds)


Rebinds with Original Wrappers/Covers : This is a rebind that is complete, it is an original paperback with new boards added to it to keep it together. The perfect rebound set will be of this style. (See Rebinds)


Rebinds without Original Wrappers/Covers : This is a rebind that the binder decided to replace the original wrappers with their own boards, (I guess they thought they were putting “new” covers on them) hence they are not complete, sometimes the adverts are also missing (I guess some aristocracy didn’t like to see them within their Wisdens) , these are certainly the cheapest way to but an original for the year in question. (See Rebinds)


Set : A set can be 2 Wisdens, I guess, but what defines a full set of Wisdens? Are facsimiles allowed? To an extreme are rebinds? The Perfect Set is described as Paperbacks (100% original, including their spines) from 1864 to 1895 , then Original Hardbacks form 1896 onwards. This would “set” you back over a quarter of a million pounds. Another set though, with facsimiles as the first 15 and rebinds (without covers/ads) could be put together for a 20th of this price. Hence a set can come in many guises.


Softbacks : A collective term for Paperbacks & Linens , the floppier form of the Wisden (i.e. not Original Hardback or Rebound).  (See Paperbacks , Linens).


Wrappers : See Covers.


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