PBA Galleries is based on a 65 year tradition of proud service to collectors of rare and fine books. In 1955, Maurice Powers founded California Book Auction Galleries in San Francisco. After 35 years of successful book auctions, Mr. Powers passed away and his heirs placed the company into voluntary bankruptcy. Butterfield’s acquired the name and mailing list but not the people or spirit of the company.
From these ashes, Pacific Book Auction Galleries was founded in 1992 by the core members of the original auction house, including current Senior Vice President Bruce MacMakin. The company’s first location was on Townsend Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. In 1996, the gallery moved to the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District and was located on the fourth floor of 133 Kearny Street. After a brief stay at 1233 Sutter Street, in 2019, the gallery moved across the Bay to its permanent home at 605 Addison Street in Berkeley.
The company changed its name to PBA Galleries in October of 2001 to reflect its increasingly global presence in the marketplace as well as its diversified offerings. We are proud to have buyers and sellers from all over the world participating in our auctions. PBA continues its tradition of holding auctions every two weeks, generally on Thursdays in our onsite auction gallery.