Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2011 Issue

007 Values Still Growing - Bond for Booksellers & Collectors

Flembond

Ian Fleming and James Bond's autographs.

So it seems at all price points Bond is alive and well. EBay and similar sites provide Fleming fans with a wide selection and plenty of action. At any given moment there are literally thousands of books offered, and an expanded search brings up movies, photos, posters and ephemera of all sorts. Even below ten dollars there is still plenty to choose from including postcards, paperbacks, odd bits and an occasional vintage dealer catalog.

 

For buyers it's a venue where patience and pickiness are rewarded. For sellers there is the assurance of steady and seemingly well informed demand - because while a lot of Fleming sells, a lot also sits untouched or sells for very little.

 

That may be because while almost everything in the world of Bond has some monetary worth, a lot of it is common, plentiful and not of high value. To make it even more interesting there are many pitfalls along the way to entice the unwary, including signatures of dubious provenance, facsimile dust jackets only mentioned in the 11th paragraph of the seller's description, books that  are either deliberately or inadvertently not what they seem because of  wrong publisher, wrong price on the dj, wrong paper, wrong dust jacket, or any combination of same.

 

But not genuine - or even not top-of-the-line - doesn't always mean worthless. A quick review of recent sales reveals that pirate editions have value. Variants have value. Early paperbacks have value. Comics have value. Book Club editions have value. Having the set complete in any edition has value. Related ephemera can have substantial value especially if it's signed. And most of all, authentic early dust jackets in almost any condition have value.

 

"The dust jacket is the key to everything," said Fleming bibliographer Lee Biondi, who 

was kind enough to talk to AE about Fleming and his work for this article. Biondi stressed the importance of the real dust jacket and emphasized that serious collectors are exceptionally picky about condition. To bring top dollar requires a pristine copy, one that like Bond himself, has been imperviousness to time and age. Such condition is also extremely elusive.

 

Biondi said he wrote his initial article and the follow up at the request of his FIRSTS publisher, not so much because he was interested in the work of Ian Fleming, but because it was a topic that readers wanted to know about. Both are a pleasure to read. His 1998 and 2008 bibliography and commentary are both available in magazine format from FIRSTS at $10 each including shipping. www.firsts.com

 

Biondi’s 2nd article, the 2008 Fleming update, is also available on request as a pdf file with the generous permission of the author. Put the numerals 007 in the subject line and email to  halas@hawaii.rr.com to receive a complimentary copy.

 

If my own experience is any indication, boning up on Ian Fleming is the most fun you’ll ever have with bibliography and an introduction to a market with real legs and one that will go on for some time. I'll pass along Biondi's recommendation - if you're only going to read one, try From Russia with Love.  What the next century will think of  Ian Fleming and how their values will stand up in a hundred years is anyone's guess; Biondi thinks they may well be viewed as "historical" fiction though he doesn't go quite so far as to project an ardent following.

 

For the present, while it doesn’t exactly qualify as shooting fish in a barrel, buying and selling the exploits of 007 is a bookish pursuit that can prove entertaining and profitable.

 

Susan Halas writes about books and the book business for AE Monthly. Reach her at halas@hawaii.rr.com

 

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies,</i> 1632.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions