Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2003 Issue

Further Addicted: The Continuing Adventures Of An AE “Wants List” Junkie

Step 5 and Step 6


It’s certainly a better deal than the $50 copy that I see which is described as having “a few ink spots and slight discoloration on the cover” – nothing special when I can get an inscribed copy for less, albeit in less than stellar condition. Then there’s a few other copies: another $50 copy, this one an ex-library copy “with usual markings, lightly bumped.” There’s a $65 copy which sounds enticing as well: it has a slip signed by the author glued in, which is also intriguing, although as we know by now I can get a copy in not great condition with the author’s later inscription for less money, $46 to be precise. I carry on and inspect just a few more of the abe.com descriptions. There is a copy for the odd price of $73.50 which is described as being in fine condition, although it is not signed or inscribed. There is a copy for the even stranger price of $73.63 which is described as “fine, with slight staining to endpapers, discoloration to bottom front cover.” Compared to the other copies, nothing to write home about. Finally, there is the top dollar copy ($75), which is described as being “a very good bright copy,” but still no signature or inscription, thus no association.

Now I’m in a real quandary. Since I like association copies I am leaning towards the very affordable $46 copy with the author’s later inscription, but at last I chicken out and decide to shelve my decision till later. First let me check my other abe.com matches.

There are only two other titles on my abe.com match list. The first one that I notice has alas another long title: Radicalism in Religion, Philosophy, and Social Life; Four Papers from the Boston Courier for 1858. This work by George Lunt addresses the questions of women’s suffrage and abolition in the same work and is thus I deduce aimed at a partially, if not predominantly, female audience. Abe.com has given me two "matches" to this work, again both first editions. As usual, I start with the cheapest copy. For $55 I can buy a copy “in very good condition, spine faded,” but with an inscription by the author. This seems reasonable.

Let’s see what the description of the other copy is like. Well for one thing it’s much more expensive, $200 to be precise. But it is also an inscribed copy, this time inscribed not by the author but by L. Farnham to Rev. Smyth on the front endpaper, with a 3 page autograph letter signed from Farnham to Rev. Smyth dated Boston Feb. 2 1852 glued to the front inside cover. This is very alluring. I have no idea who Rev. Smyth was – though I suspect that he was an abolitionist -- but I know that there was a woman named L. Farnham who was active in the abolitionist movement at that time in New England and who I believe authored several titles herself. I am intrigued. But what of condition? This is described as “cover original embossed pebble cloth, stained and very slightly bent.” This seems reasonable for an old book and I am willing to swallow condition for association. And this association is certainly more attractive to me than is the first copy signed by the author, since my collection stresses women active in the abolitionist movement. But $200?? The price seems quite justified, but I just don’t have it in my pocket right now. I decide again to sit and wait this book out.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

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