Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2014 Issue

Anecdotal Information on the State of the Market

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Comic Con in San Diego 2014

Recently the news from the hustings is suggesting the summer is a bit soft in the collectible paper field.  An article in the New York Times suggested that “Large Crowds Spend Little at Comic-Con,” the recently completed Comic book convention in San Diego.  The reported attendance was 130,000 but according to the Times they left their wallets at home.  It seems that comics are the basis of a social movement rather than an economic field.

 

On the right coast the perennially successful book fair in Newtown, Connecticut, recently reported a decline in sales from 2013.  It’s very successful collaboration of volunteer help and a very willing public come together each summer to make the book fair one of the largest on the east coast.  One reason given for the decline was that the rare book room lacked some of the highly important material that in prior years raised serious money.

 

Booksellers, randomly asked about how their summer’s were going, also indicated they have been quiet.

 

A few random indications do not a trend make but I have observed more willingness to deal and personally I’ve seen more activity this year than in many years.  The material I look for has been coming out and I’ve been buying much of it from dealers.  Perhaps its simply that its increasingly difficult to find new buyers so known buyers are receiving more offers. Whatever the reason I'm grateful.

 

In the September issue I’ll write about my summer, which has been exceptional for the building of my Hudson River Valley collection.


Posted On: 2014-08-01 18:28
User Name: Fattrad1

Interestingly, July 2014 was a very successful month at Swan's Fine Books.

Jeff Elfont
Swan's Fine Books


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Adam Smith, <i>Wealth of Nations,</i> first edition, descended from William Alexander, London, 1776. $70,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> George Gershwin, photograph signed & inscribed with autograph musical quotation, <i>An American in Paris,</i> 1928. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Friedrich Engels, <i>The Condition of the Working Class in England,</i> first edition, NY, 1887. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> <i>Bury St. Edmunds Witch Trials,</i> first edition, London, 1682. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Robert Rey, <i>Estampes,</i> complete portfolio of 12 wood engravings, Paris, 1950. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Archive of 47 letters by Enrico Caruso to a lady friend, 1906-20. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Books of Hours in Flemish, Netherlands, 15th century. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Jack Kerouac, <i>Doctor Sax,</i> deluxe limited edition, signed, NY, 1959. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Walt Disney, signature on title-page of Ward Greene’s <i>Lady and the Tramp,</i> first edition, first printing. $3,000 to $4,000.

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