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Black Maria

I've just noticed that an original copy of 'The War the Infantry Knew' that sold for £280 on e-bay a week or so ago has turned up for sale at the eye

watering price of £ 1250 . Prices of the three other copies on ABE range from £ 1160 -£2250 but I still can't see how it's worth more than about £300 .

It's suppose to be rare but I've seen a lot more copies of it for sale than a lot of other rare WW1 books , I suppose someone comes up with a price for

their copy and the others just jump on the bandwagon .

 

 

 

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Steven Broomfield

How's this, then?

 

I found a letter in the KRH archives, dated 1975, concerning the history of the 11th Hussars, published in 1908. The Reg Sec commented that it was not available and never reprinted. However, a hand-written note commented that he'd seen a copy in Maggs for £60.

 

In 1975 - can't see it being much more than that now.

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QSAMIKE
Quote

The funny thing is I was at an estate sale the other day and able to pick up some Victorian, WW1 and WW2 Regimental Histories for $1 to $2 each and when I looked them up some were valued at over 500 Pounds.....   I asked the sellers and was told that no one wants books anymore and they have a hard time getting rid of them.....  Mike

 

The funny thing is I was at an estate sale the other day and able to pick up some Victorian, WW1 and WW2 Regimental Histories for $1 to $2 each and when I looked them up some were valued at over 500 Pounds.....   I asked the sellers and was told that no one wants books anymore and they have a hard time getting rid of them.....   Mike

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Moonraker

Perhaps Mike's comment takes us back to the beginning of this thread, which was started back in 2014. I was about to compose a cynical post about some dealers' practices, but realised just in time it's all been said before here!

 

Same with postcards, with a few eBay vendors asking silly prices just in case someone comes along who's desperate to  obtain that particular item. I sometimes wonder how much they paid for them in the first place. (But I've ranted about this more than once.)

 

Moonraker

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Dust Jacket Collector
2 hours ago, Black Maria said:

I've just noticed that an original copy of 'The War the Infantry Knew' that sold for £280 on e-bay a week or so ago has turned up for sale at the eye

watering price of £ 1250 . Prices of the three other copies on ABE range from £ 1160 -£2250 but I still can't see how it's worth more than about £300 .

It's suppose to be rare but I've seen a lot more copies of it for sale than a lot of other rare WW1 books , I suppose someone comes up with a price for

their copy and the others just jump on the bandwagon .

 

 

 

I remember Tom Donovan had a jacketed copy a year or so ago for £1650. It went to Harrington’s who priced it for, I think, £3500. It sold quite quickly.

I noticed that copy on eBay. I did think it rather cheap. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter how many copies are around, the price just stays high. The first issue of Hemingway’s ‘Farewell to Arms’ ran to 30,000 copies & just about every dealer in the US has a copy but it rarely drops below £2-3,000.

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Black Maria
2 hours ago, Dust Jacket Collector said:

I remember Tom Donovan had a jacketed copy a year or so ago for £1650. It went to Harrington’s who priced it for, I think, £3500. It sold quite quickly.

I noticed that copy on eBay. I did think it rather cheap. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter how many copies are around, the price just stays high. The first issue of Hemingway’s ‘Farewell to Arms’ ran to 30,000 copies & just about every dealer in the US has a copy but it rarely drops below £2-3,000.

It just seems that the price for this particular book has really shot up recently when compared to other equally scarce books . For example in 2003 TD had a near

VG copy for £145 , in the same year he had a VG copy of 'Tale of a Field Ambulance' for £50  . In his latest catalogue 'Field Ambulance' sold for £145 , so you

would think that the value of ' The War the Infantry Knew' should be around £450 rather than £1200 + . I know that dealers can ask what they want for books

but they usually do hover around the same sort of prices ( except Harrington's) , the last unjacketed copy that I saw TD had of TWTIK was around three years ago

and went for about £300 , which seemed about right to me.

 

 

Edited by Black Maria

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Dust Jacket Collector

All very odd. It’s as if the message has gone around that this is a particularly rare book and worth a small fortune. It happened with Storm of Steel where prices suddenly shot up to near £2000 for jacketed copies. Have you seen Harrington’s have the two early Vera Brittain’s - Verses of a VAD & Testament of Youth for a mere £5,000 each. Madness!

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Black Maria
54 minutes ago, Dust Jacket Collector said:

All very odd. It’s as if the message has gone around that this is a particularly rare book and worth a small fortune. It happened with Storm of Steel where prices suddenly shot up to near £2000 for jacketed copies. Have you seen Harrington’s have the two early Vera Brittain’s - Verses of a VAD & Testament of Youth for a mere £5,000 each. Madness!

I don't tend to look at Harrington's much because they are just too expensive . I did get my copy of 'Memoirs of the Great War' at a reasonable price from them.

Although strangely enough it wasn't listed under WW1 books, so I think it may have slipped through the net and they hadn't realised how rare it was.

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voltaire60
Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Dust Jacket Collector said:

All very odd. It’s as if the message has gone around that this is a particularly rare book and worth a small fortune. It happened with Storm of Steel where prices suddenly shot up to near £2000 for jacketed copies. Have you seen Harrington’s have the two early Vera Brittain’s - Verses of a VAD & Testament of Youth for a mere £5,000 each. Madness!

 

    Harrington quite obviously has a strong "wimmins' history" collector with a deep purse.  Hence,their recent enthusiasm for the stuff- the ID of the customer is fairly well known- but-Good News- that collector is unlikely to venture in to non-wimmins Great War stuff. Pour a sherry and calm down!!

    I had not noticed before that the publisher of  TWTIK  was P.S.King and Sons, usually noted for dry non-fiction monographs in the social sciences and for being the provider of parliamentary papers and official publications of all kinds. Part of the rarity of P.S.King titles of the late 1930s is that  the firm was bombed out in 1941 and it's entire stock was destroyed. The same happened with Oxford and Longman, whose stocks were held in St. Paul's Churchyard.

    After P.S.King was blitzed,it's premises destroyed and all it's stocks incinerated, it thereafter met an even worse fate.  The residue of the firm was bought out at the end of the war by that distinguished military figure, Captain I.R.Maxwell,MC. He also bought out Chapman and Hall, the publishers of Dickens.  Of course, better known to history as the "bouncing Czech" and long before he messed up Pergamon or the Daily Mirror. Thus, the print-run figures for TWTIK have to factor in  destruction of stocks rather than just numbers printed when gauging rarity.

Edited by voltaire60

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Dust Jacket Collector

I hadn’t known that about Kings - that explains the rarity.

Harringtons actually sent me a copy of their ‘Extraordinary Women’ catalogue and the Brittain’s look quite cheap compared to some of the other stuff - an early, 1840s, book on computing for instance could be yours for £200,000.

There is another WW1 book in there - Flora Sandes autobiography from 1927 for £500. They call it the first edition although she published virtually the same book in 1916.

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voltaire60
4 hours ago, Dust Jacket Collector said:

I hadn’t known that about Kings - that explains the rarity.

Harringtons actually sent me a copy of their ‘Extraordinary Women’ catalogue and the Brittain’s look quite cheap compared to some of the other stuff - an early, 1840s, book on computing for instance could be yours for £200,000.

There is another WW1 book in there - Flora Sandes autobiography from 1927 for £500. They call it the first edition although she published virtually the same book in 1916.

 

   That's the Ada Lovelace item that was at auction in the West of England last year-went for £60,000. Needed a good talking up as most people have still never heard of her-save that she was a close relative of Byron. An old friend of mine is happy-picked up his for £5 in the 1970s.  I have refrained from telling his wife, as I understand some poisons can still be bought over the counter in shops near him.:wub:

   But, of course, many booksellers catalogues are of the leftovers-  the real goodies having gone direct to customers.long before.

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Black Maria
On ‎28‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 15:21, Black Maria said:

I've just noticed that an original copy of 'The War the Infantry Knew' that sold for £280 on e-bay a week or so ago has turned up for sale at the eye

watering price of £ 1250 . Prices of the three other copies on ABE range from £ 1160 -£2250 but I still can't see how it's worth more than about £300 .

It's suppose to be rare but I've seen a lot more copies of it for sale than a lot of other rare WW1 books , I suppose someone comes up with a price for

their copy and the others just jump on the bandwagon .

 

 

 

Original copies of TWTIK have never been cheap , the lowest price I've seen over the years being £145 in 2003 . I know it's got the reputation of being a

classic 'must have' for anyone interested in the B.E.F and I suppose no collection of original memoirs is complete without it , but I've never been prepared

to pay the silly prices being asked for it over recent years . So I'm very pleased to have purchased a copy at a reasonable price at last , something that I

seriously doubted would ever happen .

 

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voltaire60
3 hours ago, Black Maria said:

Original copies of TWTIK have never been cheap , the lowest price I've seen over the years being £145 in 2003 . I know it's got the reputation of being a

classic 'must have' for anyone interested in the B.E.F and I suppose no collection of original memoirs is complete without it , but I've never been prepared

to pay the silly prices being asked for it over recent years . So I'm very pleased to have purchased a copy at a reasonable price at last , something that I

seriously doubted would ever happen .

 

 

    All booksellers hope for a clutch -if not a large herd-of customers with more money than sense. Alas, I am still waiting.

There is nothing fixed about the price of a book- the price structure for books on ABE,etc is completely tautologous. The notion that if some idiot prices a book at £5000 when it has never sold for more than £5 does not mean that seller no 2 will achieve success by undercutting and pricing their copy at a bargain,discount, yabba-dabba-doo price of £4995. The second half of the old phrase-"Great minds think alike" comes into play......"while fools follow blindly"

 

    I have suggested before that as the publisher of the book was P.S.King, then some of the scarcity must be attributed to the destruction of the remaining stock when King was bombed and burnt out in 1941-before being bought by Captain I.R.Maxwell,MC, the bouncing Czech. I still wonder that there must be some sort of story about why King published it-their main market for a century was social sciences and political-so there may have been some connection between A.N.Other at P.S.King and Dunn.  Alas, I have no idea what the situation is regarding surviving papers of Captain J,C.Dunn but if they are out there somewhere, then it might be worth a look. The King end of the publishers file was,of course, toasted.

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Black Maria

I believe that the rarity of 'Devil in the Drum' was also caused by the warehouse holding spare copies being destroyed in WW2  . I suppose the

fact that there have been more copies of TWTIK than DITD available to buy over the years must be down to more copies having been sold

before the war . Maybe because those more affluent ex- members of the 2nd RWFs bought a copy as it dealt with a whole units war history

whereas DITD just dealt with one man's war experiences in the early months of the war .

 

p.s Had to google what ' tautologous' meant , and I'm still not sure :wacko:

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Dust Jacket Collector
13 minutes ago, Black Maria said:

 

p.s Had to google what ' tautologous' meant , and I'm still not sure :wacko:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

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Black Maria
27 minutes ago, Dust Jacket Collector said:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Cheers Alan , it's all becoming much clearer now :huh:

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voltaire60
18 hours ago, Dust Jacket Collector said:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

 

    House of sand-    a structure built out of nothing-no reality,etc.    Most of my life really........

 

All book prices are an invention-there is no "Gold Standard" to gauge them against-everything is relative.

 

I note form the Oxford DNB entry on Dunn that he destroyed his papers. Pity.  I suspect that PS King may have published as a favour- the book production standards of far in excess  of it's normal cloth bindings, typography and paper. Thus, I suspect that it was effectively commissioned by Dunn,who set the standards-and consequently that Dunn may have distributed more of the copies himself. I would have a small wager, were I a betting man, that there will be a connection-perhaps service with 2RWF- between a director of PS King and Dunn, could we but find out.

Edited by voltaire60

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keithfazzani

I was looking for a book, not WW1 related, on a well known internet auction site. Several secondhand copies were available around the £20 mark. I decided not to bother. Within about 48 hours I received an offer via the site from one of the sellers at £2.45 including postage. This is the price of what I call “penny books” on another internet site, basically the vendor makes a bob or two above postage on a second hand book they picked up for nothing. The price of books like so many things is what someone is prepared to pay for it. This was a liturgical book with a very limited market and would probably sit on the vendors shelf for some time before anyone else showed any interest in it.  I realise that rare and collectable books might be different but the old saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” still applies. A balance between urgency to sell and urgency to buy sets the price of anything. 

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keithmroberts

I must look at more titles in the hope that such an experience comes my way.  I have negotiated modest reductions on a few occasions, but nothing to compare with that.

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keithfazzani

It pays to just look Keith, you never know.  

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Moonraker
1 hour ago, keithfazzani said:

... The price of books like so many things is what someone is prepared to pay for it. This was a liturgical book with a very limited market and would probably sit on the vendors shelf for some time before anyone else showed any interest in it.  I realise that rare and collectable books might be different but the old saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” still applies. A balance between urgency to sell and urgency to buy sets the price of anything. 

Much the same with postcards. Quite a few "military Wiltshire" have been "sitting" on eBay for months because the prices are unrealistically high. A year ago, I pointed out to one vendor that the scene in the card he was listing was nowhere near where he said it was and, at his request, suggested a re-wording of the description. He didn't bother to alter it and is still asking a price three times what the card is worth.

 

Moonraker

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DigNap15

I am new to buying Great War books, but I have a large Waterloo collection.

And I noticed this ridiculous pricing on Amazon a few times.

Rare books that are listed at say GB 100 are also listed at 1,000 pounds.

I could never work out why they would do that.

Are they waiting for a sucker?

After reading this thread I still have not worked out why.

 

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DigNap15

Slightly off topic

I use Amazon to read book reviews.

But I try no to buy from them as I am from New Zealand and to find out the price including shipping I have to go through nearly to clicking on my credit card to buy.

 

I much prefer ebay or Abe books where you can find the shipping figure much more quickly.

Edited by DigNap15
typo

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Moonraker
4 hours ago, DigNap15 said:

I am new to buying Great War books, but I have a large Waterloo collection.

And I noticed this ridiculous pricing on Amazon a few times.

Rare books that are listed at say GB 100 are also listed at 1,000 pounds.

I could never work out why they would do that.

Are they waiting for a sucker?

After reading this thread I still have not worked out why.

 

Having glanced back through this thread, I think that various reasons have already been put forward, especially in the earlier posts. Massively-inflated prices are asked on the Web for all sorts of other articles as well, but I won't expand on this and take us off-topic any more than I may have done in the past when comparing the situation for books with that for postcards!

 

Moonraker

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David Filsell

Not mentioned so far I think has been the cost of postage from the US. High starts to describe it. Up until fairly recently postage from there was very reasonable. I think that there  was special price for book / package  postage which seems to have been done away with and replaced by price on weight.  I used to buy English translations of German Great War books quite often from the States, now it's almost impossible to get them at a decent price even after a hard haggle. I think another price factor is the dwindling number of high street book dealers and the consequent high pricing of those who remain in business and established dealers pricing higher as because of lack of competition consequence. Charity shops, particularly the large Oxfam shops often have bargains and the odd rarities from time to time.

Incidentally my tally of Germans Great War books translated into English has just topped 130 and the hunt continues!

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