Earlier this month, the first printing of the Nancy Drew book, The Secret of the Old Clock, sold on eBay. The book did not have a jacket, at least not most of it. The front flap and part of the back panel were present. While this does not count as a surviving copy of the first printing jacket, enough was present to raise considerable interest.
The book sold for $818.00. Was it worth it? Of course it was! Some of you would disagree, but this is all about bragging rights. At least, it would have been if I had won. No, sadly, I am not the person who won this auction. I was interested, but I was not willing to pay enough to outbid all of the other interested collectors.
Here's the deal. I own all of the first printing books for Nancy Drew #2 through #38 with first printing dust jackets. I also own the first printing book for The Secret of the Old Clock. The first printing dust jacket for Old Clock is all that I lack. At this time, I am not willing to pay $7,000 to $10,000 for a first printing Old Clock with the first printing dust jacket. I may change my mind eventually, but until that day comes, I'm not going to be able to purchase one. I will never own the first printing Old Clock dust jacket unless one falls into my hands through a strange twist of fate.
I am ever hopeful that the strange twist of fate will happen to me eventually.
I wouldn't mind owning part of the first printing dust jacket. It would be better than owning none of the first printing dust jacket. In fact, partial dust jackets often get tucked inside books and end up getting used as bookmarks. There might be some other partial first printing Old Clock dust jackets out there. If so, one might be able to piece together a first printing dust jacket from multiple partial copies.
Let's say that someone finds the front panel and spine of the first printing dust jacket. Combine that with the partial dust jacket from this listing, and a collector would have over half of the first printing dust jacket.*** I would be very happy with over half of the first printing dust jacket. I'm not kidding! Wouldn't you love having over half of the first printing dust jacket?
***This example is only valid if the list of titles on the reverse side of the front panel portion of the dust jacket is unique to the first printing jacket. According to Farah's Guide, the reverse jacket list might be different in the first printing than in later printings, but I am not certain. In other words, if the list of titles on the reverse side of the front panel is exactly the same as a slightly later printing, then one couldn't be certain that the front panel is from the first printing jacket.