Monday, January 31, 2011

The Ninth Nancy Drew 1930A-1 Old Clock Dust Jacket

You will recall that the seventh and eighth known examples of the 1930A-1 dust jacket of The Secret of the Old Clock surfaced this fall.  The ninth known example of the 1930A-1 dust jacket surfaced this month.  The book was listed three times before it was finally allowed to run to completion.

Nancy Drew Secret of the Old Clock...1930..Carolyn Keen

The first auction was canceled because the seller's son ripped the dust jacket into two pieces.

Nacny Drew The Secret of the Old Clock 1930..C. Keen

The second auction was canceled because of the misspelling in the title.

Nancy Drew The Secret ofthe Old Clock 1930 1st Blank EP

The third auction was allowed to run and closed at $4,494.00.  I was the third highest bidder, and while I would have been happy to have honored my bid, I deliberately chose to bid less than what I thought was necessary to win the auction.  I thought that I would have had a high chance of winning if I had bid at least $5,000 and a moderate chance of winning if I had bid around $4,500, so instead I bid slightly less than $4,000.  I spent too much this fall, and I am currently in the process of building up my funds again.  I can spend large amounts on books, but I can rein myself in easily when necessary.

Here are the additional photos that the seller sent me of the dust jacket.

The reseller who usually wins these auctions was the second highest bidder.  The highest bidder is someone whose ID I do not recognize from the past, but this person has purchased a wide variety of unrelated high-end books in the last month.  For that reason, I believe that the winning bidder is a reseller as well.

Since the seventh, eighth, and ninth examples of the Old Clock first printing dust jacket have surfaced in rapid succession in just the last few months, I am now quite confident that more examples will surface.  My theory is that the books that are now surfacing are ones that were passed on to the original owner's children, who might now be around 70 years old or so.  Those children are now passing on, and their possessions are getting sold in estate sales.

2/24/11 update:  As I suspected, the book was purchased to resell.  It has been listed on eBay by the buyer for $8,500.


Paula said...

Oh, what a shame it got ripped in two, just now, after all these years! It's quite nice isn't it? Time to start going to estate sales! ;)

stratomiker said...

It's usually a 30 year cycle for books to show up in estates, thus in the antique malls, flea markets, book stores, etc. Of course, online sites have messed with that a tad, but it still holds true.

The last big influx of books into the market in this manner was in the 1980s. They were everywhere, even the hard-to-find ones. So you're right on the mark that the 'teens' will find many good books back in the market.

Of course, in the 80s you had to go out and look for them. But it was easy enough to get gobs of good books if you put some work into it. I used to hit the big flea markets, the kind that take place monthly at big fairgrounds, and I'd leave my fliers at strategic places, like on a stand near the refreshment areas. I'd get lots of calls this way.

I advertised in local newspapers. 'Nancy Drew and similar books wanted' will get you a zillion calls that you have to weed through, but it's the best way to approach it. I used to find huge collections right in the area where I live, one had Drew and Hardy firsts from the 40s and 50s. I used to be amazed that other people, so many of them, actually bought and saved the books for decades. One man had 300-plus of his wife's books from the 40s through the 60s, all beautifully kept, and I bought them from him in the late 80s.

I also used to advertise in the national antique journals and would buy huge collections by mail. Even with eBay banging away, I did this successfully until a few years ago when I stopped because I was busy caretaking ill family members.

Now might be a good time to go after books again in this fashion. People are disenchanted with the online sites. Everybody talks about how nothing sells anymore on eBay and how all the collectibles have lost their value because of the bad economy.

It's also very interesting because you get lots of calls and talk to lots of people all over the country. The books may no longer be as rare or hard-to-get as they used to be, but there are surely masses of them still out there awaiting to get into the hands of drooling collectors.


Series Books said...

Hi Jennifer,
It's been a long time since I posted. I came across a recent Old Clock 1st printing on eBay, auction # 201108143588.

For some reason, the jacket looked familiar. I know you watch them more closely than I do. Do you think this might be a relist of one of the earlier ones?

Jennifer White said...

I'm pretty sure that it's not one of the books that was up for sale before. I do agree that the jacket looks very much like other early or first printing Clock jackets that I have seen. I have a second printing jacket that looks similar.