Thursday, September 13, 2012

More Early Nancy Drew First Printing Auctions Part 1

The eleventh 1930A-1 dust jacket for Nancy Drew, The Secret of the Old Clock, surfaced on eBay in August.  For people who are not well-versed in Nancy Drew books, the 1930A-1 Old Clock dust jacket has a front flap that lists just three Nancy Drew books ending with The Bungalow Mystery.


Click on the images to see larger versions.

The book closed at $2,142.17, which is the lowest price yet for the 1930A-1 Old Clock book with dust jacket.   The book was purchased by a book dealer, so it will come back up for sale at a higher price.

I was quite surprised at the closing price, although I did initially predict that the book would sell for under $5,000.

I am certain that nearly all of us who need the first printing jacket for Old Clock already own the first printing book.  While Farah's Guide values the first printing book at $1,000, it is not that hard to acquire, relative to some of the other first printing books, and can be had for $200 to $300.  The book alone is not worth the $1,000 value given in Farah's Guide.

For that reason, the book itself is not a large factor into the final selling price of any of these Old Clock books that come with the 1930A-1 dust jacket.

Farah's Guide values the 1930A-1 Old Clock dust jacket at $10,000.  One example sold in 2008 on eBay for $11,700.  Since that time, the prices realized for the 1930A-1 Old Clock book with dust jacket have steadily declined.

In 2010, a dust jacket in nice shape paired with a nice book sold for $7,257.98.  Just a few days later, a dust jacket in nice shape paired with a book with extensive mildew damage sold for $7,633.88.  The first auction likely closed lower than the second auction since prospective bidders knew about the second auction.  Also of importance is that the mildew damage did not hold back the second book, since the book is not the part that is hugely valuable.

In 2011, a dust jacket that was ripped in two pieces and paired with a nice book sold for $4,494.00.  That jacket would still have the appearance of a jacket in nice shape once installed in a mylar cover.

Also in 2011, a book with a dust jacket in two pieces that would also look nice in a mylar cover was paired with a mildewed book.  It sold for $3,028.88.

And finally, this recent auction for a jacket with a large piece out of the bottom spine which was paired with a nice book sold for $2,142.17.  If the book itself were of great importance, then this recent listing would have closed higher.  Most likely, prospective bidders did not like the large chip out of the bottom spine of the jacket.  None of the previous books mentioned in this post had jackets with any large pieces missing.  This book had the worst dust jacket.

Speaking for myself, the chip to the bottom spine kept me from bidding higher.  I was initially thinking of placing a bid of $3,000 or higher, but I decided that I did not want to spend that much on a chipped jacket.  I also was not in the mood to spend $3,000, just because.  I had spent around $1,000 during the previous week on various needed household items.  I could have afforded to purchase this book, because I do have enough money in savings.  However, when I have just spent a large amount, I have an internal brake that prevents me from continuing to spend.

In hindsight, perhaps I should have tried for the book.  I do know that I would not have been happy to have spent $3,000 or more for a chipped jacket, even for the 1930A-1 Old Clock dust jacket.  If I could have had the book for $500 to $750, I would have jumped at the chance and would have been very happy.  I made the right decision for myself.

I have to think that the chip to the dust jacket probably held back a few other collectors who need the dust jacket.  There may also be some other factors, since the seller had some other first printing Nancy Drew dust jackets from the same era, and the closing prices for them were also unusual.  Those results will be covered in Part 2.

Nancy Drew First Printing Auctions Part 2


Paula said...

Thank you so much for documenting these interesting auctions!

Gayle Kaye said...

Jennifer, this is part 1. Is there a part 2? Wasn't able to find it. Thanks!

Jennifer White said...

It has a different tag, making it hard to find. I just added a direct link to part 2 at this end of this post.

Gayle Kaye said...

Thanks Jennifer!