Archive for January, 2008

The case of the Magnet Detective Library

January 29, 2008

Consider the following two listings.  “The Count’s Millions” is not in WorldCat in this early edition, but is present in a number of much later editions.  “The Wall Street Wonder” is simply not in WorldCat.  Does this account for the enormous price difference?  Probably not.  Two booksellers, two attempts to throw a price against the wall and see what sticks.  I’m not saying either is wrong.  Used bookselling is an art, not a science.  I love the cover art.



The Count’s Millions
Gaboriau, Emile

John McCormick
(Mississauga, ON, Canada)

Price: $10

For sale at:

Book Description: New York: Street & Smith Magnet Detective Library # 216 1st US Edition? 1901, 1901. Mass Market Paperback. First Thus (?). .,..early paperback, digest size. Pre-dates the first US hardcover editiom by a dozen years. Small front cover chips, pencil scribbles both covers, 3 inch tear back cover, soiled, a good copy. Bookseller Inventory # 000521



The Wall Street Wonder or the Hindoo Detective
McKenzie, Donald J.

Elmer Book Company
(Elmer, NJ, U.S.A.)

Price: $750

For sale at:

Book Description: Street & Smith, New York, 1901. Orig. Illus. Wraps. Book Condition: Good. 12mo. A very rare title, not recorded in OCLC or LCOC. Magnet Detective Library, No. 187. Dated at rear cover, Mar. 27, 1901. As the story begins: “The scene is upon the steps leading to the entrance of the broker’s office, on Wall street, in the city of New York, at one of the busiest hours of the morning. There is a throng of men and boys witnessing the remarkable spectacle – for, to see two wealthy gentlemen, well known as New York money kings, facing each other with clenched hands, and eyes blazing with an intense hatred which has smoldered for years, is something too thrilling to be missed. . .” In original illus. wraps, lettering at spine; front wrap with corner chip, minor wear at extremities, printed on poor quality paper (now somewhat darkened). Bookseller Inventory # 002831


NOT GUILTY or The Missing Link. The Dandy Dick Series No. 3.

January 28, 2008


NOT GUILTY or The Missing Link. The Dandy Dick Series No. 3. [includes] LANDLORDS And TENANTS; Or, Putting the Screw On.
Dime Novel].

Tavistock Books, ABAA
(Alameda, CA, U.S.A.)

Price: $104.50

For sale at:

Book Description: Hogarth House, (n d), London: Binding is Origiinal pale yel. 8vo. 8-5/8″ x 5-7/8″. Ca. late 1870s/ea. Initial wood engraving vignette. Wood engraving p. 17. Rare- OCLC has no copies listed. Overall VG+ (some minor staining to rear wrapper/paper beginning to yellow, as expected). Bookseller Inventory # 26695

A TRANSLATION OF A FRAGMENT [read the description- this is a tricky one]

January 23, 2008


LAUNAY, Emmanuel-Louis Henri de

Boston Book Company, ABAA
(Boston, MA, U.S.A.)

Price: $475

For sale at:

 Book Description: 1806. [LAUNAY, Emmanuel-Louis Henri de, Comte d’Antraigues.] A TRANSLATION OF A FRAGMENT of the Eighteenth Book of Polybius, Discovered in the Monastery of St. Laura, on Mount Athos. By the Count d’——-. A New Edition, revised, corrected and augmented by the Author, and rendered into English from the French version, marked, edited in London, 1806. London, T. Egerton, Military Library, 1806. Octavo. xxxiv,157pp. First and only edition in English. DeLaunay (1753-1812) was a French count, a friend of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who initially wrote tracts in support of the Revolution, then turned and sided with the nobles at Versailles. In 1790 he fled France and became a secret agent for Spain and Russia against France. He took refuge in London in 1804, where he sold Russian secret documents to the English Prime Minister. There he was assassinated, along with his wife, by a servant who had in turn betrayed him to Napoleon. Here pretending to translate Polybius, he in fact comments satirically on France and her enemies [emphasis mine]. The “Notice by the English Translator” (probably DeLaunay himself) is a diatribe and warning against Napoleon, and suggestions for administering and financing the English campaign against him. Not in OCLC, the British Museum, or the Library of Congress. The French edition, “Traduction d’un Fragment du XVIIIe Livre du Polybe,. par le Comte d’Antraigues, Londres, 1806” can be found in the British Library. A fine copy in original boards, with modern cloth back and printed label. An extremely rare book. Bookseller Inventory # 77129

Happy Am I

January 18, 2008


Sheet Music]: Happy Am I
MICHAUX, Elder Lightfoot). Henderson (or Henson) and Marsh, words and music

Between the Covers-Rare Books, Inc. ABAA
(Merchantville, NJ, U.S.A.)

Price: $350

For sale at:

Book Description: Washington, DC Elder Lightfoot Michaux (1933)., 1933. Illustrated self-wrappers. One leaf folded to make four pages. Printed in blue. Very light wear, near fine. A nice example of this fragile piece of sheet music. The theme song of Michaux’s Church of God, the song is dedicated to the happy President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who is pictured on the rear wrap. Evangelist Michaux was known for his gospel singing prowess, and was something of a television pioneer, hosting a religious television show from the nation’s capitol in 1948-49. When Ezra Pound was incarcerated in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, he included a reference to Lightfoot in his Canto 95. Very scarce. Not in OCLC, and we’ve not seen another example. Bookseller Inventory # 84259

What to Look For When You Buy a New Motorcar

January 18, 2008


What to Look For When You Buy a New Motorcar
Automobile – Pontiac)

Lorne Bair Rare Books, ABAA
(Winchester, VA, U.S.A.)

Price: $20

For sale at:

Book Description: (General Motors), (Detroit). Original Wraps. Book Condition: Near Fine. 8vo – over 7¾” – 9¾” tall. Pictorial wrappers (softcover, as issued); 63pp. Minor rubbing to cover extremities; Near Fine. Extended informational brochure for the 1941 line of Pontiac “Torpedoes,” with separate chapters extolling their economy, safety, durability, etc. OCLC no copies as of 6/07. Bookseller Inventory # 007833

Harischandra. The Martyr to Truth. A Drama.

January 18, 2008


Harischandra. The Martyr to Truth. A Drama.
Shrinivasacharyah, G.C.V.

Kaaterskill Books, ABAA/ILAB
(East Jewett, NY, U.S.A.)

Price: $100

For sale at:

Book Description: Madras: Srinivasa, Varadachari, & Co., 1897., 1897. 153 pp. Sm. 4to. Paper covered boards (hardback). First edition. The Madras Oriental Dramatic Company Series. G.C.V Srinivasachari was a school teacher who founded The Madras Oriental Dramatic Company in 1875, a time when dramatic societies were flourishing. In 1880 Srinivasachari produced and played the title role in a Tamil translation of Shakuntala. This version of Harischandra was written for the Jagannadha Vilasini Dramatic company of Vijayanagaram (founded 1874) whose Rajahs were strong supporters of the arts. Scarce. OCLC and RLIN show no copies. A single copy is in the British Library. A good copy, joints split, worn and chipped at edges of boards, repair at tail of spine, worm holes on boards mainly to the edges (with some loss at upper fore corner), and leaves, primarily to first few and last few, then one of two tiny holes; but in all cases marginal and not affecting text. Bookseller Inventory # 30396

Sin in Silk

January 17, 2008


Sin in Silk.
Murder. Chicago. Trussell, George

The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., ABAA ILAB
(Clark, NJ, U.S.A.)

Price: $281.40

For sale at:

Book Description: [Chicago?, c.1870], 1870. [Murder]. [Chicago]. [Trussell, George]. 98 pp. 11 full-page woodcut illustrations. Octavo (6″ x 8-1/2″). Original pictorial wrappers, soiled and slightly detached, spine chipped, browning to text. Rare. * A fictionalized (and salacious) account of a famous Chicago homicide. George Trussell, a gambler, turfman, butcher and electrician, was murdered by his mistress, Mollie Trussell (no relation), a former prostitute, in a saloon. Rare. No copies found on OCLC. Not found in Hollis. Bookseller Inventory # 50496

Kazantzakis in Hungarian

January 16, 2008


Isten Szegenykeje: Assisi Szent Ferenc [God’s Pauper: St. Francis of Assis]
Kazantzakisz, Nikosz [Nikos Kazantzakis]

Avol’s Bookstore
(Madison, WI, U.S.A.)

Price: $15

For sale at:

Book Description: Szent Istvan Tarsulat Az Apostoli Szentsaek Konyvkiadoja, Budapest, 1984. Paperback. Book Condition: Good to Very Good. Text in Hungarian. Apparently not in OCLC. Mild water stain along lower edge of textblock, along with two spot stains on last page and inside back cover. Cover laminate bubbling. Text is clean and binding is tight. Bookseller Inventory # 178672