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BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
January 2009

by Pamela Palmer

#132, 9 February 2009

NOTE: Items numbers are now included in this article. They are in the individual auction comments section below the author and title. Click the links to see the listings.

Life at the top isn't easy these days. Maybe it never was. By chance I noticed that 2 of BookThink's Top 5 antiquarian books sold by the familiar German seller in December were relisted in January. The buyers' names were private and there was no indication of non-paying buyers. In both cases, the January sales amounts topped those of the same item in December. One was $500 higher and the other increased by app. 50% over the December closing price to sell at $18,000. With 25 and 37 December bids, it seems that the seller opted for relisting rather than offering the items to the next highest bidder. Have you ever calculated the listing and final value fees on a $26,0000 eBay sale?

Fiction Top 10
January 2009

#1 $3,150.00 Signed Beedle the Bard, Collector's Edition 49/100
#2 $3,100.00 Stephen King Skeleton Crew Zippered edition signed
#3 $2,999.99 ***SIGNED*** (84/100) The Tales of Beedle the Bard Book
#4 $2,478.35 William Golding Lord of the Flies 1st/1st Faber 1954
#5 $2,400.00 Arnold Schoenberg Book SIGNED BY SCHOENBERG
#6 $1,587.56 Philip Pullman-1st Ed-NORTHERN LIGHTS-1st/1st SIGNED
#7 $1,525.00 Stephen King The Plant Signed Rare Book Limited Edition
#8 $1,100.00 The Audacity of Hope SIGNED Barack Obama US HC 1st/1st
#9 $1,086.89 George Orwell-1st Ed-NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR-First Edition
#10 $965.97 Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick (5 vol. set)

The Tales of Beedle the Bard
J.K. Rowling

Around 2 hours into the listing, the US seller pulled the BIN. Listed by a relative novice with 9 feedbacks, the signed collector's edition is #49 of 100 published. 13 bids took the mint condition book to $3,150.

Skeleton Crew
Stephen King


Sold as a BIN, the signed limited edition is "full-leather with zipper all around" and in fine condition.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard
J.K. Rowling

After 9 minutes online, the signed limited edition sold as a BIN. It is #84 or 100 copies and includes the genuine hologram sticker.

Lord of the Flies
William Golding

Listed by a UK seller, the 1st edition, 1st impression sold to the single bidder. It was described as "a superb copy ... [with a ] un-fade3d dust jacket.

Arthur Schoenberg

The signed 2nd edition presentation copy was inscribed to Donald J. Bear. It is in very good condition and sold as a BIN.

Northern Lights
Phillip Pullman

27 bids took this signed 1st edition, 1st printing from a UK seller to $1,587.56. It has an "original first issue dust jacket with all edition/ issue points."

The Plant
Stephen King

Listed by Andrew Unangst, "one of [Stephen King's] friends ... [who] photographed Stephen King for three book jackets." He describes the book as #84 of 200, "a rare limited edition book ... issued to friends in the mid-eighties." It attracted 11 bids.

The Audacity of Hope
Barack Obama

"... the scan is my stock scan, however the actual book was signed at the same time, at the same event but may be slightly different," stated the US seller. A buyer purchased the unseen book for $1,100.

Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell

A UK seller listed this 1949 1st edition, 1st printing in the "original red dust jacket." The auction attracted 29 bids.

The Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick

The "deluxe, limited edition five-volume set" is #15 of 100 in the "Red Cloth Deluxe Edition. In like new condition, it sold after 4 bids.


Non-Fiction Top 10
January 2009

#1 $4,888.88 pink floyd-SYD BARRETT-.PSYCHEDELIC RENEGADES-signed
#3 $2,125.00 Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama, First Ed. 1995
#4 $2,013.13 Edward Weston signed numbered first book 1932
#5 $1,700.00 Fifty Years Adrift by Derek Taylor George Harrison
#6 $1,600.00 Black's Law Dictionary 1st Edition (1891) - LOOK!
#7 $1,500.00 Benjamin Graham, Security Analysis, 1934 1st Ed 5th Imp
#8 $1,469.00 "Cyaniding for Gold" Idriess 1939 1st edition Mining
#9 $1,275.00 SIGNED 1st Edition Barack Obama The Audacity of Hope
#10 $1,250.00 "The Birds of North America" SF Baird,1860,1st Edition

Psychedelic Renegades: Photos of Syd Barrett by Mick Rock
Mick Rock


A best offer of $4,888.88 won the Australian seller's signed limited edition published by Genesis. It is #169 of 350.

World Atlas [1847]
Augustus Mitchell

Missing the front and back cover with some stains, the 1847 book with 73 maps attracted 15 bids. As the seller noted, [it's] pretty dam clean."

Dreams From My Father
Barack Obama

Sold by an eBay drop-off store, the auction used item specifics and photographs to sell the like new hardcover.

The Art of Edward Weston
Edward Weston and Merle Armitage

A 1st edition numbered copy of The Art of Edward Weston attracted 22 bids. It was described as in excellent condition.

Fifty Years Adrift
Derek Taylor and George Harrison

Described as pristine with no flaws, the Genesis book was signed by both Taylor and Harrison.

Black's Law Dictionary

The 1st edition of Black's Law Dictionary from 1891 sold as a BIN the day it was listed. The US seller described it as "in great shape with light wear and only some corner bumps and scratches."

Security Analysis
Principles and Techniques

Benjamin Graham and David Dodd

Security Analysis is a perennial title on the top 10 list. This copy is a 1934, 1st edition, 5th impression. Described as in good condition with "frequent underlining and marginal notations." It sold after a single bid.

Cynading for Gold
A Complete, Simple, and Detailed Account of the Processing Written Especially for the Working Miner and the Small Syndicate

Ion L. Idriess

The 1939 1st edition was called Idress' "most elusive and sought after title." 20 bidders went after the volume, which went from an opening bid of $.99 to $1,469.

The Audacity of Hope
Barack Obama


The signed first edition in fine condition was sold by the Seattle Goodwill. It received 52 bids.

The Birds of North America
Spencer F. Baird

An ex-library 1860 1st edition 2-volume set in good condition sold on a single bid. "Spine and boards are detached. Several groups of plates detached from spine."

By the Numbers

16 sellers were from the USA
3 sellers were from the UK
1 seller was from Australia
11 books were published during or after 1950
9 were published before 1950
3 sold as BIN
3 sold as BO
1 to 52 to was the range of bids
Seller feedback ranged from 6 to 23503
16 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback percentage ranged from 96.7% to 100% for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1847.

*feedback is noted at the time the auction is viewed by BookThink.


Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
January 2009

#1 $26,611.00 Handwritten Breviary 1470 - 36 Goldinitials! Manuscript
#2 $18,000.00 Legenda aurea - rare manuscript with 224 initials -1380
#3 $16,643.00 Richly Illuminated Book of Hours from Utrecht c. 1430!!
#4 $13,500.00 St. Augustine - Illuminated Manuscript on Vellum, 1460!

Brevary c1470
Illuminated Manuscript


A regular on this list, the German seller of #1 also sold #2, #3. Aand #4. Described as "a true treasure of 15th century Italian illumination," it has 36 ornate initials on "burnished gold ground." This is 1 of the 2 relisted books mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article.

Manuscript with 224 initials

37 bids took this "unique missale-manuscript!! Decorated gorgeously with numerous coloured jewel initials!!!" This is the 2nd of the two relisted books mentioned in the opening paragraph. Both the December and January auctions ended with 37 bids.

Book of Hours

Listed by the German seller of #1 - #4, the "richly illuminated mid-15th century handwritten Book of Hours" contains "16 wonderful full-page miniatures and 2 historiated initials.

De doctrina Christiana
Meditationes and other writings

Augustine of Hippo and John of Fecamp

Described as a "wonder and exceptional early manuscript on vellum," it sold after 32 bids.

Peter Beard: Collector's Edition
Peter Beard

The signed Tashen publication is 1 of 250 in the Limited Collector's Edition with signed print. It sold as a Best Offer to a buyer with 0 feedback.

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