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BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
October 2009

by Pamela Palmer

#141, 25 January 2010

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.

Twilight, Rand, Tolkien, and King are no surprise in the fiction top 10. But what about Robert Frost and Chaucer? Both made the list in November 2009. The non-fiction list features the familiar (Sumo, Ruscha, and a signed Easton Press title) and the unusual (a Japanese photo book from the Vietnam War, gold mine maps from 1896, and an association copy of Game of Chess: A Poem published in 1736).

On the Antiquarian & Collectible side, #1 is a Picasso book containing both the artist's signature and a drawing; it sold for $30,000. The 1960 book was listed by a Peruvian seller and is followed on the list by two Bibles, A Farewell to Arms signed by Hemingway, and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Fiction Top 10
November 2009

#1 $5,200.00 Twilight books / signed by / Pattison / Steward/ Myers
#3 $2,011.26 The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien 1954 First
#4 $1,653.89 Stephen King The Stand Signed Limited Black Coffin Box
#5 $1,025.00 The Midnight House -- signed advance reader copy
#7 tie $999.00 MOUNTAIN INTERVAL by ROBERT FROST 1st *SIGNED in 1917*
#7 tie $999.00 Catch 22 Joseph Heller 1st Printing NF/NF
#9 $938.59 Chaucer-CANTEBURY TALES-W. Russell Flint 3 vols RARE
#10 $900.00 To My Sons By Harold Bell Wright 1st edition

New Moon
Breaking Dawn

Stephenie Meyer

Listed by a Canadian seller, the 4 books in the Twilight saga were signed by the author and actors Pattison and Stewart. It sold with a single bid.

Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand

Another Canadian seller sold this 1st edition, 1st printing of Ayn Rand's 1957 title. It was listed as like new in a "fine original DJ."

The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien

Listed by a UK seller in very good condition, the 1st edition attracted 25 bids to sell for $2,011.26.

The Stand
Stephen King

4 bids took the signed limited edition in a black coffin box to $1,653.89. The US seller listed it in very good condition and offered "Free Shipping if you BUT IT NOW."

The Midnight House
Alex Berenson

The signed advance reader copy in new condition attracted 40 bids. Listed by alexberenson, the copy was sold to benefit "City Harvest, a charity in New York."

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
J.K. Rowling

Listed in like new condition, the signed 1st edition Scholastic paperback sold for $1,000.

#7 tie
Mountain Interval
Robert Frost

The 1916 1st edition was signed the following year. It was listed in very good condition and sold as a BIN. The US seller notes this was the 1st Frost book to be published in the United States and points to 2 errors in the 1st state that are present in this copy.

#7 tie
Catch 22
Joseph Heller

In a tie for the #7 position, a 1st edition, 1st printing of Catch 22 sold with a single bid.

Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer

20 bids took this 3-volume 1913 limited edition with "original limp vellum boards ... 36 mounted colour plates ... by Sir Russell Flint" to $938.59. It was listed by a UK seller.

To My Sons
Harrold Bell Wright

Sold with a single bid, the 1934 1st edition in very good condition brought $900.  

Non-Fiction Top 10
November 2009

#1 $5,750.00 Helmut Newton Sumo Limited Ed Signed by Helmut N
#2 $750.00 Edward Ruscha THIRTYFOUR PARKING LOTS in Los Angeles
#3 $725.00 We Seven Carpenter Cooper Glenn Signed Easton Press
#4 $695.00 Rare 1977 Bunyo Ishikawa Photo Folio Vietnam War
#5 $635.00 The Codex Alexandrinus Facsimilie of the British Museum
#6 $610.00 Game of Chess a Poem by Vida 1736 Von der Lasa's copy
#8 $588.92 book Cripple Creek & Colorado Springs Gold Mine Maps
#9 $587.78 Robert Goddard - Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes
#10 $585.00 Motocourse 1976-1977, 1977-1978, 1978-1979 FIM

Helmut Newton

A regular on the top 10 nonfiction list, Sumo is a Taschen limited edition. This copy is listed in "good condition with stand." It sold after 33 bids.

Thirtyfour Parking Lots
Edward Ruscha

Sold as a BIN, the book was listed in like new condition.

We Seven
Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, and John Glenn

Signed by the 3 authors, this is #75 of 3000 in the Easton Press edition. It was listed in near fine condition.

Chien Tranh Giai Phong Viet Nam
Bunyo Ishikawa

Written in Japanese, the 1977 publication was listed in very good condition in a slipcase in "sound condition." It sold with a single bid.

Codex Alexandrinus
[reduced photographic facsimile]

Published in 1909 by the British Museum in a 5-volume set of reduced photographic facsimiles, the hardcover volumes are in the original slipcases and covers. It sold after 8 bids.

Game of Chess
A Poem

Marcus Hieronymus Vida

4 bids took the 1736 book to $610. The seller noted, "This book was Von der Lasa's copy with his inscription, bookplate and signature. This is a very rare book fron the library of the 19th century giant in chess history research."

Visionaire No. 52: Private
Marc Jacobs, ed.

Published in 1977, the noted fashion quarterly publication for this issue was in a Louis Vuitton case. Listed in "new never opened" condition, it sold as a BIN.

Cripple Creek Colorado Springs Illustrated
A Review and Panaroma of an Unique Gold Field,
with Geological Features and Achievements of Five Eventful ...

Henry L.J. Warren and Robert Stride

The 1896 publication in acceptable condition with pages "detached from binding" and "very well worn" received 7 bids and sold for $588.92. The foldout view in the book was intact.

A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes
Robert H. Goddard

Published as part of a 1921 Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collection volume, the 1919 work by Robert H. Goddard consists of "69 pages, with 10 pages of plates (25 images). The book is ex-library and contains other Smithsonian publications. It was listed in acceptable condition.

Motocourse 1976-77, 1977-78, and 1978-79

Offered as "local pickup only ... the three oldest, most desirable Motocourse volumes attracted 4 bids to sell for $585.

By the Numbers

16 sellers were from the USA
2 sellers were from the UK
2 sellers were from Canada
13 books were published during or after 1950
7 were published before 1950
Seller feedback ranged from 6 to 13192
7 purchases were BIN
1 purchase was a Best Offer
13 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback percentage ranged from 87.5% to 100% for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1736.

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


Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
November 2009

#1 $30,000.00 PABLO PICASSO Vintage Signed Book with Drawing 1960 NR
#2 $12,500.00 Aitken Bible - 1782 Bible of the American Revolution
#3 $10,500.00 Incunabula Bible 1491 1st ed Pocket Ed Rubicated Complete
#5 $8,000.00 Alcoholics Anonymous First Edition Big Book

Picasso: Les Ménines et la Vie
Jaime Sabartes


Signed and with a drawing by Picasso, the 1960 book was listed by a Peruvian seller. It sold for $30,000 as a BIN.

[1782 Aiken Bible]

The US seller noted that the Bible printed by Robert Aiken was "the first complete Bible printed in English in America." It sold for $12,500 as a BIN.

1491 Incunabula Bible

The Dutch seller may or may not have sold this volume for $10,500 as a BIN. eBay noted later "The seller has relisted this item or one like this."

A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway

Sold for $9,210 after 11 bids, the signed 1929 1st edition is described as in "very fine condition."

Alcoholics Anonymous

This 1st edition, 1st printing is listed in "very good shape" but lacking a dust jacket. The US seller noted, "This book is stamped 'compliments of Charles B. Towns Hospital' the famous 'drying-out' facility where AA co-founder Bill W. started his recovery."

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