RARA-AVIS: pricey Erle Stanley Gardner (was: RE: Themes of the months)

From: Ray Skirsky ( rskirsky@qualcomm.com)
Date: 20 Aug 2002

At 09:12 AM 8/20/2002 -0500, miker wrote:
>Ray on Abebooks:
>...I found this entry on ABE:
>Erle Stanley Gardner... Price: US$ 910.00 convert currency
>Thats just scary, Ray. My trick with Abebooks is to sort by
>price and don't travel very far down the list. I also keep
>in mind that I'm a reader and not a collector. That means
>I'm more inclined to buy a clean, fine Black Lizard reprint
>than I am a beat-up original with yellow pages falling out.

Well, I did sort by price, but this time I used highest first. I figured that a first edition of the first Gardner book would be among the most expensive. The operative item here, though, was that the dealer claims this is the first edition of the first novel, and it's dated 1933. Hence, I surmise no published novels for Gardner pre-1930.

BTW, the most expensive listing was:

  1. GARDNER, Erle Stanley. Case Of The Counterfeit Eye. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1935. 304 pp. 8vo. Publisher's printed wrappers, using the design of the dust jacket. Advance copy, with publication date stamped on front free endpaper. Very slight wear to bottom of spine, else nice and bright. Extremely unusual in this prepublication format. Bookseller Inventory # 8583 Price: US$ 2500.00 convert currency Presented by Jeffrey H. Marks, Rare Books, ABAA, Rochester, NY, U.S.A.

followed by three more entries at $1350:

  2. Gardner, Erle Stanley The Case Of The Velvet Claws NY Morrow 1933. http://www.phantomdragon.com/zshop/050802/CaseofTheVelvetClaws1st.jpg Very good copy, with some moderate wear to the binding. Hinges starting to crack. Page 275 has a small 1 inch tape repair with paper cello tape. Some light staining to some of the interior pages. Imprinting on the cover and spine very good. This copy is from the library of Vivian K. Bostwick, a friend of Erle Stanley Gardner's at the time he wrote this book in Ventura, CA. Sans dust jacket. First edition of the first Perry Mason book. Quite scarce. 1st Edition. Bookseller Inventory # 009290 Price: US$ 1350.00 convert currency Presented by Katie Books/Phantom Bookshop, Ventura, CA, U.S.A.

    3. GARDNER, ERLE STANLEY. The Case of the Stuttering Bishop New York: Morrow, 1936 First Edition. Previous owner's ink comments on front free endpaper, else a fine copy in a dust jacket with very light wear and a small tape reinforcement inside the spine. Bookseller Inventory # 16410 Price: US$ 1350.00 convert currency Presented by Peter L. Stern & Co., Inc., A.B.A.A., Boston, MA, U.S.A.

    4. Gardner, Erle Stanley The Case of the Stuttering Bishop NY: Morrow, 1936. Hardback with Dustjacket. 1st Edition. Closed tears, edgewear, chipping to o/w bright dj. NF/VG+ . Bookseller Inventory # 971 Price: US$ 1350.00 convert currency Presented by Evergreen Books llc/Joe Jurschak, Evergreen, CO, U.S.A.

And a few more at $1250.

I assume that there must be an entire universe of Erle Stanley Gardner collectors out there somewhere, but my usual experience is that when I look at a Gardner book in some used book store, the proprietor tries his best to get me to take that one and all of the rest he has down in the basement.


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