Re: RARA-AVIS: Black Mask

From: Stewart Wilson (
Date: 09 Mar 2006

Neither the ebay auctions, nor ebay stores, abe, bookfinder, addall, or any other non-mint listings help set the price for a 1925 Black Mask in mint condition, because the sale of 'very good' copies with chipping, water damage, or tape repair won't do much to help estimate what a rich collector would pay at a specialized auction publicized to the collector community for a pristine copy with an unassailable ownership story. There is a reason you don't see news stories on how a record price was set for a Picasso sketch or a Faulkner first on Ebay. That's simply not where they are traded.

Of course, I have no idea what the magazine would be worth.

Here's an ebay cautionary tale: My good friend listed a VHS copy of the then out-of-print "adaptation" (quotations intentional) of Richard Stark's SLAYGROUND--he received no bids. Full disclosure: He had previously purchased this tape on eBay for $5 US; it goes without saying that he wanted to pay it forward. He relisted and sold the tape for $25 US following a two-bidder war. The lesson: in ebay there is neither consistency nor accounting for taste.


Joy Matkowski wrote:
> For $450 via (searches all online books for sale):
> Black Mask, February
> NY PRO-DISTRIBUTORS. 1930, First Edition. Good copy in pictorial pulp
> There are lots more.
> Joy
> Jeff Vorzimmer wrote:
>> As a starting point 20 cents in 1925 is worth $2.27 in 2006 dollars. There
>> is an issue of Black Mask on eBay from 1925 with the Hammett story "Dead
>> Yellow Woman" and has a Buy It Now price of $499 or best offer. So far,
>> there are no offers. I suspect it is worth considerably less than that,
>> though. The seller is selling it as is, so it can't be in stellar
>> condition.
>> There are actually four Black Masks from the 20s with Hammett stories in
>> them in eBay stores at present, one of which has or had a price tag of
>> $1199, but I think it ended unsold.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 09 Mar 2006 EST