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jlevey
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Not sure if this is the right section to post my inquiry. If it is not the right section, please advise, and I will re-post in the proper place...

It would be interesting to know the approximate value for each of Professor Hoffman's books, to today's collector. Suggested value should be based on the book being in excellent condition. Rather than suggest an exact figure, perhaps suggesting the anticipated range of value would be best.


Modern Magic (1876) $ _______ to $ ______

The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic by Robert-Houdin (1877)

Drawing Room Conjuring (1887)$ _______ to $ ____

More Magic (1889) $ _______ to $ _____

Later Magic (1904) $ _______ to $ _____

Magic Tidbits (1911) $ _______ to $ _____

Latest Magic (1918) $ _______ to $ _____
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Bill Palmer
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You have asked a question without giving enough information to make an educated, accurate response. Here are a few things to consider.

Which edition of Modern Magic are you referring to -- English or American? Which publisher?

This is also true of all of the other books on your list. Magical Titbits (note spelling)

You don't mention the condition. That is of paramount importance. A pristine copy of the Robert-Houdin book can go for a fairly high price. A "reader" will go for about $35.00.

If you really want to know the value of the books, look at the completed auctions at the Kenna Thompson site and at Martinka.
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jlevey
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Dear Bill,

Thanks for putting my question into proper perspective, you are so right (of course).

Thanks too for guiding me in a good direction. I will check out the Kenna Thompson site you mentioned.

Frankly the only book that I am truly concerned with is the Later Magic book by Hoffman. I will try to provide some more details on this book, as I have it and can therefore tell you its true condition.

I will likely do so tomorrow evening, or soon after, as I need to hit the hay and have lots on my schedule to attend to.

Again, many thanks for taking the time to respond and point me in the right direction.

Best wishes.

Jonathan
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Clay Shevlin
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Grading book condition is, unfortunately, very subjective, when in fact it doesn't have to be. It seems many people grade a book's condition in consideration of its age, but one person's "great condition for its age" is different from another's. When grading a book's condition, I disregard its age, which IMO is the only way to do it. Here's my grading system;

– Near mint (NM) or fine (F) copies look practically new.
– Near fine (NF) copies have only slight wear (very small bumps, light rubbing, very small closed tears) to the cover, interior page or dj extremities, and virtually no soiling or other markings on the covers or pages.
– Very good (VG) copies have a bit more wear to the extremities and may have mild fading to the spine of the book or dj, but no large tears, large bumps or significant soiling to the book or dj and no other significant defects.
– Good copies (G) show evidence of having been well read and show typical wear, soiling and dusting that comes from normal, repeated use, including the occasional annotation in the text, whether in pencil or ink.
– Fair copies show significant wear and weathering (e.g., sunning, spotting, soiling) to the covers and/or binding and may have several or more annotations and other marks on their pages, but all pages are intact and legible, unless noted otherwise.
– A plus (+) or minus (-) sign helps describe condition more precisely when, for example, a simple “VG” or “G” won’t do.

Rarely is a book graded “mint” (M), largely because a truly mint condition book is practically impossible to find in the case of older books and, with newer books, because the normal handling process of getting the book from the printer to the customer usually results in at least minor bumps and rubs to the covers and/or dust jackets.
jlevey
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Good info for us novices. Thanks Clay.

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Bill Palmer
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That is excellent information, Clay. Thanks.
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Bill Palmer
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I subscribe to the Martinka site, which allows me access to the prices paid at their auctions. Later Magic seems to bring around $50 per copy, if the book is in decent shape. If it belonged to a famous magician, it may bring a lot more. There was a copy sold at the last auction that belonged to Prof. Struck. It brought more than $600.

So, become famous! Smile
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jlevey
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Dear Bill... I have not (yet) become famous, so instead I have gone ahead and listed my Later Magic book by Hoffmann for sale on the Café. I took pains to try and provide potential buyers with an honest description of the books condition and a very detailed description of its publishing-related information as weel as a link to its vast contents. I believe I have set a fair price for this book, based on what you have suggested and what I have seen elsewhere on the net.

Thanks again to you and to Clay for taking the time and thought to comment on my inquiry and provide me with excellent information and suggestions.

You can see my For Sale listing at: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=78#2

Should you have any further comments or suggestions towards this listing, kindly send them to me via PM.

Best regards.

Jonathan
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Clay Shevlin
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Jonathan, if Mulholland wrote the introduction, then if my memory is good, your copy was published in the early 1950s, my guess either 1951 or 1953, depending on whether it's the U.S. (Dutton) or U.K. (Routledge) edition. Both editions were issued in a dustjacket and are pretty common.
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This brings up an interesting point. When a book is published, the date in it will usually be the copyright date. This is the EARLIEST date that particular copy could have been issued. It may go into several printings without any indication of what year it was actually printed. The publisher is neither obligated nor expected to indicate the year an item was printed.

However, if there are significant changes, then a second edition would normally be indicated on the same page as the copyright information.

Of course, the intro by Mulholland changes a lot of that, as well.

BTW, a similar phenomenon occurs with certain musical instruments. Some instruments, such as banjos and guitars have parts that can be removed or replaced, such as tailpieces and tuning pegs. Often, these will have patent dates on them. So it's not uncommon to see an instrument that was actually made during the 1920's listed on ebay as being made in 1899, because that year is stamped into the tailpiece.
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jlevey
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Thanks Clay and Bill fo ryour follow up comments and insights.

When I made the For Sale posting on this book I tried to be as honest and objective as possible. The name of the company was EP Dutton and company. There were two copyright dates inside which I found to be odd: 1904 and 1911. There was not mention of a second edition. I assumed that the second copyright date indicated the year this particular version of the book was published (1911). But I am guessing that if Mulholland was only a glint in his dad's (and mom's) eye at that time, and if he was known to be writing in the 1950's, then the date of 1950 , as you suggest Clay, is likely the date of publication --but (again) the odd thing is that no other dates (other than 1904 and 1911) are mentioned.

Please have another look at my for sale postings and send me a PM with any comments or suggestions on how I should revise my description of the book to make it as accurate as possible. Also, do you both feel that my asking price of $55 , based on my description of the book and its condition is a fair price to ask?

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=78#2

Jonathan
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Bill Palmer
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I'm sure you were trying to be as honest and objective as possible. Nobody doubts your integrity. The only reason I'm posting this openly rather than in a PM is that it's the kind of information that prevents confusion with other forum members down the road.

There were, as you have seen, several different editions of Later Magic. The best way I can think of to trace the actual publication date of your edition would be to see what other clues you can find in various parts of it. For example, if the introduction by Mulholland has a date, That might tell you something. If there are references in the introduction to "the Great War," that would give you an indication that it was written between roughly 1918 and 1940. If it refers to World War I, That would be sure-fire evidence that the introduction was written after the beginning of WW II.

If you look at the address of the publisher on the copyright page, and there is a postal zone, such as New York 4, New York, that would indicate that it was published after 1943. If it has a zip code such as 20014, that would indicate that it was published after 1963. If it has a zip plus 4, such as 20014-2345, that would indicate that it was published after 1983. My copy of Later Magic has the 1904 copyright date only, and it is an E.P. Dutton copy, so there may be material in yours that is missing from the earlier edition. This is probably the additional material that you had indicated in your listing.

The Mulholland intro could have been written as early as the 1920's, although that is somewhat doubtful. In 1930, he became the editor of The Sphinx, which gave him the kind of credibility he would have needed to be a consultant on such a book.

Clay may have some more specific information about various editions of Later Magic than I do. It would be interesting to see if Dutton decided to reissue the book in the 1950's. The David McKay editions of Modern Magic and More Magic were reprinted about that time, so it might make sense.
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jlevey
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You are absolutely right Bill. Thanks for persisting with this. I read and re-read the inside pages, identifying th ebook's puclisihing, copyright and re-copyright dates, etc.

I now see that the book was re-printed with Mulholland's new introduction in 1951.
So this must be the date that this particular version of Hoffmann's later Magic book was released.

Thanks. I will re-post my ad from scratch and include this information. I am guessing that the value of this used book in good condition --with no marks or page defects, but a somewhat faded cloth cover with worn corners is worth, as you suggested, around the $50 mark.

Is that still your guess based on the info I shared?
Clay, I would be curious to know your rough estimate, as well.

Jonathan
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jlevey
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Bill and Clay,

I invite you to have a look at my revised for sale posting of this book
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=78#0

Then, kindly let me know via PM if you still feel its fair market value is $50.

Also, just curious... is this considered to be an OOP book? Or is this version of the book still being published either as a hard and/or softbound book?

Jonathan

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=78#0
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Bill Palmer
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This would be considered an OOP book.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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jlevey
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OOPs! I neglected to mention in my posting that it was an OOP book. I will ask the Café staff to modify my posting, accordingly.

IN the meantime, Bill, from the detail I've provided on my particular edition of this Later Magic book, do you still believe the approximate worth is around the $50 mark?

Please advise via PM to me as soon as you have the chance.

Jonathan
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Bill Palmer
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Jonathan:

For various reasons, I do not send PMs to people unless it is a very pressing emergency. You have my e-mail address.

The price you have set seems to be fair to me.

Since the book is in the public domain, anyone who wants to foot the bill can have it reprinted at their own expense, by the way.

Your edition is OOP; however, I have a suspicion that since Dover reprinted some of the other Hoffmann books, that they or someone else like them may have done the same with this book.

A search on Amazon.com might be in order.
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jlevey
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Thanks Bill. All makes good sense.
Best wishes for a healthy and happy fall season.

Jonathan
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jlevey
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Thanks for trying to help put the value of my version of the Later Magic book in perspective, John.

Just to clarify, the book shown on the link you provided is the 554 page version in paperback. The book I own and am considering to sell is more of a collector's item. It is the hardcover cloth-bound version, originally published in 1904, and subsequently in 1911 --but it is the "Expanded version (738 pages) with two additional chapters and a "new" intro by John Mulholland (1951). It also contains 266 illustrations. It is interesting to note that on one of the used book sites, called Biblio.com, it shows similar version of this revised and expanded book on sale for $75.00

http://www.biblio.com/details.php?dcx=100332905&aid=libri

As Bill has pointed out, $50, for the version that I am offering to sell seems to be the approximate fair market value of this particular book, as it is in good condition and this particular version seems relatively scarce to find.

As bill and you seem to point out, anyone looking to simply have a look at the contents of this book can find it as a very modest price. However, I suspect there are still a few Magicians out there that are collectors, and as such they would likely appreciate and enjoy having the cloth-bound version of this book in their library along with the experience of holding and turning the well-kept pages of this relatively "old" and classic book.

Jonathan
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