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  • John A. Gable
    TR Books: The Market Values In 2003 at the Annual Meeting of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, and also at the Annual Meeting in Albany a few years ago, we
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2004
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                                                     TR Books:  The Market Values
          In 2003 at the Annual Meeting of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, and also at the Annual Meeting in Albany a few years ago, we had a symposium on TR collecting led by Major Greg Wynn, USMC, who is a noted TR collector. I forward this as a kind of continuation of those symposiums.  I think it is fascinating to see the prices, and to read Greg's informed analysis of the market values.  It may also cause some of you to take a second look at some of your TR books or those owned by your family.
                                                      John Gable at the TRA
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Greg Wynn
      Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2004 5:27 PM

      Greetings all, thought this may be of some interest:
          Some TR 'sightings' at the DC Antiquarian Book Show today (which goes through tomorrow at the Rosslyn Holiday Inn)---
      -1869 edition of Mark Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", Theodore Roosevelt's copy with his bookplate, $ 5,000.00
          Assessment:  Clearly priced by a lunatic.  This is not even the first edition of Twain's book--which was originally published in 1867.  While charming, absolutely and ridiculously overpriced.  TR bookplates can be had for $ 100 - 300 when they infrequently show-up.  Books from his library w/ his bookplate can sell from $500 - 1,000 depending on the book, condition, etc...as contrary examples, I was recently offered and passed on a period child's book inscribed by the author to TR w/ TR's bookplate in it for $2,000.00.  This was also expensive but more closer to the mark.  Much more on target (and certainly worth the money) I know of a recent, private transaction for $3,600.00 of a ca. 1870 Natural History book inscribed by "Bamie to Theodore Roosevelt Jr. on his birthday", with his bookplate. 
      -1899 (first edition) of TR's "The Rough Riders", signed. $ 7,500.00
          Assessment:  This sold on the first night of the show.  Desirable by TR and military collectors alike.  Expensive, but it is TR's most desirable book as a first edition, let alone signed w/ "African Game Trails" a close second.  This is not far from the typical price of a signed 1st of this volume.  They are out there. 
      -1919, George Vierieck "Theodore Roosevelt:  A Study in Ambivalence", $ 75.00.  Limited printing to 250 copies, signed by the author.
          Assessment:  Anti-TR diatribe (psychoanalytical).  Worth it.  The trade edition of this book is a $ 40 - 50 dollar book when it shows up.  I've only ever seen this limited, signed edition once or twice before.
      -1914, MacMillan edition of "Theodore Roosevelt:  An Autobiography", inscribed/dated 1917/signed in full, $ 2,850.00.
          Assessment:  Overpriced, considering the condition.  Torn/bumped spine.  Also spotted a nice first edition (1914) of this book, signed/dated for $3,500.00 at the show as well.
      -John Burroughs (bird book---can't recall the title) presented, signed, inscribed, dated by TR (1910) to Sir Edward Grey (Grey of Fallon) "in remembrance of our afternoon together", $7,500.00
          Assessment:  While too expensive, it is historically significant.  TR is referring to the event (which he mentions in his Autobiography) of spending an afternoon with Grey in the English Countryside, birdwatching,  the day before departing to NYC on his return voyage.  So, TR thought enough of this visit to present a Burroughs bird book to him as a gift.  A great association item of birds, TR, and his 1910 trip.
      Keep in mind that TR books and autographs vary wildly in price, significance, and value.  This particular show featured some of the country's best antiquarian book dealers, and their items were priced accordingly.  In the typical marketplace, TR items can be found much less expensively.  But, value and prices continue to rise as does TR's popularity.....remember, at our first annual dinner we will be having a fine selection of TR items to bid on during our silent auction with proceeds going towards our local chapter!

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