Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Birthday Gift: Rudy Nappi Printer's Proof

What does a Nancy Drew fan get for her 35th birthday?! One item is a neat illustration collectible: a printers proof of The Clue in the Old Stagecoach cover signed by the illustrator, Rudy Nappi. This is one of the last printer proofs he had on hand. He has sold several recently at eBay.

What became of the original painting, you may wonder? Rudy donated it to The National Museum of American Illustration located in Newport, Rhode Island. So, stop in if you're ever in Newport for this viewing treat. Here's the original painting:

Check out a press release/photos about the donation and some information on Rudy Nappi:

Now if I could only add to my birthday list, Nancy Drew's fountain of youth! LOL!


Sunday, July 06, 2008

First Printing: Old Clock Sells for $11,700.00

Well ladies and gents,

The auction is over now and the first printing/first edition of The Secret of the Old Clock sold for a $11,700.00!

Anyone else watch the ending of the auction?

The bidding started on June 29th when the book was listed. 4 bids were placed on June 30th. 6 bids on July 1st. And 2 on July 4th. Nothing until the final 2 minutes. It topped out at $8000.00 on July 4th. Most of us figured it would sell for at least $10,000.00 at which it as sold for before and possibly more once before in an undisclosed sale.

I figured by the time it was going for $8000.00, we'd see a cease of activity until the last few seconds before it ends when people come in and manually snipe or use sniping software. I've been involved in auctions before where I snipe and all of a sudden you're outbid or outbidding someone else doing the same. I've seen an auction before suddenly go for hundreds due to half a dozen or more last minute bidders jumping in "out of nowhere." :) So those last few seconds are where the party's at.

It was down to the last 2 minutes and finally another bid. Up to $8100.00. Then 6 seconds before the auction ended, a sniper; Geowall bid it up to $11,700.00

FYI: Geowall is a reseller, not a collector as far as I know. So either he has a buyer in mind or will be reselling it. He sells on eBay as Bookbid. Buys as Geowall. I was hoping to see it go to a Sleuth member or Nancy Drew collector, but maybe it still will.

I wonder if the fact that the auction ended on a holiday weekend was a factor, as I would have thought word would have spread through the collector community since such a scarce book was up for auction. I usually do not list items to end on a holiday weekend as I figure people are traveling and not paying attention to eBay.

Here's to hoping that more of these begin to surface for collectors in the future! Heck, a first printing of The Hidden Staircase, The Bungalow Mystery, The Mystery at Lilac Inn, and The Secret at Shadow Ranch would be super to see too!


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sleuthing at eBay #12 The Case of the Snarky Auctions

More eBay commentary on what's up for auction every once in a while to help educate collectors and--well, have snarky fun too:) So, I'll highlight a few interesting finds, crazy listings, and eBay Nancy Drew flubs and the like. Chime in, in the comments section with your thoughts or questions! Copy the item number and go to and enter it into the search box to view the following auctions:

(Disclaimer: No offense meant to any seller or bidder/potential bidder--I'm sure you're all lovely people:)...)

So, the trend of really high prices on Nancy Drew books seems to be going down, or the stock of items is going down. Or both:) Will be interesting to see how it goes over the course of the summer!

Amusing Auctions:

Item Number: 260255358098 Description: NANCY DREW #32 The Scarlet Slipper Mystery (1954)

(Ended: 07/01/08) - Imagine how well the Nancy Drew books would have sold if the dust jacket artwork had been in black and white! Not too snazzy.

Item Number: 330246484287 Description: THE LOST FILES OF NANCY DREW DetectiveSecrets 2007 Book

(Ends:06/29/08) - I was amused by the seller stating they can't guarantee this book to be from a smoke/pet free home. Aside from the pet issue, the SMELL test always works for smoke ;) FYI, I contributed some artwork and history information for this book and my website is credited in the back of the book!

Not So Fast Seller! (Or...It's no mystery, it's just not rare!)

Item Number: 320184202654 Description: Nancy Drew Leaning Chimney Rare 1st/ dj Farah 1949-B

(Ends: Indefinite--Store Listing) - Asking Price: $185.00. (Farah's Guide Value=$112.00). Oh and by the way, it's not rare! Not even medium rare :) (Thanks Dean for the reference!)

Item Number: 250243652126 Description: Keene, Carolyn. NANCY DREW MYSTERY OF BRASS BOUND TRUNK

(Ends: Indefinite--Store Listing) - Asking Price: $199.95. This is a mid-50s printing worth 36.00 in Farah's Guide. Look at the shape it's in. Not a great dust jacket.

Item Number: 150265687411 Description: Vintage Nancy Drew HIDDEN STAIRCASE WS DJ ~ RARE Format

(Ends: 07/07/08) - Buy it now is $99.99. It's well done I'd say. I'm just sayin'.

Item Number: 140245658490 Description: Clue in the Diary NaNcy Drew Applewood 2nd N PerfecT
Gorgeous, rare, HTF Second Edition! Great Investment!

(Ends: 07/07/08) - Buy it now for $79.99. Or bid for 29.99. I'd rather invest in the first printing/first edition Old Clock up for auction at eBay, it will always have an excellent resale value!

Interesting Auction Ending Prices--Trends in Nancy Drew Collecting:

Item Number: 170232771476 Description: Nancy Drew Secret of Old Clock Blue Leather Applewood

(Ends: 07/01/08) - Ending Price: 180.68. This is one of the Applewood Books Leatherbound editions--the only one they printed in fact, and the print run was around 100 or a little over, so this is a rather rare collectible to own. There won't be anymore made like it. So, the ending price is interesting. It cost around 1/3 of that ending to purchase to begin with.

Item Number: 290240711325 Description: Nancy Drew Secret/Old Clock 75th Anniversary Ed, As New

(Ended: 06/27/08) - Ending Price: $74.99. A bit lower than the above book.

The Case of How It Ended So High?!

I'd like to take a moment to point out a few things to you all. Farah's Guide is the definitive guide to the Drew books. Often you can purchase books in it for less than the guide prices. Further, the guide's prices are for books in excellent shape. If your book has any flaws, it's worth less than the guide price. The following auctions ended far and above Farah's "excellent shape" prices, which has me and my chum Nancy a bit stymied!

Item Number: 320269208664 Description: Nancy Drew Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk 1st EDITION
RARE w/ Dust Jacket First Printing Carolyn Keene SUPERB

(Ended: 07/1/08) - Ending Price: $750. (Farah's Guide Value: $280.00) This is actually not a rare book fyi. It's scarcer than a yellow spine picture cover though :)

News From the Apple Tree:

Item Number: 250260268151 Description: Nancy Drew Applewood 1st THE HAUNTED BRIDGE Fine hcdj Very Collectible Applewood First Edition Nice!

(Ended: 06/23/08) - Ending Price: $250.29

Item Number: 350071645265 Description: AS NEW Scarce Applewood # 17 Nancy Drew 1st Edition The Mystery Of The Brass Bound Trunk - VHTF - Gorgeous!

(Ended: 06/28/08) - Ending Price: $107.52. BUT, it didn't meet reserve. (Rolls eyes...)

Item Number: 350070105692 Description: Nancy Drew Applewood Secret in the Old Attic 1st ed

(Ended: 06/19/08) - Ending Price: $104.49. Guess WHAT?! You can get this book for 16.95 at Barnes & Noble online. It's still available Shhhh, don't tell the resellers!

Item Number: 350070717300 Description: AS NEW Applewood # 9 Nancy Drew Carolyn Keene 1st Print
The Sign Of The Twisted Candles - Gorgeous, VHTF

(Ended: 06/22/08) - Ending Price: $79.99.

Item Number: 350070101800 Description: Nancy Drew Applewood Clue in the Jewel Box 1st edition

(Ended: 06/19/08) - Ending Price: $71.99. And, you can get this book for 16.95 at Barnes & Noble online. It's still available too.

Item Number: 110266441711 Description: Nancy Drew gift box set books 1-6 OOP Applewood NR 2005
75th Anniversary Gift Set Exact copies of the originals

(Ends:07/06/08) - The seller copies verbatim from my website--you can see the little R symbol by "Nancy Drew" which I use on my website, but doesn't cite my website, then copies some info from Wikipedia and cites their website. Amusing to say the least;) I will be interested to see how this set does as I have a couple of extras on hand. This was produced for the 75th anniversary and I'm not sure how many sets were made. The asking price is $200.00 and I'm not sure they'll get that much. It cost around $50 to $70 originally depending on what site you purchased it from. Depending on how little were produced, it could easily go up in value. Don't confuse this with the generic Applewood books that are selling in my opinion, far over their actual value!


Sleuthing at eBay #11: The Case of the Holy Grail Old Clock

Holy Grail Old Clock Auction at eBay! Get it now or wait a long time possibly. The dust jacket is what's really rare about this book. Not many exist with the intact dust jacket! Images above are from the auction.


(Ends: 07/06/08) - This is as good as it gets! It's a bonafied first printing/first edition! The dust jacket is the real prize here! It should sell high. Can't wait for the ending!

I'm loving that the seller wouldn't end the listing for a paltry 3000 offer! This book should sell for around 10,000 if not more. Can't wait to see what it goes for! I've always wondered why a first of Hidden Staircase doesn't sell as high, it was released at the same time. Same goes for Bungalow Mystery. Maybe it's the idea that Old Clock is book #1 so that adds to it. More on my first of Staircase below...

I think there are a lot more copies out there, we just don't know about them. Not everything sells on eBay, and there are lots of private sales/auctions/estate sales going on in which these books change hands. There are a lot of collectors or lovers of Nancy Drew who may not be diehards that may not even know the collecting community exists like it does to even begin to come forth and say what they have. They may not even know what they have. Lots of variables.

Among the collector community, there are several people who have first printings with the dust jacket. One came up for auction a few years ago but it was never verified and the seller disappeared with it--some nut job. There was one sold to a woman in CA. And the one that sold a couple of years ago by a Sleuth member who sold it off of eBay and wouldn't tell anyone what it sold for but we're assuming 10 thousand or more. I know there are probably more, for some reason people don't like to discuss they have firsts;) That's the impression I get! It's not like owning a first printing Nancy Drew is like owning a Monet or a Picasso worth millions or something related to national security after all:) LOL!

I think quite a few people have firsts without the dust jacket as those blank endpaper books sans dust jackets are fairly readily available.

One reason I suspect the dust jackets aren't found on a lot of these 1933 and before books, is that on the dust jacket's reverse side was a huge listing of books to collect. The back of the book said don't throw away the wrapper and pointed kids to the titles there. I think some kids probably took of the dust jackets and used them as a list of what books to read and collect. See my site on this:

I purchased the first printing on eBay--no dust jacket--around 1998, can't recall off hand. I paid around 280 for it. I got a copy of an actual first printing dust jacket which I have on the book. So that's a nice touch. And in 2002 when I met Millie Benson in Toledo for the Sleuths' first annual convention, she signed the book for me. So I really like having a first printing signed by the ghostwriter. I wish I had a real dust jacket! The picture above was taken in 2005, my Old Clock is the book on the far left of the shelf, Hidden Staircase next to it. I have a lot more white and wrap spines in my collection now!

I was e-mailed in around '03 or '04 by someone in NYC who had a Hidden Staircase he thought was a first, it was. I asked him what he wanted for it. He'd seen my website and that I was looking for firsts. He said 500.00 So I purchased it. That was one of my dream ND purchases. It's worth quite a bit more. And it's in pretty good shape too!

The next first I have is Ivory Charm. Those between 1 and 13 are so hard to find and so spendy, that I haven't been able to afford them. I'd love to just stumble upon them at a sale like some of these sellers seem to! Maybe one day:)