Saturday, August 22, 2009

My trip to Hartford: Godey's Magazine 1834, rare Edgar Allan Poe appearance

There are only a few great paper shows left worth traveling to:

1) Papermania in Hartford

2) The paper shows in Allentown at the fairgrounds

3) Pulpcons- Chicago and now Columbus

4) The Ephemera Society annual meeting

5) The New York, California and Boston Book Fairs

Today was my adventure to Hartford. Fortunately, the room was still full and the attendance was strong. Good material was abundant though the really good stuff was a bit overpriced.
It's a two hour drive from New Jersey and the weather on the road held up despite the proximity of Hurricane Bill.

I bought a few minor items and had one great find- a bound volume eight of Godey's (1834) containing a short story, the anonymously published first national magazine appearance of Edgar Allan Poe entitled "The Visionary". I've been looking for it for quite some time to add to my considerable Poe holdings. Some writers become dated with time (in the 1920's Ben Hur by Lew Wallace sold for thousands of dollars, today it's less than a hundred), EAP just keeps growing in importance- one of the greatest magazine characters ever.

My copy is in great shape with all the engravings present, contemporary binding (front cover detached) and minimal foxing. The only copy presently for sale on the web is for $1200 and is considerably lesser condition. Mine- $150, thank goodness the dealer didn't do his homework- there was another dealer's price in it for $600 but fortunately no attribution to Poe.

I won't retire on this item but it paid for the trip and a very nice day catching up with my friends in the book trade. In retrospect, I forgot to go back and buy a Playboy (1953) number one for $1250. I should have bought it since at that price it could easily be re-sold on eBay for a healthy profit. As I've said over and over, knowledge is power. Good Hunting!
Next Blog: National Geographic.

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