Posted 23 May 2011 - 12:12 PM
]Thank-you, Brant for picking up on this old thread.
You are right, many alleged Ayn Rand first editions on Ebay are vastly over-priced IMHO. It's scandalous how many of them are listed as first editions, when in fact they don't even state "First Edition" on the copyright page. They should say early editions instead. And then there's the issue of the errors, which so many claim to be "first edition points", when in fact those errata are not present in the true first printing of the first edition. ( What would Ayn Rand say about that? These mistakes have become salient selling points for dozens of pretenders, while the value of a flawless original is obscured by their legions) .
The reason many of these "first editions" don't command high prices is obvious to an informed collector: they are not the real deal and they are trading on false assumptions. Caveat emptor!
To be fair, my research has shown that there are stated first editions out there that have errors. They are not "true first printing" first editions, but who can quibble with the statement on the copyright page? To be honest, my research lacks sophistication, (Google/Ebay) and I would love it if there is a real authority on the subject who could set the record straight.
As for the dust jacket, Brant, your musings were a little wide of the mark. This book with its' original dust jacket is worth way, way more. The odds of finding the DJ without the book are astronomically low. Separating the book from the DJ for sale is ill-considered in my view, while burning the book cover is an intriguing bit of madness. The facsimile book cover I purchased ($22.00 at facsimiledustjackets.com) adds nothing to the intrinsic value of the book, but it's nice, and historically accurate, but yeah, it says "Facsimile Dust Jacket" on the inside, so it will never be mistaken as an original.
However, the value you arrived at, $2,500 seems to be about right on the mark. A true first printing, first edition of The Fountainhead with a facsimile dust jacket sold for $2,250 on Ebay in April. There is a similar one one to be found on AbeBooks, with a second state jacket, I believe, for $3,250. The book I have is in similar condition to these, so yes, your estimation seems in line with the market.
Thanks for your response and the opportunity to expand on this topic!