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First edition of The Fountainhead


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#1 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:46 AM

I am copying this post here and will keep it in evidence for a couple of weeks, or until someone comes up with the edition.

Michael

Does anyone have a first edition of The Fountainhead and wish to sell it? A Los Angeles bookseller who specializes in first editions tells me he is looking for this, and will pay several thousand dollars for it (depending on the condition). Alternatively, he will buy just the dust jacket of the first edition.

Anyone interested should contact me, and I will put you in touch with the bookseller.

Barbara


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#2 marc

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 06:44 AM

I am copying this post here and will keep it in evidence for a couple of weeks, or until someone comes up with the edition.

Michael

Does anyone have a first edition of The Fountainhead and wish to sell it? A Los Angeles bookseller who specializes in first editions tells me he is looking for this, and will pay several thousand dollars for it (depending on the condition). Alternatively, he will buy just the dust jacket of the first edition.

Anyone interested should contact me, and I will put you in touch with the bookseller.

Barbara



#3 marc

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 05:13 AM


I am copying this post here and will keep it in evidence for a couple of weeks, or until someone comes up with the edition.

Michael

Does anyone have a first edition of The Fountainhead and wish to sell it? A Los Angeles bookseller who specializes in first editions tells me he is looking for this, and will pay several thousand dollars for it (depending on the condition). Alternatively, he will buy just the dust jacket of the first edition.

Anyone interested should contact me, and I will put you in touch with the bookseller.

Barbara



I am pretty confident that I do have a few. I also have one of the "good ones'' signed to Barbara , I believe but thats not for sale.

#4 calvegas

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 06:36 PM

I have a nice, stated first edition of The Fountainhead that I would consider selling. It is a true first printing of the first edition; it has none of the errors present in later printings (It's ironic how many sellers point to those errata as selling points when a true first printing has no errors!) One of only 7500 in the first printing (before they ran out of the burgundy color for the cover) this book is a piece of history. It is in good condition. There is some rubbing on the corners and the gilt lettering is a little faded, but there are no markings or tears. The text and title pages are pristine, however there is a small separation of the binding on the copyright page. No original dust jacket, but it does have a new facsimile dustjacket which is a beautifully rendered copy of the first state jacket.

I love this book and am happy to entertain any questions or serious offers.

#5 Brant Gaede

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:00 PM

I have a nice, stated first edition of The Fountainhead that I would consider selling. It is a true first printing of the first edition; it has none of the errors present in later printings (It's ironic how many sellers point to those errata as selling points when a true first printing has no errors!) One of only 7500 in the first printing (before they ran out of the burgundy color for the cover) this book is a piece of history. It is in good condition. There is some rubbing on the corners and the gilt lettering is a little faded, but there are no markings or tears. The text and title pages are pristine, however there is a small separation of the binding on the copyright page. No original dust jacket, but it does have a new facsimile dustjacket which is a beautifully rendered copy of the first state jacket.

I love this book and am happy to entertain any questions or serious offers.


Your book, lacking the original dj and AR autograph, might be worth several hundred dollars on an eBay auction. It's possible, however, someone having an original dj and wanting a book to match might pay more. More likely it's the other way around. You could try selling each separately, which is what I'd do. Actually, I'd burn the dj so no one is ripped off in the future by a seller claiming it was original. Nobody wants a diamond set in plastic. Figure the price you'd accept and use it as your reserve price for a long listing.

--Brant
if it's marked "facsimile" inside, that'd be okay

edit: after going to eBay I realize that the dj may not be that important. I mean, is there any difference between a 1943 dj and 1945? A 2500 dollar reserve might be appropriate
beware that many AR eBay items are extremely over-priced and it's one thing to ask for a price and another to get it--see items priced over 200 and see finished auctions

Edited by Brant Gaede, 23 May 2011 - 01:37 AM.

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#6 calvegas

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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!

#7 Brant Gaede

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 02:52 PM

I went to eBay and searched all Fountainhead listings over 50 bucks. No listing speaks authoritatively about what is being sold. The best they seem to do is point out several errors, such as the page 9 that looks like a small zero.

I have an early printing. It doesn't say "first edition" as some do, but it does have burgundy covers, but they seem to be rather common, along with green. It also has the errors. I saw not one that claimed no errors. So, just how do you know you have what you think you have?

--Brant

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#8 Brant Gaede

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 03:43 PM

Okay, more eBay research has turned up a first edition inscribed from one to another with the inscription date of June 1943 but with the standard "errors" claimed but not shown. The first printing was 7500 copies with a second printing of 2500 in the fall and a total of 18,000 before the end of 1943 according to Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand.

It would seem these errors were in the true first printing. It does have the burgundy colors.

--Brant
this is not definitive, the inscription itself may be a phony to trick a buyer--at least with We the Living you don't get all this nonsense

Edited by Brant Gaede, 23 May 2011 - 03:49 PM.

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#9 calvegas

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:10 PM

It was not an easy thing to figure out!

I was confounded that I have this copy of The Fountainhead which says "First Edition" on the copyright page, yet it had none of the errata so many sellers point out. Then a similar book sold in April, with no mention of any errors, and this really got me hunting:
http://cgi.ebay.com/...3D#ht_548wt_922

I contacted a website called aynrandbooks.com to ask them about what I had. The site has nice pictures of AR first editions in their private collection. I sent pictures along with a verbal description, and the gentleman there confirmed my suspicion: "True first printings of The Fountainhead have no errors" he wrote back, and he went on to appraise my copy at around $2,500 in value, while pointing out that Ebay value is probably %25 less than that. I countered with the above recent sale, and from there we traded speculation on why the value seems to be going up.

Maybe Hearn's APG might have some authoritative commentary on The Fountainhead first editions, but I don't own a copy of it. And it has been interesting tracking down the truth in absence of an authoritative guide. Maybe I will finally go to a bookstore and buy Hearn"s APG as I look for more diamonds in the rough...the internet has its' limitations.

By now, after researching and thinking about this particular edition so much, it's worth more like $5,000 to me- for the mystery and intrigue along with the fact that this novel had a profound impact on me as a young man- but to a fellow enthusiast, I would sell it for half that...

-Rick

#10 calvegas

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:43 PM

Okay, more eBay research has turned up a first edition inscribed from one to another with the inscription date of June 1943 but with the standard "errors" claimed but not shown. The first printing was 7500 copies with a second printing of 2500 in the fall and a total of 18,000 before the end of 1943 according to Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand.

It would seem these errors were in the true first printing. It does have the burgundy colors.

--Brant
this is not definitive, the inscription itself may be a phony to trick a buyer--at least with We the Living you don't get all this nonsense


You're right, it is nonsense! But that's why I wanted to get this conversation going... Why do some have errors and some don't? And how can people sell books as first editions that don't state "first edition"?

#11 Brant Gaede

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:53 PM


Okay, more eBay research has turned up a first edition inscribed from one to another with the inscription date of June 1943 but with the standard "errors" claimed but not shown. The first printing was 7500 copies with a second printing of 2500 in the fall and a total of 18,000 before the end of 1943 according to Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand.

It would seem these errors were in the true first printing. It does have the burgundy colors.

--Brant
this is not definitive, the inscription itself may be a phony to trick a buyer--at least with We the Living you don't get all this nonsense


You're right, it is nonsense! But that's why I wanted to get this conversation going... Why do some have errors and some don't? And how can people sell books as first editions that don't state "first edition"?

There's a claimed 2nd printing is great condition for sale on eBay for 17,000. Silly price, no autograph, but they don't say how they know it's a second printing and the page that says "first edition" for a first edition doesn't say that.

--Brant

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#12 calvegas

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:06 PM



Okay, more eBay research has turned up a first edition inscribed from one to another with the inscription date of June 1943 but with the standard "errors" claimed but not shown. The first printing was 7500 copies with a second printing of 2500 in the fall and a total of 18,000 before the end of 1943 according to Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand.

It would seem these errors were in the true first printing. It does have the burgundy colors.

--Brant
this is not definitive, the inscription itself may be a phony to trick a buyer--at least with We the Living you don't get all this nonsense


You're right, it is nonsense! But that's why I wanted to get this conversation going... Why do some have errors and some don't? And how can people sell books as first editions that don't state "first edition"?

There's a claimed 2nd printing is great condition for sale on eBay for 17,000. Silly price, no autograph, but they don't say how they know it's a second printing and the page that says "first edition" for a first edition doesn't say that.

--Brant

Wow! I saw that too, and it's so far out from left field it makes me think it must be a typo. $17,000 ! Did you see the one that sold for around $10 this weekend (from a book store in San Diego, near me no less) with very little information and no pictures. I can't help wondering what that was about...

#13 Brant Gaede

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:08 PM

Here's what I've got so far: if it's a first edition is says "first edition" and was part of the initial 7500 run. If it doesn't say first edition it wasn't. Now, some subsequent printings may say "first edition" regardless. Because of paper shortage during the war B-M made short print runs and farmed out some of the work to other publishers who had excess paper quotas. My grandfather, even though he was a personal friend of D.L. Chambers, didn't publish any of his books I'm aware of during the war. The first Madison came out before the war and the second in 1948 with four more to follow. Strictly speaking the novel only ever had a first edition, not any second or third. We have to assume first edition means first printing. Now, a second publisher might have thought his first printing was a "first edition" or simply repeated what the original printing said?!?! Did the second publisher pretend to be B-M? Who knows?

--Brant

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#14 calvegas

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:43 PM

Here's what I've got so far: if it's a first edition is says "first edition" and was part of the initial 7500 run. If it doesn't say first edition it wasn't. Now, some subsequent printings may say "first edition" regardless. Because of paper shortage during the war B-M made short print runs and farmed out some of the work to other publishers who had excess paper quotas. My grandfather, even though he was a personal friend of D.L. Chambers, didn't publish any of his books I'm aware of during the war. The first Madison came out before the war and the second in 1948 with four more to follow. Strictly speaking the novel only ever had a first edition, not any second or third. We have to assume first edition means first printing. Now, a second publisher might have thought his first printing was a "first edition" or simply repeated what the original printing said?!?! Did the second publisher pretend to be B-M? Who knows?

--Brant

Thanks Brant- You're quoting from something online, right, because I think I just read that same thing recently. It truly muddies the waters to think someone would issue reprints with first edition stated on the copyright page. I think if that were the case, it would be cited somewhere and we wouldn't be wondering.

I don't agree that we have to assume that first edition means first printing, because why then would some have errors and some don't. It seems to me they had a first edition printing run, the first state, and it was perfect. The next time they ran the press, the second state of the first edition, there were some errors. They also changed the color from burgundy to green and modified the back of the the dust jacket for this second state. It still says First Edition where it should...but it's materially different from the first run they produced. Then at some point they went back to burgundy covers, like yours, but didn't correct the errors What I would like to know is after what printing did they drop the First Edition statement? Blackistone is the company that took over the printing from Bobbs-Merril, and we see those copies for sale today and they are recognizably different than those of the first state.

Are there any fellow objectivists who can help me out here?

I'm going to the UCSD library and not leaving without answers!

Thanks Brant!
-Rick

#15 Brant Gaede

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:01 PM

No, Rick, I didn't quote anybody. If I had I'd've used quotation marks.

--Brant

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#16 calvegas

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:15 PM

No, Rick, I didn't quote anybody. If I had I'd've used quotation marks.

--Brant

Wow, I apologize, Brant. I was confused. Did I see you quoted somewhere? Because I read your post with a sense of deja vu. In any case, it's interesting that you have this personal, historical connection with the book in question... Wheels within wheels..

#17 calvegas

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:18 PM

From Ahearn's APG >>>

004b: THE FOUNTAINHEAD. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis (1943). [1] 7,500 copies. Red cloth. First edition stated. Dustwrapper is priced at $3.00 with Bobbs-Merrill titles on back. $2,500/15,000

004c: THE FOUNTAINHEAD. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis (1943). [1] 12,000 copies (estimated). Green cloth. First edition stated. In dustwrapper which is priced at $3.00 and has photograph of author on back with three critical reviews. First two lines on page 748 inverted. (Fine Books Co. 4/94.) $1,500/10,000

#18 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:55 PM

Some Printing History

My copy of The Fountainhead has the burgundy cloth cover. It does not say First edition or any edition. It just says “Copyright, 1943, The Bobbs-Merrill Company.” It has the errors mentioned here. When I read the book last year for the Nietzsche v. Rand study,* I did not notice any of those errors (but they are there). I had noticed, instead, seven other errors.

Not for sale.

#19 Brant Gaede

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:14 PM

From Ahearn's APG >>>

004b: THE FOUNTAINHEAD. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis (1943). [1] 7,500 copies. Red cloth. First edition stated. Dustwrapper is priced at $3.00 with Bobbs-Merrill titles on back. $2,500/15,000

004c: THE FOUNTAINHEAD. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis (1943). [1] 12,000 copies (estimated). Green cloth. First edition stated. In dustwrapper which is priced at $3.00 and has photograph of author on back with three critical reviews. First two lines on page 748 inverted. (Fine Books Co. 4/94.) $1,500/10,000

Okay, it looks like we can disregard green cloth "first edition" printings which seem to have been run off in the fall of 1943 if not later. What we need is red cloth first edition. I still don't gork these printing mistakes such as the mis-spelling of Dominique on page 480. The small "o" on page 9 for page 9 might have been a piece of the type falling off.

--Brant
more eBay research

Edited by Brant Gaede, 23 May 2011 - 09:15 PM.

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#20 calvegas

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:44 PM

Some Printing History

My copy of The Fountainhead has the burgundy cloth cover. It does not say First edition or any edition. It just says “Copyright, 1943, The Bobbs-Merrill Company.” It has the errors mentioned here. When I read the book last year for the Nietzsche v. Rand study,* I did not notice any of those errors (but they are there). I had noticed, instead, seven other errors.

Not for sale.

Thanks for contributing to the conversation, particularly the essays on the publishing history. It's fascinating stuff and makes me want to read the book again. It's noteworthy that we are still sorting through the artifacts of Bobbs-Merrill's difficulties with this book. What I want to know is when did those "well known first edition typographical errors" occur?
Did you notice that the edition you referenced above from rarelibrary.com claims to be a first edition, yet they show the copyright page and it doesn't say "First Edition" where it should? It's not a first edition without the statement on the copyright page! (I'm not blaming you, of course, but that is the kind of thing that got me started on this post).

And then you find seven more errors? Why aren't they well-known?

Edited by calvegas, 23 May 2011 - 11:16 PM.





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