Thursday, March 7, 2019

Otto Penzler Aucton Results: HAMMETT STUFF


Here are the prices paid for Hammett books and miscellanea at yesterday's Heritage auction of the Otto Penzler Collection. Prices include the actual bid plus a Buyer's Premium (whatever that is). Sadly (but thankfully), none of these prices were paid by me.








$12,500 (inscribed to Lillian Hellman)






letter to Pru Whitfield still available

letter to Pru Whitfield $937.50


Rick Robinson said...

Some higher, some lower than I would have expected.

Evan Lewis said...

Me too. I thought the Falcon would go for more than Red Harvest. I have a very nice copy of Harvest (without dj, of course), that would probably fetch a thousand or two. That means somebody paid 70+ Grand for the jacket.

Cap'n Bob said...

Where are these suckers when I'm selling something?

Art Scott said...

Surprised me too, that Harvest went for more than twice Falcon. Falcon, first in jacket, had always been, in my mystery circles at least, the benchmark as the premier American crime collectible. The descriptions for both copies are lengthy, but point vs point, and looking at the photos, they're both in amazing condition. The players in this market know who has what, and my guess is that the auction result tells us that there are more known fine copies of Maltese Falcon extant than of Red Harvest.

Terry Zobeck said...

About 20 years ago a woman was auctioning a beautiful copy of Red Harvest in jacket on eBay with no minimum bid; however, in the photograph she had cut off the bottom of the spine so you could not tell if the publisher was Knopf or G&D. I sent her a message and she posted a new picture showing it was Knopf. I then asked her to post a picture of the copyright page. She did and it was a first printing.

It was as nice if not nicer as Otto's copy (I don't remember that little ding at the top of the spine). I sent her another message telling her she had something really special and suggesting she remove it from eBay. I said there was probably a dozen rare book dealers hovering over their keyboards. I gave her the contact information for a couple of reputable dealers and suggested asking them if they would take it on consignment. I also suggested the major auction houses.

I then asked her how she came by it. She said she bought it at an estate sale in a box of books for $2.

She did remove it and almost immediately several dealers contacted her. She ended up selling it to a NYC dealer (I've long forgotten the name) for $18,000. She used the money to pay the tuition for her daughter to go to nurse's college.