Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"Zipper" Harris. Part One. "Stumble Blocked".

"Zipper" Harris

Part One

"Stumble Blocked"

            “AVE been TALK’EN bout AUCTION for THREE generations that I can remember.  POTTERS place and they NEVER SHUT-UP.  That Ellen Potter didn’t MARRY until LATE.  KEPT her SILVER SPOONS where the sun don’t shine I told her.  LOT OF HER where the SUN don’t  shine.  If you know what I mean.
            “I’VE been in there off an on now forty YEARS.  I figure.  Them spoons is still in there somewhere too nears as I KNOW.  Lot of things in that dark in there.  I figure I just keep showing up.  MRS. Potter but now I’m ELLEN.  Been that many years. Ellen won’t you SELL ME TODAY.  I been in-shed.  I been in the barn.
            But I ain’t been in the bed.

            “Zipper” Harris is a local longtime antiques picker (finder of antiques).  I’ve known him all my life.  I started being an antiques dealer before he become a picker.  Before that he was just “Zipper”.  “Zip” for short.  That he come by quite early; first grade we all remember.  In first grade when we’d go outside on recess Zip could never zip his jacket up.  The teacher... Mrs. Dunlady... always had to do it.  You know:  With him inside the jacket.  Never could zip it himself.  Next year; second grade, still couldn’t do it.  Went along so in FIFTH GRADE he’s STILL having the teacher zip him up.  So right along we started calling him ZIPPER.  Or Zip.  And that’s stuck.
            Then he become an antiques man.  Picker.  Zipper the picker.
            He parents run a motel out on Two.  Always run it.  You Know:  Nice place nothing fancy TOURIST place.  Zip always worked there.  Now he’s most of the place himself.
            His folks live in the HOUSE and that walks through the old barn out back to where Zip’s built himself a bungalow:  Nice little cabin that’s a HOUSE.  Out back there.  He goes in through the old barn to the parent’s house.  That barn he uses for his antiques.  I’m always in there.  Never been in Zip’s bungalow.  I always go to the front door of the parents house and they let me in to walk through into the barn.  Except in summer when I pull around back of the house to the side door of the barn.  Zip opens that door in the summer and has his antiques sign out by the road.  He sells to the ones who stop.  They go in the side door with their wallet and come back out with no more money and a pile of junk Zip just sold ‘em.  ‘WORKS OUT FINE DON’T IT’ Zip always says to ‘em.

            Everyone is looking to buy the old fly fishing equipments so Zipper figures he’s gonna be special on that.  ‘Cept that... well... it isn’t that easy to get anymore.  BUY IT mostly and Zip don’t like having to do that so most of it he misses out.  Oh he got plenty of the old crud; the old Sears and rob junk.  Nothing FINE any more.  Zip:  He get beat out on that at the sales and auctions.  So he’s just got the old crud he puts outside the barn in the summer trade.  I don’t say anything about this to ‘im.  I know it’s a sore spot.

Most of what he gets I don’t want and he tries powerfully hard to make me want it he says.  Most of the time we fall back to just chat and looking over a prospect if some summer people stop going through. Zip works them hard if he thinks they’ll show color (old gold digger’s panning expression).
            I seen him sell “The POPE’S Hat” to a couple from LONG ISLAND.  Some fraternal thing he called the POPE’S HAT.  They didn’t know nothing.  I think.  Maybe they did.  Anyway:  They bought it.  That’s the kind of stuff he sells there mostly.

            Zip can go a pretty long time without having to find (“buy”) anything.  He got plenty around he’s dragged home.  Always something around like a canoe chair he wants too much for.  And stuff like that.  Some of it been there TWENTY YEARS I swear.  He don’t move on his price.  Funny thing is he actually remembers all their prices.  He’s got one of them Langley’s Root and Herb Bitters bottles; just the aqua common one.  NO PONTIL.  He want twenty-five.  It’s only worth TEN.  But he’s had that in there twenty-five years.  For twenty-five dollars.  Every summer they ask it (the price) over and over.  “STILL GOT IT” some of ‘em say.  The reason he does that is he likes it; that Langley’s.  HEAVEN FORBID he finds a GOOD (old) BOTTLE.
            One time he had a Warner’s (Safe Cure) box with three bottle still in it FULL. Kept ‘em out in the barn they never froze I wonder why.  RIGHT?  Anyway.  He sold ‘em.  The BOX with the bottles still in it.  Summer guy went back and forth for an HOUR and then give Zip the hundred fifty.  After he left Zip celebrated.  Went through the house out to the soda machine and took off a Moxie.  Locked it (the soda machine for the motel) back up and walked around the side of the house to the barn’s antiques door. He sat down and opened it. He SAT in that chair; that old PRIVATE SCHOOL arm chair, sipping it for TWO HOURS.  JESUS you think he’d OFFER me one.  I said so.  He just laughed. I’ve never sat in that chair of his either. 

            You ever been in a house with him?  Jesus.  He stands his ground with a DOLLAR.  And that WORKS TOO.  Tight.  Jesus.  You get all the way in there way to a back shed or something and he gets a dollar out on some old buckets or such.  Then he says the dollar for all the buckets.  Then the old fella says okay real slow the way they do. Then Zip; he’ll say “WELL I don’t know IF I SHOULD for THAT dollar.  Just like that he say that.  Then that old fella... why he’s STUMBLE BLOCKED.  So then Zip says “I’ll tell you what put in them two (old wooden) BOXES and I’ll CALL IT a TRADE.  Course the old fella DOES.
            That’s how he gets all the crud he’s got.  It’s a slow and steady process.  I asked him about a pair of chairs he’s got in there (the antiques shop barn).  I asked in nineteen seventy-seven I swear.  He says he can’t sell ‘em.  “FOLKS” he says “HAVE TWO MORE MATCHING”.  Won’t sell ‘em he says.  Don’t even know what they are ‘cept that they’s IN THE HOUSE.  His he got in the barn.  He says he’s just waiting.  Been forty years.  Damn fool.
            He found a Civil War belt buckle in there.  (Ellen Porter’s house?  Never been clear to me).  He put it out in the barn.  SIX YEARS they (Civil War collectors) all come by and told him it was a “fake”.  Six years of that.  One day one of ‘em brings a summer sport along and they talked that buckle over for an hour.  Then Zip tells him fifty bucks and that it’s a fake.  That fella look back and forth then paid out the fifty.  Zip folded the money into his pocket.  “That buckle ain’t FAKE.” the fella said.  Jesus if you think Zip forgot THAT.  Only ‘better one’ I ever seen get him.

            Zippy’s a funny man get’en to be a funny old man now.  Seems to be.  He don’t know any art.  He knows an old thing; that something is old.  But he don’t know its ART.  I told him once.  Now probably thirty years ago.  I come on to an early tall clock up in the attic of the Schooner Winthrop House.  The case was lying down under the eves.  The bonnet was off and pushed in-under too.  The movement was in a box.  Must have been put up there after the Civil War.  All the Winthrop boys were killed in that war.  Union boys.  Whole family went to Hell after that.  No one had been in that attic for a whole century.  So Zip’s up there with me.  He sees the old clock and starts his engine.  “Shut-up” I tell him.
            So the cleanout goes along a couple of days and I take that clock out early the third morning.  I take it right out to the truck and take it right home.  It said “Dover” on the dial.  That’s Dover New Hampshire not Dover England.  Zip is going along with me on all of this.  So he starts his mouth engine up once we’re on the road to my place.
            “Campbell’s” he tells me “got a clock just like this right inside their (antiques) store door.  Come face to face with it every time I go in.  Want seven hundred dollars for it.”  That was it right there for Zip.  My tall clock was just the same as Campbell’s and worth seven hundred dollars.

            I poked that a little as we drove. Did he see the movement?  You mean the works in the box?  Yes.  No he figured they were all there fine.  Did he see me take off and save the finials on the bonnet.  He seen me take off the ‘decorations’.  Did he see me make him take the top end of the case so I wouldn’t have to worry about him chipping the feet on the base.  No he didn’t notice that except that I took “the heavy end”.
            I told him it’s a tall clock, not a grandfather’s clock and the ‘works’ is called a ‘movement’ and is regarded as sculpture; three dimensional art.  He wanted to know if ‘it will work’ (go tick-tock):  “CAMPBELL’S DOES.  HAD A CLOCK MAN FIX IT”.  I give up.  I said the case and bonnet are sculpture too.  “BIG LONG BOX AIN’T IT” he says.  I give  up.  Thirty years ago right then.  Never ever made another try at Zip about art.  Just no point.  I hid that clock in my barn for a decade.  Money in the bank you know.  Zip forgot about it after he told me along that Campbell “SOLD HIS GRANDFATHER”.

            Campbell’s old tall clock was import: Welsh.  Used to import boat loads of ‘em.  They are all the same; cheap junk that people think-look-rich... so that they appear think-look-rich but didn’t have to spend much ($300-$400).  These days those folk have found out the truth and now they won’t even buy ‘em.  I’ve never owned one.

            Ellen Potter has a tall clock too and you bet Zip been ogling that for thirty years.  It a “Hoadley”; a cheap Connecticut wooden movement that peddlers sold from their wagons.  The family would go in town and have the case locally made.  Many times a coffin maker would make a case.  Usually they are plain with a dark brown stain finish.  Some cases are paint decorated fancy and I pay attention to those.  I did glimpse the Potter tall clock when I went to that Ephraim Howe Honor home tour... twenty years ago.  A glimpse is all I needed.  They had to screw those clocks to the wall to make ‘em level so they would work (go tick-tock).  That’s a warning sign right there as to their quality.  Zip, of course, thinks it’s worth seven hundred dollars.  You can see how it is easier just to give up and shut up when it comes to explaining art to Zip.  “ANTIQUES” as he calls them is another  matter.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Rare Book Valuation. How I Do That. Part Seven. "Selling Is Vulgar".

Rare Book Valuation.

How I Do That.

Part Seven

"Selling Is Vulgar".

            Selling is vulgar... so never spoken of.  In rare book circles.  Rare books are ‘exchanged’... and money... is the bridge of that... ‘exchanged’.  If one acts that there is anymore than that... THEY are... ‘vulgar’ and... ‘exchanged’.  It is a ‘gentle sport’; the ‘exchange’.  And nothing more.  Ever.  That is how great collections of rare books are formed:  By ‘exchange’.
            The exchange process; the selling of a rare book, has numerous tiers within ‘a single rare book in consideration’.  I have been using the Allerton Brook Trout book as my specimen single rare book.  And I will continue to use it.  Two samples of tiers relating to selling include the largest tier treating selling as a whole stand alone skill topic inclusive of ‘ground rules’ (Part One).  I am not treating this tier.  I am treating a smaller tier (of ‘selling’).  This tier is ‘selling’ as it relates to rare book ‘valuation’.  Rare book valuation is the skill topic of this essay.  How I sell a book effects the value of the book.  I am dead serious about that.  I am talking about a lot of money.  And... a lot of less money.  All of this is vulgar... in rare book... ‘speaking of’.

            Rare book selling relating to rare book valuation... should you have a rare book... costs YOU money.  Every ticking second and every physical movement and... every mental affirmation and... it costs YOU money:  All of that.  So you figure how much it is costing you to ‘do this’ (funk around with a rare book you found) and be very accurate about that and
            Subtract that from the amount you sell your rare book for and... be very accurate about that and... all of this becomes an eye opener (I opener) causing... you to ‘leave the trade’ (quit being involved with rare books selling)?
            “GOOD BYE”?
            But most cannot even do this ‘that’ ‘very accurate’ so... they just loose money and are still around.  The simple finger math of all this?  IF... you sell a rare book for $2000. And it cost you, including your time, $1000 to do that ...how much did you actually ‘get’?  And of that ‘that’... you actually paid (let me suggest) $900. for the book so finger math that too and... “How much did you make on the book?”.  And then as to... self... was this ‘that’ worth “IT”.  So... aside from all the other topics I’ve written of in the six earlier chapters, this chapter topic... turns all that into... finger math of a ‘considered vulgar’ to ‘speak of’.

            Already vulgar to speak of... this ‘selling’ an old rare book... you’ve found... and... found a valuation... have I yet?  Well... lets just say that I have done all the valuation craft excepting this ‘exchange’ factor.  How do I do this... then?
            I have to make several leaps right away.  They are leaps because you probably cannot make them yourself.  I can and know well the ‘catching by my finger tips’ the far side of the leaps.  The first leap is that... rare book at hand (Allerton Brook Trout) I “HAVE” four or five ‘exchange’ (sell to) rare bookers ‘in mind off the top’ and... only need three.  This three is a staunch ground rule of all ‘exchange’ of rare books.  It is... that... IF... I offer for exchange (sale) a rare book at a valuation supported price... it should sell to one of these ‘first three people’ I “show” (offer for exchange) it to.  Again:  The book is NOT for ‘sale’ but to this critical proper first three ‘exchange’.  IF... after three ‘throws’ (offers for exchange) the rare book has not been exchanged (sold) then... PLAN “B” is required.  For I, this does not happen often for I have done my valuation craft (what this essay is about) very well using ALL MY SKILLS and... simply ‘step into’ the exchange realm with a well prepared offering.  And that most usually is “IT” for this whole process; my rare book is exchanged... I am done with that book and... very, very promptly, ‘moved on’ to the “next rare book”.

            How is this physically done... you ask?  I ...actually... carry the rare book (here being the Allerton) around with me... hidden from sight within briefcases... and I comment right here that what those briefcases physically are... IS a consideration of ‘selling’... for the more knowingly refined rare book seller or collector ‘knows’ and ‘looks at that’...:  The briefcase.  For more expensive books I use Zero Halliburton briefcases... all decades long used and ‘appropriately worn’.  After a few ‘exchanges’ a client EXPECTS the old rare book in consideration to be shown from one of these.  No surprise there right?  I go so far as to say that IF the old rare book does NOT come out of one of the Halliburton’s... it “isn’t rare enough’ (expensive enough) to... ‘be in consideration’.  Further... clients expect themselves to be a ‘left out’ if they are NOT shown a ‘for consideration of exchange’ from a briefcase during our ‘chance upon’ meeting.

            That’s a something right there isn’t it!  A ‘chance’ meeting.  That’s read right:  I do not make appointments to exchange.  No... all is by chance.  One sided chance.  OH I AM out there somewhere with the rare books I’ve found, valuated and have in the briefcases ready for exchange but ...it is up to THEY to find ME.  That I am around... especially... this is known... the more ‘serious (BUYER) you are’.  That means “most” do not see ‘anything’, see a briefcase or even... see me.  Just the “first three”.  That is defined as “freshness”.  That is a major ground rule topic of ‘selling’.  I’m not writing about that.  It is only ‘protectively’ considered for selling relative to valuation.  Basic ruling is that ‘if they are not gonna buy (‘exchange’) it... they don’t see it... ever’.  That actually creates an aura and myth... that is positive.  If a briefcase opens then there is going to be an exchange of a... RARE BOOK.  That is what all this is about:  The rare books commonly call “THE STUFF”.  This “all” is about the stuff.  Do not ever forget this.  It is not about, for example, the briefcases or me... or you.  It’s about the stuff IN the briefcases.
            I know this.  YOU have to learn that.
            “The Stuff” is the confidence that makes the ‘chance’ ‘briefcase’ ‘exchange’ ‘first three’ system work.  Most all lay viewers... even book collectors or sellers... do not even know of this system.  It is a ‘How do you do that?”.  I do this because I have a supported true rare book offered for exchange at a... usually... devastatingly accurate...

            Taking all of what I’ve learned and pontificated before you of the valuation of the Allerton AND including the minutia that I spoke of and did NOT explain... and of which there is a lot ‘of that’... I very rapidly ‘value’ ‘my rare book’ at hand; the Allerton.  Determining that I have a two thousand dollar book that is not only supported as actually rare AND supported to be actually ‘desired’ by collectors... AND being in ‘collector grade’ condition too... with all that evident in scant seconds when I pop the lid of the briefcase... and the book is first glimpsed... (three seconds)...
            Then handed for exchange from the (vulgar) seller to the (vulgar) buyer... with clearly stated (vulgar) price... the rare book...  usually is exchanged (sells) in... one and a half minutes.  It never goes back in the briefcase.  The exchange is completed; (vulgar) payment is made.  Very little is ‘said’.

            What is the exact price and how is that ‘how’?  “How” is because for all antiquarian objects (including rare books) there are only ever THREE prices:  Too high.  Too low.  And ‘everything else in between PICK ONE’.  With the Allerton that goes like this:  At $3000. it is too high with $2500 being that too especially for an in briefcase low time and cost quick sale.  $2000. is a good ‘too high’.  Too low is $800. But probable at $1000. And that... due to rarity and condition may be ‘pushed up’ to $1200.  NOW working the ‘in between’ ‘pick one’ I start at $1800. With that low-backed by $1450.  That last sounds good on the tongue but it may be ‘pushed’ again due to rarity and condition so $1650.
            Do I say sixteen fifty or do I ‘SURE BET’ the sale at fourteen fifty?  Usually I’ll sure bet and sell for the quick fourteen fifty.  This is especially eased by the fourteen fifty being a price that may hold out against a counter offer.  For example here... $1250 sounds too cheap to get away with for the buyer... and TO the buyer.   It is easier... therefore... for both (vulgar) buyer and (vulgar) seller to exchange at a ‘fair’ barrelhead price.  All ‘is never spoke of’ and took a total time of fifteen to twenty minutes including ‘no additional cost or expense... for BOTH parties of the exchange

            Let us keep something straight here. NONE OF THIS take place unless I have a rare book ‘on board’.  It is the rare book... and only that rare book... that drives all this.  No rare book then no going for a rare book exchange.  I must have the rare book and ‘support that’ book.  THEN I have something to exchange.  A good rare book is not vulgar.  It is beautiful.
            To ‘rest assured’ for this rare book exchange, one has to have found a supported rare book in notably good (fine collector grade) condition offered very privately into a knowing rare book community with no fanfare and a clean commercial history that additionally is a delight to the rare book knowing eye... to do this ..be a rare book hunter and seller.  To me, the hard part is the hunter.  The vulgar selling is easy.  But:  Rare books are actually very rare and have to be found.  After going around trying to ‘find one’ for a few days... “good luck with that”.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Rare Book Valuation. How I Do That. Part Six. "The Rotten Apple"

Rare Book Valuation

How I Do That

Part Six

"The Rotten Apple"

            “Condition” is the rotten apple of rare book valuation.  “Condition” is not the rotten apple for me.  At all.  This is because I know very well what very good (“fine”) condition is.
            Looks like.
            Should be.
            And... “Is mostly not”.

            “Is mostly not” is mostly what
            “THINK” condition “IS”.
            Occasionally I have contact with a one who “feels” condition... but even that
            Is mostly
            Poorly done.

            What is fine condition to eye and I?  Mostly not ever.  How do you say that?  It is said to be a state of a rare book called ‘not breathed on’.  What that means, taking up my specimen rare book; the Allerton Brook Trout...
            Is that the observation of the book’s imprint showing self publication and self distribution of the book... strongly suggest the ‘probable’ that a copy or two... (and a guarded dirty secret I will get back to) could be found to be in “not breathed on” condition.
            Why?  How?
            Let me just look... at the book.

            If the book is about exclusive post Civil War Maine Woods Wilderness Brook Trout fishing by a small gaggle of rich, educated, urban, male, friends... who are the sorts of men who ‘have positions there’ (New York City, et al) and all nod in agreement that Maine Brook Trout fishing is a ‘that’ for them... and... they nod again that they know this...:  The production of the book; a vanity... is and was always intentionally for that ‘they know this’.  The book was intentionally ‘made this way’... including the menu for their dinner together... and was too... intentionally distributed this way... too.  This last meaning what?
            It means that of their casual social contact... and casual social contract... the ‘book about’ their Brook Trout Fishing... in Maine... in 1869... are single copies passed by hand to single receivers who... well... ‘take the book home’... properly... in gloved hand.  At home, the recipient’s den receives both gentleman and his book... protectively... in gloved hand.  He steps to his glass door shielded breakfront bookcase... filled with its ‘are similar’ books.  Opening a door... he then opens a small interior drawer and... right there then slips the Allerton Brook Trout thin tome... into that drawer.  Then he.  Closes the drawer leaving the book in total darkness.  Then he.  Closes the bookcase door and
            NEVER, EVER... ever-ever... opens, looks at, or ever touches that book; the his copy of Allerton’s  Brook Trout... ever again ever... and no one else either ever... excepting one day a century and more in that day’s future... I DO... and find the book (the Allerton)... and know what it is and ... also... that...
            This copy
            Is in
            “NOT BREATHED ON” (fine) condition.

            THAT is what a rare book ‘in good condition’ is to me and my exercise in ‘valuation’.  Most... common rare book folk... “do not know this (not breathed on condition) exists”.  Logically probably I DO KNOW that a not breathed on copy MAY exist and... thereby... do know to keep my eye and I ‘out for it’.  Here notice that ‘logical probable’ ...by feel and not by think... are used independently for rare book concerns such ‘is it a rare book?’ ‘how do I find out a book is a rare book’.  Add... ‘how much is it worth?’... valuation.
            Today’s topic is condition relative to valuation.  And I have established that ‘not breathed on’ is the most desirable condition state.  Right?

            My Allerton is not... ‘not breathed on’.  No... my copy is ‘near fine (covers) with fine and crisp interior being overall a ‘handsome, fine and crisp collector grade condition’ specimen.  It has ‘appropriate and minor rubbing, spine end wear, age toning and dust soiling for its age’ as its only flaws.  That is, the flaws are consistent with what the book should have from being an old rare book that is 150 years old.  Further... this condition state is ‘obvious’ to the knowing eye instantly (under three seconds of viewing).  “Everything is instantly noted as right and to the eye a... ‘wonderful’ condition.

            Now I go back to ‘not breathed on’ condition and the little ‘guarded dirty secret’ noted earlier.
            What this is... is that... if a rare book before one IS in ‘not breathed on’ condition one must ask ‘were there other not breathed on copies found with this copy; that there was a ‘remainder’ of the book found so an abundance (often hundreds of copies) have been found and are quietly being sold one by one ‘into’ the market.  I am saying that too perfect a condition is a warning shot button that I, using feel, have to push... alone with myself judging all this... very fast.  That is the dirty secret; not breathed on perfect ...remainder found... copies of a ... once... rare book.
            No remainder clutch of Allerton has ‘been found’ and most copies “show wear” so are not in that good of condition so collectors have to settle for the best specimen they can find...  if they may find any specimen.  This directs the upward price of Allerton to collectors;  They can get only the best condition they can find.  My copy, therefore... IS VERY GOOD for ‘valuation’ based on condition.
            Is not that nice?  But I already knew all this... and the rotten apple.

            The rotten apple backs into all of this.  If most have never heard of let alone seen a ‘not breathed on’ condition old rare book.  AND:  Have only seen old books in conditions that they have only seen... by their sort of here-there method of ...old rare book hunting and ‘looking at’...  This is the ‘they have’ set of ‘never been to a museum’ (Morgan Library in NYC, for example).  Never been to a rare book dealer’s exhibition (including vast numbers of rare book for sale).  Never been to the auction sale of a long prominent rare book collector’s collection.  AND... lowering the bar... never actually owned (bought for self study) and actual fine copy of a book ‘like’ the ‘books I want’... just to... look at...:   One quickly becomes a sort of beachcomber of an old book hunter; scraping the yard sales for ‘RARE OLD BOOKS’... while never having a clue that most all of that found rare book is in bad to very bad book collector condition meaning no one wants those books so they are not worth any money and are, politely titled “reader’s copies” which actually means ‘they are trash’.  BUT:  The vast majority of the old rare book hunters ARE of THIS.  VERY much unaware  ‘of the condition’ of the ‘old rare book’ they
            They found.
            The more rotten apples they find and keep as old rare books they found... the more rotten apples they haves.  And... as I said at the end of Part Five... I say and do nothing about this at all.

            The ‘condition’ based rotten apple factors dominates my contact with other rare book sellers and collectors.  The book... being a rare book found, is foisted at me as a good condition given.  “Valuable” and all of that craft (including cell phone research) is foisted at me right then too.  But...:  Condition (of the foist found and valuable rare book)... is never mentioned... at all.  And I really mean this.  NO condition qualifier.  No condition notice.  The book as it is in yard sale, thrift store, box lot country auction or flea market “rescue”... condition is... IS considered to be in ...condition is not a factor... condition.  Obviously to my eye it is a rotten apple... often gathered with other rotten apples.  ALL the books are rotten apples.  NO ONE HAS EVER seen-held-owned... a rare book... in ‘fine’ condition.  No... the rotten apple of an old book is with fellow rotten apples in their boxes of rotten apples of old books that are not valuable and no one wants them... simply ‘due to their condition’.  I do not even have to sniff them (‘the sniff test’)

            As my copy of Allerton is in a condition that supports a two thousand dollar book... I do sniff it.  I touch that base.  Quickly.  I now know my Allerton is ‘sniff tested’ BY ME.  Smell is part of ‘condition’.  Condition effects valuation. 

            Is there a lingering hot spot left to... ‘aware of’.  Yes.  Short and sweet, MY collector / dealer clients are, for the vast whole of them, too... rotten apple grade judges of a rare book’s condition... self supported.  That means that most whom to I sell ‘don’t know the difference’ of condition and how that ‘handbags’ on to valuation.  And I know this.  When I am “selling” an actual rare book.