Close Up: Cosmic Engineers

closeupClifford D. Simak
1950

I was looking forward to receiving this.  Picked up as an add-on to my eBay purchase of Pattern for Conquest, posted after ‘Conquest’ and received before.  I expect ‘Conquest’ will arrive in the next day or two.  I expected this copy to be in Fine condition and was initially very pleased when I managed to finish unwrapping it.  It was packaged very well – like one of those trick gifts where you keep unwrapping until finally you realize there’s nothing there.  Qdos to Peter for superb packaging. My first impression was very, very good.  But I have to say my joy was tempered somewhat.  I feel I have to downgrade my initial estimation (and the sellers claim) to Near Fine.  Why??  Have a close look and see if you can detect why.  The answer will come at the end.
You can see it’s in fantastic condition.  Absolutely beautiful cover art by classic pulp artist Edd Cartier.  With garments off it looks equally good.
Beautiful cloth binding – the very desirable Currey priority ‘A’.  Much more attractive than the tan colored boards of the ‘B’ binding.  I just love the rocket stamped on the front there.  Super.  From the top and bottom it looks great too.
Very, very little discoloration to the block.  Inside is nice and white too.  Practically no wear to the edges of the boards also.  If we take a close in view of the head and tail, you might detect the issue that the jacket has.
The pinkish color on the leading edge in the tail view is a reflection and not coloration or wear on the jacket.  The head and tail of the binding shows a small amount of bruising.  The problem I mentioned earlier might be visible here to someone with a keen eye.  Can you pick it up??  No??  Then have a look at this:
See it now??  Blue ink.  The jacket has been touched up along most edges.  I must admit, it’s a pretty good job – all but invisible to a casual inspection.  I wonder when it was done??  I’m really going to highlight it now.
I took this pic under the most unflattering lighting.  It really is visible now.  Again, the leading edge of the jacket shows a reflection and not wear.  I must get some proper strobes sometimes so I can avoid that.  Anyway, the touch-ups on the jacket kind of disappointed me, but even so it’s still in great condition.
The back is very nice, a little soiling from shelf-wear, but no problem.

Year: 1950
Paid: $98
Art: Edd Cartier
Quantity: 6000 copies.  5000 in hardcover, 1000 paperback armed forces issues.
Binding: Currey priority ‘A’.  Blue cloth with stamped yellow spine and front board lettering with rocket motif.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated.
Comments: Despite the ink application, at $98 this is a great price for a copy in this condition.
Expand Upon: wikipedia.com, Internet Speculative Fiction Database

condition

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