Archive for The Porcelain Magician

The Grey Magician with a Porcelain Beard??

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 29, 2012 by Aaron

Picked up another couple of titles over the past couple of days.  The Porcelain Magician by Frank Owen and Brian Aldiss’ Greybeard.  The acquisition of The Porcelain Magician is significant as it brings my GP collection up to the 75% mark.  Expect a Progress Report when it arrives.  Greybeard is just another Aldiss first edition to add to the library.


Ballpoint Blues…

Posted in Book Care with tags , , , on January 25, 2012 by Aaron

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I picked up a copy of Heinlein’s The Menace from Earth.  I paid $175 for it plus another $40 for insured shipping.  On the face of it, it’s not a bad price to pay for the second most desirable Heinlein title (if average price is any indicator) from the GP stable (Methuselah’s Children seems to be the most sought after GP Heinlein).  All looked good, and I was quite satisfied with what I paid.  Unfortunately a ballpoint pen had been applied to the front of the dust jacket.  The vendor never mentioned this and it wasn’t apparent in the image supplied.  In fact the description stated “There is no previous owner’s name or mark anywhere in or on the book or dust jacket.”  When in actual fact there is the pen on the front, and also there is a previous owners name on the front free end-paper.  Check out the cover.  First, the image as seen on eBay:

Come to think of it, if I was truly familiar with the cover image, I should have picked up the errant markings.  Now that I know they are there, I can see them well enough.  Can’t see the pen marks, but can see where the original ink has been removed in trying to erase them.  Now two pics taken by myself:

Clicking through on my images will get you a big size look.  You can see the markings quite clearly in the image above.  The pic below gives you a real in your face view.

It really annoys me when the vendor either a) doesn’t have a close look at what they’re selling, and for $175 that’s quite irresponsible, or b) chooses not to disclose any and all flaws, which is just plain dishonest.  Not sure into which camp he falls here.

The vendor did offer a full return refund though, including postage.  That’s still no excuse for any oversight or misleading of the customer.  I could just send it back, but I have it now, and I don’t really want to do that.  I’ve been interested lately in the restoration route so I’ve sent it, along with my now two-piece The Porcelain Magician jacket, off to a book restorer in the States.  They are going to give me a quote on restoring them.  Should be interesting.  No doubt the cost might exceed their true worth, but what the hell, it will be an educational exercise.  With regards to the Heinlein title, it might prove to be worth it in the longer term anyway.  I’ll keep you posted on progress…

UPDATE 26/01: I have corresponded with Jerry whom I bought this book off.  We have resolved this to my total satisfaction.  Jerry is jbs15 on eBay.  Jerry is a gentleman of integrity and cares about books and his customers.  Highly recommended.

Missed out…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 30, 2010 by Aaron

I hate it when that happens.  I forgot about an auction last Friday.  Actually, I remembered it about 15 minutes after it finished.  The book in question was a copy of The Porcelain Magician, a collection from Frank Owen.

I normally don’t forget these things, and usually set an alarm to remind myself about them.  My iPhone gives me an alert shortly before auctions finish in any case..  On Friday however, things were a little hectic.  Being the native-speaking English teacher at my middle school here in Seoul, I run the speaking tests for the students at the end of each semester.  I develop a test for each class and organize their prep and test classes – it’s a very hectic couple of weeks (two in each semester), and probably my busiest time of the year.  Well, that and developing the English vacation class programs.  But anyway, last week was preparation week and on Friday morning I happened to be running around like a blue-assed fly (a term my dead grandfather used to use…) and the alerts went off in my pocket, but I didn’t notice them.  At least not until I took small break and checked my iPhone.  So I was a little annoyed with myself after that (to say the least) and I still haven’t gotten completely over it.

The reason I was (and are still slightly) upset is that this particular book was in pretty good condition.  There are several GP books that for some reason seem to be notoriously difficult to find in even VG condition, let alone Fine.  This is one of those titles.  Many thanks to the seller who let me use his images here.

You can see that it’s a bit worn and has a couple of small tears.  Foxing and discoloration are quite visible.  Probably in Good condition at best.  It is all in one piece though, and a Brodart (or similar) cover would make a huge difference to the appearance.  A slightly faded spine was mentioned, and though not entirely visible here, from what little is, it doesn’t look to be too bad.  Just on the spine thing, is it just me or have any other collectors out there noticed that a few GP titles have a chronic problem with faded spines?  I mean it’s next to impossible to find a copy of either this, Castle of Iron, Pattern for Conquest or Minions of the Moon without at least a little, if not significantly faded spines.

Anyway, I would have been prepared to go as high as about $50, but there was only one bid, and it went for the starting price of $19.50.  This is, I think, an excellent buy for this title in this condition.  Congrats to the winner.  But it would have been mine if not for my lapse in attention….