James Musser has To Kiss The Worms Goodnight for 4 grand. Copy #4 of 27 in fine condition. Free shipping.
Would be interesting to see what an eBay auction for one of those broadsides would bring if started at a buck.
Yes, it would be interesting to no-reserve one of them with a low starting bid in a 30 day auction to see their actual value (as opposed to the fanciful value dealers place on them). But no one will ever do that. Individually I don't think one would go for more than a couple grand.
You have to put a premium on the set, but then you're getting into a price range for such a specific item that the market can't consist of more than a few people. It's an interesting thing, an item with a perceived value that makes it practically un-sellable.
Yes, it's a peculiar paradox where a genuinely rare and desireable item also exists in a market that renders it impossible to honestly value. Which leads to owners forever holding on to their item because they cannot get what the item is theoretically valued at.