How rare is my signed and numbered copy of <whatever>?

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
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#1
These are production and edition numbers for (most of) Bukowski's books.

1960 - FLOWER, FIST AND BESTIAL WAIL
Paperback: 200

1961 - LONGSHOT POMES FOR BROKE PLAYERS
Paperback: 200

1962 - RUN WITH THE HUNTED
Paperback: 200

1963 - IT CATCHES MY HEART IN ITS HANDS
Paperback, signed: 777

1965 - CRUCIFIX IN A DEATHHAND
Paperback, signed: 3100

1965 - COLD DOGS IN THE COURTYARD
Paperback: 500

1965 - CONFESSIONS OF A MAN INSANE ENOUGH TO LIVE WITH BEASTS
Paperback: 500

1966 - THE GENIUS OF THE CROWD
Paperback: 103 (at least half were confiscated by police and believed to have been destroyed)

1966 - ALL THE ASSHOLES IN THE WORLD AND MINE
Paperback: 400

1967 - 2 POEMS
Paperback: 99

1967 - THE CURTAINS ARE WAVING AND PEOPLE WALK THROUGH THE AFTERNOON HERE AND IN BERLIN AND IN NEW YORK CITY AND IN MEXICO
Paperback: 125

1968 - AT TERROR STREET AND AGONY WAY
Paperback: 18 (no label) 747 (white label)

1968 - POEMS WRITTEN BEFORE JUMPING OUT OF AN 8 STORY WINDOW (first edition, gas mask cover)
Paperback: 400

1969 - NOTES OF A DIRTY OLD MAN (Essex House)
Paperback: 28,000

1969 - A BUKOWSKI SAMPLER (first edition, orange cover)
Paperback: 400

1970 - FIRE STATION
Paperback: 1000
Hardcover: 100


The following are the first edition production numbers for the Black Sparrow Press books that were kept continuously in print.

1969 - THE DAYS RUN AWAY LIKE WILD HORSES OVER THE HILLS
Paperback: 1,243
Hardcover numbered and signed: 250
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 63 (original painting by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 1,556

1971 - POST OFFICE
Paperback: 2,001
Hardcover numbered and signed: 251
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 60 (original painting by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 2,312

1972 - MOCKINGBIRD WISH ME LUCK
Paperback: 2,515
Hardcover numbered and signed: 251
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 60 (original drawing by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 2,826

1973 - SOUTH OF NO NORTH
Paperback: 4,100
Hardcover numbered and signed: 301
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 60 (original drawing by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 4,461

1974 - BURNING IN WATER DROWNING IN FLAME
Paperback: 3,873
Hardcover trade: 221 (first trade hardcover)
Hardcover numbered and signed: 301
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 60 (original illustration by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 4,455

1975 - FACTOTUM
Paperback: 5,090
Hardcover trade: 750
Hardcover numbered and signed: 251
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 85 (original painting by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 6,176

1977 - LOVE IS A DOG FROM HELL
Paperback: 5,029
Hardcover trade: 750
Hardcover numbered and signed: 301
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 86 (original painting by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 6,166

1978- WOMEN
Paperback: 7,257
Paperback, Australian issue: 750 (the only time a BSP first edition was produced specifically for another country)
Hardcover trade: 354
Hardcover numbered and signed: 300
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 91 (original painting by Bukowski)
Paperback, revised issue: 5,079 (the only time a revised first edition was published)
Hardcover trade revised issue: 400
Total first edition: 14,231

1979 - PLAY THE PIANO DRUNK LIKE A PERCUSSION INSTRUMENT UNTIL THE FINGERS BEGIN TO BLEED A BIT
Paperback: 5,051
Hardcover trade: 500
Hardcover numbered and signed: 305
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: Appoximately 120 (signed and numbered silkscreen print of a Bukowski drawing)
Total first edition: 5,976

1981 - DANGLING IN THE TOURNEFORTIA
Paperback: 8,000
Hardcover trade: 750
Hardcover numbered and signed: 351
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 116 (original painting by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 9,217

1982 - HAM ON RYE
Paperback: 8,070
Hardcover trade: 750
Hardcover numbered and signed: 351
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 101 (original painting by Bukowski)
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 47 (original painting by Bukowski) (first lettered edition)
Total first edition: 9,319

1983 - BRING ME YOUR LOVE
Paperback: 6,270
Hardcover trade: 0
Hardcover numbered and signed: 361 (signed by author and illustrator)
Hardcover lettered, signed issue: 40 (signed by author and illustrator)
Total first edition: 6,671

1983 - HOT WATER MUSIC
Paperback: 9,005
Hardcover trade: 780
Hardcover numbered and signed: 401
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 126 (original painting by Bukowski)
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 33 (original painting by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 10,345

1983 - THE BUKOWSKI/PURDY LETTERS
Paperback: 1000
Hardcover trade: unknown
Hardcover numbered and signed: 200
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 26 (original pastel by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 1,226

1984 - THERE'S NO BUSINESS
Paperback: 7,916
Hardcover trade: 550
Hardcover numbered and signed: 408 (signed by author and illustrator)
Hardcover lettered, signed issue: 41 (signed by author and illustrator)
Total first edition: 8,915

1984 - WAR ALL THE TIME
Paperback: 7,492
Hardcover trade: 500
Hardcover numbered and signed: 401
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 101 (original painting by Bukowski)
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 48 (original painting by Bukowski)
Total first edition: 8,542

1984 - BARFLY (Illustrated Paget Press version)
Paperback: unknown
Hardcover trade: unknown
Hardcover numbered and signed: 200
Hardcover numbered and signed with original drawing from the book: 20
Total first edition: unknown


Everything listed as "illustrated" from this point contains a silkscreen print of a Bukowski drawing, not original art.

1986 - YOU GET SO ALONE AT TIMES THAT IT JUST MAKES SENSE
Paperback: 7,455
Hardcover trade: 500
Hardcover numbered and signed: 401
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 101
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated issue: 48
Total first edition: 8,505

1986 - RELENTLESS AS THE TARANTULA
Paperback: 500

1987 - BARFLY
Paperback: 8,928
Hardcover trade: 500
Hardcover numbered and signed: 401
Hardcover numbered and signed by Bukowski, Barbet Schroeder, Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke: 142
Hardcover lettered and signed by Bukowski, Barbet Schroeder, Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke: 31
Total first edition: 10,002

1988 - THE ROOMINGHOUSE MADRIGALS
Paperback: 8,000
Hardcover trade: 600
Hardcover numbered and signed: 401
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 150 (print is also signed)
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 49 (print is also signed)
Total first edition: 9,200

1989 - HOLLYWOOD
Paperback: 10,489
Hardcover trade: 900
Hardcover numbered and signed: 501
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 150
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 51
Total first edition: 12,091

1990 - SEPTUAGENARIAN STEW
Paperback: 15,423
Hardcover trade: 1,078
Hardcover numbered and signed: 511
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 225 (print is signed "Buk" and dated)
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 48 (print is signed "Buk" and dated)
Total first edition: 17,285


Everything listed as "signed" from this point contains an otherwise blank signature page tipped in the front of the book, not a signed colophon.

1992 - THE LAST NIGHT OF THE EARTH POEMS
Paperback: 13,019
Hardcover trade: 1,000
Hardcover numbered and signed: 751
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 226
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 63
Total first edition: 15,059

1993 - SCREAMS FROM THE BALCONY
Paperback: 9,820
Hardcover trade: 735
Hardcover numbered and signed: 601
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 301
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 46
Total first edition: 11,503

1994 - PULP
Paperback: 20,000
Hardcover trade: 1,011
Hardcover numbered and signed: 751
Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 301 signed
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 48 signed
Total first edition: 22,111

1995 - SHAKESPEARE NEVER DID THIS
Paperback: 12,291
Hardcover trade: 1,000
Hardcover numbered and signed: 301
Hardcover lettered and signed: 47
Total first edition: 13,639

1995 - LIVING ON LUCK
Paperback: 9,915
Hardcover trade: 1,000
Hardcover numbered and signed: 201
Hardcover signed presentation: 15
Total first edition: 11,131

1996 - BETTING ON THE MUSE
Paperback: 12,890
Hardcover trade: 1,000
Hardcover numbered and signed: 201
Hardcover lettered and signed: 32
Hardcover signed presentation: 5
Total first edition: 14,128


Nothing from here on out was signed. Black Sparrow continued to issue numbered, unsigned editions.

1997 - BONE PALACE BALLET
Paperback: 10,477
Hardcover trade: 750
Hardcover numbered and illustrated: 401
Hardcover lettered and illustrated: 32
Total first edition: 11,660

1998 - THE CAPTAIN IS OUT TO LUNCH AND THE SAILORS HAVE TAKEN OVER THE SHIP
Paperback: 15,110
Hardcover trade: 2,000
Hardcover numbered and illustrated: 400 - signed silkscreen print by R. Crumb
Hardcover lettered and illustrated: 52 - signed silkscreen print by R. Crumb
Total first edition: 17,562

Production numbers for the rest of the BSP "in print" titles are unknown at this time.
 
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#4
He had some similarities in the art runs, but he did not mass produce ~50 or 100 of the same painting for a book. So yeah, you could own 63 different "The days run away..." If you had about $300,000, that is. (You might be able to get a quantity discount if you buy them all from the same person.)

Check out the art here.
 
#6
What's up with this cover showing up on almost every ebay search for Buk? I assumed it was written by someone named Bukowski, but I don't see the connection. I remember either a thread or some posts about this cover a year or two ago.
 

reasonknot

Founding member
Over 100 posts
#8
Krumhansl #'s are not exact with the listings in @ six first editions of mine. Does get confusing though. Paper wrappers vs. paperback. Hardcover vs. Handbound in boards. It's all a trick to boost sales and worth.
biggrin.png
 
#9
Paper wrappers is a fairly consistently-used term for paperback by BSP. But what's the difference between the hardcovers vs. hand-bound in boards by Earle Gray? Obviously, Earle Gray didn't do the hardcovers by hand (or at all?) but I have a couple examples of both (Hollywood and The Last Night...) and they sure look to be identically-constructed, other than the binding cloth.

As for the K #s that mjp posted, I think he took into account presentation copies, publisher's copies, etc. which are included in Krumhansl but not in the colophons.
 

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
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#10
And some colophons were just wrong, by quite a bit sometimes (see Hollywood - 900 trade HCs were actually made, but the colophon says 1,000). There are a few examples like that, off by 100 or so. But I wanted to have the actual counts here for reference. If you need more details, see Krumhansl.

The numbers alone don't always tell the whole tale, as the hardcover trades are much more "rare" than signed editions in most cases because the majority of the first edition trade copies went to libraries, not into the hands of collectors.
 

DirtyJersey13

The Cruelty of Loveless Love
Over 100 posts
#11
Thanks for posting this, for some reason or another I have yet to purchase a copy of Krumhansl's book. At one point didn't Krumhansl frequent this forum? I'd love to pick his brain if I ever got a chance.
 
#13
speeking of rarity...i went to the local bookstore and there was a first edition softcover post office for $10.50. looked like it was bought, read a handful of times then shelfed. I had to post this here because my girlfriend thinks i am crazy, "you already own that book" she reminds me. "ya, but you dont understand..."
 

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
Moderator
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Over 5000 posts
#15
Krumhansl doesn't list a trade hardcover for Bring Me Your Love, but I assume that there was one. Can anyone confirm?
 

chronic

old and in the way
Over 1000 posts
#16
I don't think there was one for the first printing, though hc trade copies of later printings were produced.
 
#18
Yes, the colophon for Bring Me Your Love indicates that the edition is limited to 376 hardcover copies signed by Buk and Crumb. Of course, the colophons don't typically give the correct number of books produced (well, they are more or less correct from a then commercial point of view), but they do at least mention the paper wrappers editions.

Edit: The broadside/flyer indicates that "a subsequent unsigned paperback version of this classic will be carefully printed and issued for hoi polloi." How quaint.
 
#21
I have a question concerning Screams from the Balcony. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a signed and illustrated copy 3 years ago for a fair price (numbered 51) but upon recognizing this thread, I can't decide whether it is one of the 301, or the other as the numbers here are shown and what the quote says are not corresponding. Also, sorry if I may sound stupid... but what does lettered mean?

Hardcover numbered, signed and illustrated: 301
Hardcover lettered, signed and illustrated: 46

The last pages says: "600 special hardcover copies are numbered & signed by the author; & there are 326 numbered & lettered copies handbound in boards by Earle Gray"

Thanks for the help.
 

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
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Over 5000 posts
#22
The last pages says: "600 special hardcover copies are numbered & signed by the author; & there are 326 numbered & lettered copies handbound in boards by Earle Gray"
Lettered means there is a letter where the number would usually be. Since there are 26 letters, that leaves 300 numbered copies (as in: "there are 326 numbered & lettered copies").

So 600 numbered and signed, 300 numbered and signed with the print bound in to the front of the book ("illustrated"), and 26 lettered.

But remember:
And some colophons were just wrong, by quite a bit sometimes (see Hollywood - 900 trade HCs were actually made, but the colophon says 1,000). There are a few examples like that, off by 100 or so. If you need more details, see Krumhansl.
 
#23
Thanks mjp for the quick response! So, illustrated does not stand for what Buk drew around his signature (a bird, a sun and a dog)? I guess then it's an additional rarity which I should be thankful for...

Sorry for my difficulties, understanding this jargon. English is my second language as you see. :wb:
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
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#24
I have a question concerning Screams from the Balcony. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a signed and illustrated copy 3 years ago for a fair price (numbered 51) but upon recognizing this thread, I can't decide whether it is one of the 301, or the other as the numbers here are shown and what the quote says are not corresponding.
What color is the cloth spine?
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
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#26
That's the first edition, hardcover, numbered and signed issue. One of 601 signed copies.

The first edition, hardcover, numbered, signed, and illustrated issue has a red-brown spine.
 
#27
Thanks for clarifying! Some time ago I saw another copy up for sale at ebay, but only with a signature, no drawings at all. That's why I thought mine is illustrated. :wb:

Or his must have been nr. 458 when Buk became tired of the process, adding any more to it besides his signature...
 

mjp

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#28
when Buk became tired of the process
That got me to wondering how many total signed copies there are, based on the counts above. It's a lot: 13,222. And that doesn't count the presentation copies, publisher's copies, etc. All total, there must be almost 14,000 "officially signed" copies.

That's a lot of times to write your name.
 
#30
I get the feeling I'm going to be spanked a bit (oops) for necrotizing an old thread, but I was doing a google search on signed Buk books and this came with the most useful information.

I am unsure what signed version I have of Last Night Of The Earth Poems -- anyone able to tell me? I can't tell if that little number is a 1 or an L. And white spine (but yellow/red thread inside).

Here's a pix of it:

Untitled-1.jpg
 
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