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Interesting email (1 Viewer)


old and in the way
I've received a couple of emails through collectingbukowski.com from a woman who dug out a couple of boxes containing her late husband's Bukowski collection. From what she's told me so far, he seems to have had a pretty good collection that's been packed-up for the five years since he died. So far I know that she has at least a couple of hand-corrected manuscripts from 1974, a nice copy of Crucifix in a Deathhand, several New Years Greetings (some signed hardcovers), chapbooks from the '60s and '70s (I'm waiting to hear some titles), "A play (signed) property of Rome, Italy - no date" which I'm guessing may be an early manuscript of Barfly, and "several manilla envelopes with signed pieces."

She asked me to advise her on how to best sell them but I'm waiting on photos and a more complete idea of what she has. I'm really excited for her and, to be honest, getting a bit of a vicarious thrill from her emails.

Just thought I'd pass this on. I'll post when I have a better idea of just what she has.
Wow, A Bukowski collection popping up out of nowhere! I'll be interesting to hear what else she's got.
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In guitar collecting circles they call that an "under the bed" find. Usually comes from a widow after her husband's death. Some ridiculously valuable guitar that he used to play at family gatherings, otherwise it stayed in the case under the bed. Sounds like you've got an "under the shelf" find there.
Unfortunately, widows often get taken advantage of. My dad collected rare photographs and cameras, and after he died, a "friend" collecting buddy came by and cherry picked the collection, taking about 10 of the best pieces and paying her $100 each for them. They were worth 10 times that, easily. One was an original daguerreotype camera, worth maybe $40,000 now. He knew he was stealing them, the bastard. And he seemed like such a nice guy. Tell her to be careful, but not so paranoid she's afraid to sell them at all.
Best advice to her might be to make sure they are properly stored, and to keep storing them for a few years. Selling a collection containing high end items seems a bit suicidal at the moment.
Maybe - BUT Abandoned Planet is an experienced dealer with a fantastic range of high end Buk items. He is selling on ebay.

It's an international market, relatively cheap method to sell and you have the advantage of adjusting price quickly.

If things don't sell at a PBA auction - you are screwed. And sometimes you might end with less after taking off auction fees.

This site is a seller's dream as you have a whole lot of collectors where you can bypass dealer and auction commissions.

That said, if the colleciton is that good - there is no problem making a descriptive list and sending it out to 4 or 5 dealers and see who will send you the biggest cheque. They can make some money but they also might be stuck with the items for a long time.

That way, the person that has inherited the collection doesn't have to worry about storage and insurance - and receives the money straight away.

I say - offer 'normal' items here first (books) and then gauge interest from dealers for more unusual items.

Just some thoughts.
She is lucky to have contacted you and not someone who would offer her a very unfair amount and then make a bunch of money off of her...

Thomas Groff sent his stuff to PBA and got gang raped at the auction. Ed Blair sent his and had a GREAT sale. It is VERY hit of miss with them.

Why not try it here first at fair prices. They will only get 50% of a fair price from a dealer as they will have to buy it at a price to sell it. They will get more of a retail price here. If not, then no harm and they can go the dealer/PBA route then.

pba has contacted me about my buk collection. i believe you can set minimums to avoid getting raped. she is in good hands with chronic. and who knows what she really has, they could be very valuable, desirable, and snapped up wherever she puts them for sale.
Man I hope that if I go before my wife that all my stuff ends up in good hands... I'm curious to see just how deep her collection goes. Oughta be good info.
PBA Auctions. They handle book auctions. And quite a few specific Bukowski and Beat related book auctions.


Check them out - they have a good database to look through of past auctions.

The premiums and delivery fees are a bit too high for my liking though.
She sent me some photos for starters and said she will send more photos soon. So far I see that she has:

The Roominghouse Madrigals - Signed, numbered, illustrated
You Get So Alone... - Signed, numbered, illustrated
You Get So Alone... - First trade hardcover
The Movie: Barfly - One of 150 signed by Buk, Dunaway, Rourke and Schroeder
The Day It Snowed in L.A. - Lettered edition
Issues 1 and 3 of Laugh Literary...
There's No Business - Signed broadside
Story Magazine - A nice looking copy
Cold Dogs in the Courtyard - Appears to be near fine
All the Assholes in the World and Mine - Also looks to be near fine
Relentless as the Tarantula - Signed on cover
Wormwood Review #24 - With Nights Work center section, signed on cover
Poems Written Before Jumping... - Second edition
Legs Hips and Behind - Appears to be in fine condition
Another Academy - Ditto
A Bukowski Sampler - Later printing w/ cream covers
A Fine Man, A Fine Book - I think this is a second printing
Crucifix in a Deathhand - This looks brand new in the photo w/ the cream colored wrap-around band
Several Wormwoods with Bukowski contributions
Various periodicals: Small Press Review V4N4; Southern California Lit Scene V1N1 (1970); Jeopardy; Intrepid N8 (June '67); Soundings (May '70); Sparrow Nos 5, 54, 72; Dust (Fall '64); Mano-Mano 2.
Two signed manuscripts: The Greek (dated 6/13/74 with extensive hand-corrections) and 12:18 a.m. (dated 9/15/74)
Tales of Ordinary Madness - Signed movie script​

A few other odds and ends (New Titles catalogs, etc) and what appears to be the gem of the collection (so far at least)...

The Curtains Are Waving... Judging from the picture it is in perfect condition.​

From what she's said I think there's quite a bit more to come. She also mentioned that in this first round of photos she focused on the signed stuff, so some of the items listed may be signed where it's not visible in the photos.
Well, that's a fine cache indeed. As much as I'd love to plunder, it's in her best interest to wait for a better market (as mjp indicated earlier). But if she's keen to sell now, for whatever reason, there might be a market here for some of these, and I'm not talking about an "insider discount."

In ordinary times, PBA would certainly be the way to go with such a large stock of rare items, but...
Yeah, I did tell her that she might want to hold on to the collection until people start spending money again.
A very nice collection! I wonder what else she's got. I would'nt mind buying that Crucifix copy...
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I'll post here when I know what else she has, and I wouldn't mind buying just about anything she has, but no money.

One correction... the manuscript I originally listed as The Great is actually The Greek.

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