Monday, June 15, 2009
Lothrop, Lee and Shepard- Dating Your Book
How is it possible that dealers and booksellers have so much trouble dating their books? I would think if you are not sure of the date, your ad should either not give a date or give the date as your supposition. Of course, some books are hard to figure out. But there are some basic rules.
For books published by Lothrop, Lee and Shepard there is one absolute certainty. If the imprint or book spine has the words Lothrop, Lee and Shepard on it, the book has to date later than August 1904 (1905). What happened was the Lothrop Publishing Company failed in 1904 having debts 0f $110,000. In August, 1904 Lee and Shepard purchased all Lothrop's assets and incorporated as Lothrop, Lee and Shepard at that time. From a practical point- if the book says Lothrop, Lee and Shepard it is from 1905 or later.
(Lee and Shepard Publishers for the People--Raymond Kilgour- Shoe String Press 1965)
Here are some examples of poor efforts by dealers. I have included examples from different book selling sites. Note how these incorrectly dated books are even called first editions by some reputable dealers.
THIS IS AN 1891 NOVEL BY J. T. TROWBRIDGE....A HARDCOVER FORMAT BOOK...."CUDJO'S CAVE...504 PAGES....PUBLISHED BY LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO., BOSTON.
Sidney, Margaret; Jessie McDermott (illustrator). FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS : Phronsie Pepper Youngest of the Five Little Peppers. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1897. First Edition First Printing.
Aguinaldo a Narrative of Filipino Ambitions
Price: US$ 500.00
Book Description: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co, Boston, 1901. Cloth. Book Condition: Very Good. First Edition. 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall. First Edition
Hawaii's Story By Hawaii's Queen Liliuokalani
Price: US$ 350.00
Book Description: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, Boston, 1898. Decorated Cloth Hardback. Book Condition: Good Plus or a Little Better. Original First Printing.
Camp and Trail: A Story of the Maine Woods
Price: US$ 225.00
Book Description: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., Boston, 1897. Binding is Hard Cover. First Edition.
These listings are very troublesome. And they are but a tip of the iceberg. Without even looking at the book, it is obvious that these Lothrop, Lee and Shepard published books are not pre-1900 volumes.
If a dealer cannot accurately date these books, how can anyone trust that dealer to accurately describe whether a book is a first edition in circumstances when that determination may be somewhat difficult.