Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lee and Shepard 19th Century Dust Jackets

It is very interesting to look at the book search services like ABE. Of course, most book dealers know more about bibliography and book selling than I will ever know. After all they make their living in the book trade whereas I do not. But it is still very frustrating to read claims which advertise books which are just not right.

Here is my example (today). A number of sellers of Lee and Shepard books in the 1880's and 1890's state: dust jacket: no as issued. The key to me is how do they know. The fact that they have not seen a dust jacket on their book means nothing. Enough Lee and Shepard books from this era have been found with dust jackets to make it more likely that all this era's books had jackets rather than to think that some had them and some did not. At the very least the ad should say no for dust jacket without the add on "as issued". I suspect that the book is no less valuable because the dealer does not have the almost if not totally impossible dust jacket.

I include here a couple of Lee and Shepard dust jacketed books. The Rock of Ages book which has 1883 on the title page has a very typical Lee and Shepard jacket from this era. The Hannah Jane book has the 1882 date on the dust jacket itself. As you can see , the jackets are very similar.

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