Tuesday, 24 May 2016

And then came Little Noddy, a tale about books, reading, The Children's Library, bookshops and money.

Of all the characters in fiction I suppose Noddy was the most influential in my life and this probably explains my interest in fantasy fiction and woodwork. Noddy was discovered by the brownie Big-Ears (my first encounter with a mythological creature in fiction) in the wood. Noddy being a carved wooden doll who has to nod his head when speaking, Big-Ears buys Noddy clothes and the they go off to Toyland where they have all sorts of marvellous adventures.


This is a picture of the first Noddy book, and today I am pricing books, so what’s this one worth. Well it isn’t a first edition, if it was in this condition it would sell for £200 to £300, but it is a very early copy because it doesn’t have a list of the other Noddy books on the dustwrapper. You can only tell if Noddy books are early or first editions if they have a dustwrapper, more of this later.



Here is a picture of the dustjaket. 

And here is a picture of what the 1949 first edition dustjacket should look like, (Credit Enid Blyton Soc http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/ ) you can buy new modern a copy of the 1949 first edition dustjacket online for about £15, so if you are buying early Noddy books it's easy to make some of them look like first editions.

It has to be before 1956 as from then on a list of all of the Noddy books published so far appears on the flap of the dustjacket and after 1952 when Noddy books started saying Children's Library on them.

Pricing is difficult, the research for this one took about an hour, so the first thing is there anything that would reduce it’s value, price clipped, written in, other bits missing, well really the only thing is the inscription.

The problem with most inscriptions are they are either long and messy or have the name the person the book was previously given to, so if you are a book collector called Jessica you won’t want a book which says with love to Peter inside it.


Fortunately this one has a fairly neat inscription that says “From Nanny and Grandpa” so I don’t think it makes a lot of difference to the value, so I’m going with £30.

Next are this lot, no gollywogs so all modern, reasonable condition so 99p each

Next this one, pre 1956 but lots of loss to dustjaket and a nasty mark inside £15

  next these two older but with some damage 99p each

next this one, No.5 pre 1956 first published 1952 so fairly early so £20

The next one is a really very nice first edition of Noddy and Tessie Bear, denoted by it being book No.12 and having the list on the dustwrapper going up to No.12 £25

then Be Brave Little Noddy also a first edition slightly worse jacket £20

Now of course there are loads of Noddy first editions listed for sale on the internet, surprisingly few listings include pictures of the jacket flaps which would actually prove they are firsts.

An another issue here is that prices fluctuate a lot with collectable modern children’s books, so that a book I priced today at £20 may only realistically be worth £10 next time I look it up on the other hand it may have gone up to £30.


the rest of the Noddy books had issues and I priced them at 50p 
here is an example of an issue, the listing would say lacs fep which basically means the first page has been ripped out.

off to lunch now at Miles Cafe Culture overlooking Ramgate Harbour

'am sarni and a coke £7

bit of a sketch of the view, it's a pity the cars parking in front of you obscure so much of it

I wonder if the sketch will come to anything.


Of course the main thing, for me at least, is rereading copies of some of the first books I encountered, before I was six, which must have been very influential in forming my taste in reading and how my mind developed.


Would, for instance the gollywogs mugging Noddy have turned me into a closet racist or just made me terrified of jam jars, altogether a tricky business.   

The pricing of books is a complex issue and I am taking a rest now and pricing something much easier, classics and English literature.
 some Dickens paperbacks in as new condition at £2.50 each

Some dickens hardbacks a £2.50 per book, some of them are in two volumes so that is £2.50 for two books.

some in reasonably good modern bindings at £7.99 a go

the condition has to be fine to get these prices and with the classics in translation, so does the translation.

Back to the tough stuff in The Children's Library 

 This next one is Nicholas Thomas and Timothy, the jacket is pretty rough but the only marks inside are to the crossword which is pretty unusual, so £15









On to Nicholas Catches the Crooks £15 I think.

I wouldn’t like people to think of this post as a price guide as prices fluctuate, I really only put the prices on to give people a sort of ballpark idea. There are bargains to be had online and off, but it’s very much a case of buyer beware.

The golden rule is only buy collectable books because you like them so much that you won’t be upset if the price fluctuates downwards. 

Here are the books that went out on the shelves in the bookshop today http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/flying-handbooks-in-bookshop.html


After all that hard work with Noddy I got back to where I was painting and did a bit more

Oh well you can't mess with classical proportions unless you are John Rennie so I will have to start again.

(Harbour Clock house. 1817. Design by Benjamen Wyatt and George Louch, altered by John Rennie. Ashlar with slate roof. Two storeys, with segmental 3 bay arcades to ground floor wings, plat band, cornice and parapet, with stacks to end left and end right. Central projecting tower with 2 storey arched opening, the band acting as imposts. Triglyph frieze and cornice to hipped roof with square clock turret with dentil cornice and open arcaded and balustraded belfry with weather vane. Three metal casements to each wing and central Diocletian window on 1st floor, tripartite glazing bar sashes on ground floor. Central panelled door and sidelights in round-headed surround. Boarded 2 storey doors in end elevations. Rear elevation identical to front, but without central Diocletian window. Interior: fine, simple interiors with trussed rafter roofs. Originally fitted with brass solar meridian line, stolen mid 1970's. Stone domed clock room in central tower. The changing upper floor levels indicate that Wyatt's original design was for single storey wings - Rennie added the upper floors.) accreditation Newman and Busson.

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