Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ephermera_ The Alchemist

On Ebay! Oh, how I love Ebay and its time traveling possibilities.

The text: At the age of 26, this was the first story Howard Phillips Lovecraft saw in print. It was a monthly publication popular with budding authors. His contribution was "The Alchemist." That he should have such a humble beginning to his career is ironic. This six page pamphlet is in remarkable condition, and it's importance in Lovecraft's career cannot be over-stated. The paper has slight yellowing, but there are no tears, and no chips. There are slight rust stains around the staples. Some of the ink has rubbed off slightly. But the fact that it exists at all is what's remarkable! I wish I could tell you the story of how this came to be so lovingly preserved, but the collector I purchased it from, didn't know. Suffice to say, someone, probably from dear old Providence, kept it as part of their collection of HPL ephemera. I had a professional book appraiser in Scottsdale AZ look at it, and he remarked that frankly he couldn't put a value on it. It was just too rare for him to price, he had never seen one before. Those of us who treasure Lovecraft books are familiar with how many editions were printed, but this is a different matter altogether. I did my best to contact the librarian at Brown University in charge of the Lovecraft collection to get some idea of how many exist, but wasn't able to get ahold of them. It's entirely possible this is one of only five or six surviving specimens. The collector I purchased it from said that in all his years of collecting HPL books, he had seen only one other of these. This is truly a rare opportunity for a serious collector of Lovecraft books to acquire the cornerstone of his published works. It's not cheap, but considering it's rarity I think it's priced fairly. I will answer all email inquiries. All in all, an exceedingly rare item indeed!!

Cactus 957 is selling it and it will be there for a short while.

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