RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

12 February 2007

Decorative Designs of Donald Deskey

David A. Hanks. DONALD DESKEY: DECORATIVE DESIGNS AND INTERIORS. E.P. Dutton, NY 1987. ISBN 0525243607

Current Selling Prices
$300-$500 / £140-£260




DESIGN
Lavishly illustrated monograph on the preeminent modernist designer in 1930s USA. Art Deco etc., DD did the interior at Radio City Music Hall and Crest toothpaste still use the package he designed. An art book that came and went in a flash as some applied art monographs will do. There are guys walking around in Comme des Garcons shirts and Prada shoes who know the names and value of every one of those vanished books.

VALUE? Not common. Copies seen at a little less than $300, the ones at $300 and a bit over have been sitting there for a few moons. This leads me to advance a sound but obtuse economic theory that the right price is the wrong price -- i.e. if you put the right price on a book it will not sell, at least not with alacrity - the trick is to put it at a bit less than the right price. This is especially true of the net where most people are looking for deals, if not screaming bargains. Some books have been sitting on the net since the dot.com bubble. One seller with an 'exquisite' copy wants $550. 'Exquisite' is not a word used much in book dealing, except with bindings where it was once used so often they became known as 'squizz bindings.' Pic above show one of Deskey's most excellent table lamps.

Want level 25-50 Highish

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your comment about "the right price" is spot on -- ABE pricing for example is usually the "ceiling" rather than the "floor" for decent copies of somewhat uncommon/desirable books.

Bookride said...

Cheers. Unless you have staggering amounts of money or the book is fiendishly rare it can pay to bide your time or look around, try Amazon or Alibris or minor sites, even check out a bookshop. Boookshops often price at considerably less than the lowest copy on the web. The chaps with the ceiling prices are also biding their time of course...

Anonymous said...

I own a copy purchased a number of years ago. The book happens to be an excellent reference on Desky's work. It's well written and lavishly illustrated. I'm still shocked at the pricing but suspect that there are very few copies out there. If you admire Desky this is "the" reference book.

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