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

31 May 2008

King Kong (1932)


Delos Wheeler; Edgar Wallace & Merian C. Cooper. KING KONG. Grosset & Dunlap, New York. [1932]

Current Selling Prices
$4000-$9000 /£2000-£4500


CULT FICTION / FANTASY / MOVIE RELATED
The great Grosset & Dunlap title. Normally books from G & D are worthless reprints but this time they published a true first. It is a photoplay edition based on the screen play by James Creelman and Ruth Rose; originally it was conceived from an idea by Edgar Wallace and Merian C Cooper. There are stills from the classic monster movie on the endpapers. The book itself has lime green boards. The rarest of all photoplay editions - better than Dracula, Rue Morgue, Metropolis etc.,

It is quite uncommon in the jacket which often shows up professionally restored due to its value. Copies on the web at present from $4000 to $9000 dollars, the latter for a decent but slightly frayed and slightly chipped example entirely unrestored. A fine copy would easily top $10,000. In auction a copy ('in d/j with minor wear & scratches') made $9500 in 2005 with commissions probably taking it towards $11K. It was at the Drapkin sale and was in folding case by the Dragonfly Bindery. These boxes are now generally considered slightly naff but at the time added value - in some cases a lot. One for the Edgar Wallace completist and probably worth 5 times more than any other Wallace item. Unlikely to show up in a library sale or thrift shop as King Kong is a big name known high and low and the book screams mega dollars. One dreams of a fine copy with a brown paper wrap protecting its fine jacket put there because the cover might frighten the nippers...one dreams on.

Outlook? Upwards and onwards. More movies will be made and books with visual impact are holding their own. It's the age we live in.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi i do have a king kong hard cover in green and have the real dust cover 1932 in good condition im trying to fine a buyer

dennis wilson said...

1932 king kong with dust cover in good condition is for sale my e mail is oldmandad@hot mail.com my phone is 519 769 2971 ontario canada

Anonymous said...

On one site I found some time ago it listed the book price at $500 to $900, this site has it at $4000-$9000. Is there a misplaced decimal point in there?

Bookride said...

Cheers. Modestly priced copies are usually in facsimile jackets if they have one. The cheapest genuine jacketed copy is $4K today at ABE ( Jacket worn with loss of lower spine to a height of 4 cm. Chips and small tears and a large tear across most of the rear panel. Uncommon in any condition...) A near fine one is offered at $11K with a first issue jacket. Should have 'by' on front of jacket next to Edgar Wallace...

Anonymous said...

Okay thanks, I do have a copy with the original dust jacket, little wear, book in very good condition

J.P. or Joey said...

I have the 1932 green hardcover, Grossett and Dunlap edition of King Kong, with photos from the 1933 film printed on the end papers. Written by Delos W. Lovelace, based on the original screenpplay by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper. The book is in excellent condition, but missing the dust jacket. What do you think it's worth w/o the jacket?

Anonymous said...

Looking to sell, book in very good condition, no rips, no tears, no wear, original dust jacket the same. Can send digital pictures.located in Las Vegas NV Send e-mail address.