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"* Question of a book's value???? " Topic

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World War One
World War Two on the Land

916 hits since 5 May 2018
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AuttieCat Supporting Member of TMP05 May 2018 2:34 p.m. PST

Here is my question: In my desire to downsize my collection of military history related books, I have decided to sell my first edition copy of 'Tanks In the Great War', by J.C. Fuller.

The book is in very-good condition for being almost one hundred years old.

What really makes this book unique is that it once belonged to Major-General C.S. Farnsworth. It was purchased at an auction of his estate some years ago.
Also, this book was given to him by Major-General S.D. Rochenbach on 25 December 1922. The book is signed by Rochenbach to Farnsworth on the date listed above.

My questions are: What do you think a book with this provenance is worth? Where would be the best place to sell it??

Please go to Wikapedia to find out who these U.S. Army Generals were.

Thanks for any input!

Tom Semian
Avalon, PA. 15202

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 May 2018 3:09 p.m. PST

Is this one of those "wisdom of crowds" things? Because there are auction houses and rare book dealers who might give you an intelligent informed answer.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP05 May 2018 3:54 p.m. PST

Go to an established auction house that knows books, or a rare book dealer. I imagine antiquarian book dealers still exist in Philly. You need someone who knows the market -- not us.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP05 May 2018 5:24 p.m. PST

I'll third that suggestion.


FABET0105 May 2018 6:43 p.m. PST

Try AbeBooks for starters;

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP05 May 2018 7:35 p.m. PST

The problem with abebooks and similar is that the OP needs to know what this book would actually sell for. Asking prices, especially some of the absolute crazy asking prices I have seen, don't do anything to establish true value. Nor will he find this book with these names.

altfritz06 May 2018 6:49 a.m. PST

Maggs Bros Ltd, perhaps?

Cyrus the Great06 May 2018 3:38 p.m. PST

It's exactly worth what someone will give you for it at the time, whether auction or private sale.

Walking Sailor06 May 2018 6:56 p.m. PST

1. Any first edition of any book is already worth more than any subsequent edition.
2. Does it have a dust jacket (a cover)? what shape is it in. Is it a clip? i.e. has the top corner of the dust jacket, inside the front cover, where the price would be written, been clipped (cut) off?
3. What condition is the book in? Tight binding, bunted corners, sun bleached spine?
4. The inscription is NOT by the author.
5. The inscription does establish an interesting provenance. That's good, i.e. adds value. You should print out a short biography of the two Generals, and tuck it inside the front cover. Keep it thin, so that you do not bulge the cover and damage the book by straining the cover.

Walking Sailor06 May 2018 7:21 p.m. PST

From Wikipedia:
The page "Major-General C.S. Farnsworth" does not exist.
The page "Major-General S.D. Rochenbach" does not exist.
Did you check this?

Walking Sailor06 May 2018 8:35 p.m. PST

First Editions are collected because they are firsts, regardless of what the book is.
My collector friend says "Try 1st, thats my go-to"
No luck. A reprint w/o dust cover.
or: link

RittervonBek07 May 2018 3:47 a.m. PST

Farnsworth and Rochenbach can be found on Wikipedia. Just don't search on their military titles.

AuttieCat Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2018 7:31 a.m. PST


F.Y.I. Farnsworth was a brigade and later divisional commander during W.W.I. After the war, he was Chief of Infantry (the guy in charge of training).

Rochenbach was in charge of U.S. Tank forces during W.W.I. Guys like Patton and such, were appointed and such by him. He is considered 'father of the U.S. Army's Tank Corps'.

In todays world, neither are not well know. However, both played a significant part in their time.
The book isn't the issue. My question is what do my fellow historical miniature gamers and T.M.P. users think? Your opinion is what I am looking for!

Frequently book dealers only know books. Years ago, I took a book signed by J.B. Gordon (of A.C.W. fame) to the Antique Roadshow when they were in Pittsburgh. The experts their did not have a 'clue' who he was.
So, unless I want to spend a lot of my time and probably more money than the above book is worth--finding and utilizing them is not worth my time.

If any of you might like this W.W.I book I am selling, please contact me. I will consider all reasonable offers!

Tom Semian

Tom S.

AuttieCat Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2018 7:34 a.m. PST


Thanks for pointing out to folks that both of these fellows are on Wikipedia. That is how I got a good idea of who they were!

Tom Semian
Avalon, PA. 15202

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