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sleight king
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Profile of sleight king
Hi Guys
I would like advise regarding this book. I recently bought 'Greater Magic' By Hilliard, however it seems it was published in 1938 but is a third impression. The question for this is that is it technically called a First Edition.
I would love some help and does the 'impression' affect its value??

many thanks
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Profile of Moxahalla
I also have a "Greater Magic" question...

My book is marked: 1938 "First Edition" (Cost me $12.50 in 1975 - w/ dustjacket)

I hear that only 1,000 copies were made of the "1st printing".

May I safely assume that my book is a true original, and one of the 1,000 printed?

As to the above inquiry - can someone explain what exactly "1st-2nd-3rd printings/impressions" of "first editions" mean - and their value?
Mike McErlain
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Toronto & Green Cove Springs, FL
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Sleight king:
I've found in watching the market for this title that unless it actually says "First Edition" then it is not. I haven't seen any first editions on eBay or elsewhere recently. Most sell for between $150 upwards of $300 depending on the overall condition including dustjacket.

Moxahalla, I would agree that you have a genuine "First Edition"

I can't be completely sure with this title; but on other books I've found that multiple printings of a "First Edition" means they did not change any content in the book, but simply made more of them to meet market demand.
Hope this helps!
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Profile of Moxahalla
Thanks for the info.
Clay Shevlin
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From a recently published article:

"The term “edition” means copies of a publication printed from the same plates or type setting. Perhaps counter to common perception, bibliographers focus on the type set-up itself and its history when determining edition. In theory, so long as the plates have not been destroyed, there exists the possibility for another impression of the same edition. Thus, if 250 copies of a book were printed on May 5, 1995, 250 more copies were printed on September 15, 2000, and 250 additional copies were printed on March 4, 2003, all from the same plates, then all 750 copies would constitute one (and the same) edition. Even if a book went through 150 printings over a 100 year period, only one edition would exist if the same plates were used. As a more concrete example, each of the first three printings of William Lindsay Gresham’s Houdini The Man Who Walked Through Walls (New York, 1959) would constitute first editions, since the same type setting was used for all three printings. While the third printing of Houdini could be correctly described as a first edition, it would be more precise to say that it is the third printing, or third impression, of the first edition. In any case, the third printing would not be the third edition.

When is a new edition created? A new edition is created only if it contains “substantial” or “significant” changes in the type set-up. Admittedly, the meanings of “substantial” and “significant” are somewhat subjective, but it can be said that correction of a few typos, limited factual corrections, etc., would not constitute a new edition, and the addition of new material (e.g., a new chapter) or a complete resetting of the type (even if there is no change in the text) would constitute a new edition. In the case of minor corrections or changes to the text, bibliographers generally agree that copies with these kinds of corrections or changes are best characterized as a different state of the same edition."

Many collectors equate "first edition" with "first edition, first printing." And yes, collectors are usually willing to pay more for a first edition, first printing than, say, a first edition, third printing.

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