Here at Jazz Collector, we usually focus on jazz records, mostly what’s bought and sold on eBay. There are lots of reasons for that but, fundamentally, the reason is that we believe eBay sets the market’s prices. What’s more it’s a public market, so everyone can see it and monitor it and decide if he or she wants to participate. And finally, it’s a true worldwide market. Check out The Great eBay Debate for other opinions. But there are, we recognize, other places for jazz collectibles, and other objects d’jazz than vinyl. We were reminded of this as we were going through our archives and came across this article from 2005 referencing a huge sale of jazz collectibles by the auction house Guernsey’s. I’ll repost the whole item below, but note just a couple of items: The Bill Evans letter to John Coltrane that sold for more than $38,000 and the original manuscript and text for Trane’s A Love Supreme, which sold for more than $129,000. Read more
Since I wrote about collecting autographs recently, I’ve been keeping a watch on eBay for autographed LPs and other items. Generally, my theory holds that, with some notable exceptions, autographs don’t dramatically increase the worth of a collectible. Here’s a case in point: A few weeks ago an autographed copy of the Barry Galbraith LP Guitar in the Wind, Decca 9200, sold on eBay for $41 in VG condition, not much more than what a non-autographed copy might sell for.
But, then again, there are the exceptions. How about this one: An original copy of the Clifford Brown and Max Roach LP Study in Brown, Emarcy 36037, autographed by Clifford. Read more
Here are the results of some of the items we were watching yesterday on eBay:
Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This was an original pressing of this very rare record. The dealer uses different terminology than we use for grading, but it seems like the record was what we would call VG++ and the cover was VG+. Price: $798
Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This was an original pressing from the same dealer as the Jackie McLean record. This was in VG++/VG++ condition. It sold for $713. We expected this to go for a higher price. In our Price Guide Read more
For those of you keeping score at home, here are some of the items we’ve been watching on eBay:
Tal Farlow, The Tal Farlow Album, Norgran 1047. This is an autographed copy in M-/M- condition. Price: $249.95. This was one of those records I planned to bid on but figured the price would go too high because of the condition of the LP and the presence of the autograph. The first bid was $249.95 and I expected it to go way up from there. But nobody else bid, including me. Read more
More eBay watching today. Here are some of the items and dealers we’re keeping an eye on for you:
Billie Holiday at Jazz At the Philharmonic, Clef 169. This is a 10-inch LP with the beautiful illustration on the cover that is either by David Stone Martin or Andy Warhol. We looked in our price guide for earlier mint copies of this LP and it sold twice recently, for $610 and $325. This copy is also near mint and was only in the $70 range as we posted this.
We received some interesting letters about our item last week on Sal Nistico. Here are a couple:
“I enjoy your newsletter very much. Your encounter with Sal Nistico Jr. struck a chord with me. From the first I heard Papa Sal on the Mangione Brothers albums I was a huge fan. The only time I heard him live was a complete surprise for me. Sometime in the mid-’60s I went to the Prom Ballroom in St. Paul, MN., to catch a one nighter by the Basie band. The fist set had just started and as I entered the room my eyes went immediately to the stage to see who as blowing that torrential tenor. Read more
Today we’ll spend a little time watching eBay.
Here are some of the interesting items from the past couple of days. I especially like the LPs autographed by Woods and Farlow, not just because of the signatures, which are cool, but also because the records seem to be in nice condition.
Phil Woods, Warm Woods, Epic 3436, in M- condition and autographed by Woods. Price: $395
Tal Farlow, Fascinatin’ Rhythm, Verve 8011, in M- condition and autographed by Tal. Price: $149.95
Here’s another interesting guitar collectible. I know there are stories out there about Dick Garcia, so maybe one of our guitar collectors can help us out. We have a Guitar Corner section in the Forums section of the Website, but so far the traffic’s been pretty light. Read more
Today we turn things over to some readers. We appreciate all of your letters and the great support we’re already getting from the community after just two weeks. If you sent us a note and we haven’t replied, it’s just because we’re a little overwhelmed right now. Here are some of the things our readers have shared with us:
“It’s great to read your newsletter. I feel the same way about my father as you do about being introduced to jazz. I was hearing jazz at my house as a kid way before I migrated to my generation’s rock music. I eventually came back to jazz I my 20s and have stayed there since. Read more
It’s always surprised me that jazz collectors seem to place only marginal value in autographed albums or other memorabilia. There are exceptions of course: A Charlie Parker signature on a contract or a Billie Holiday inscription on a book are extraordinarily rare collectibles that fetch a small fortune whenever they appear on eBay or on auction lists from dealers.
But my experience is that autographs don’t necessarily do much to enhance the value of a collectible. To test this, I recently did a search of completed auctions on eBay in the category of jazz using the key word “autographed.” The results confirmed my theory: