"The Realist" Magazine Collection, ca. 1965
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $2,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:37)
Books & Manuscripts
Director, Fine Books and Manuscripts
Bonhams & Butterfields, LA
GUEST: This is "The Realist." It's an underground newspaper from the '60s and the '70s published by Paul Krasner from New York, and he seemed to know a lot of the counterculture people from the, uh, era.
APPRAISER: We got Lenny Bruce, Norman Mailer, Timothy Leary. Now, how did you get this collection? Because you've got a fairly complete collection.
GUEST: I originally bought them off the newsstands and then I subscribed and I sent away for the back issues. I was just fascinated by the content.
APPRAISER: And were you living here in Omaha when you bought that? So you got these counterculture magazines you got on the newsstand in Omaha, Nebraska. That is so wonderful. This is the counterculture publication "The Realist." It's a famous publication, uh, and I'm glad you brought it in to show people because it's something that looks really unprepossessing. At first it looks just like, sort of, a generic magazine. You can see it's printed on fairly inexpensive paper and it doesn't really look like much. But as you say, it's published by an important figure in the counterculture, and it includes writings by some of who we think of as the most important people writing in the '60s and '70s. Some of the things we've got here are, uh, an interview with Norman Mailer. We've got an article by Lenny Bruce. This magazine features Allen Ginsberg on Abbie Hoffman. I mean, it just doesn't get any bigger than that. And the other cool thing about this is what "The Realist" teaches us is how the counterculture can become mainstream. I mean, this was like the edgiest, most fly-by-night kind of a publication. They didn't know if they were going to have money issue to issue to publish, and yet it's something that collectors pursue pretty aggressively. How much did you pay 34 years ago?
GUEST: Well, 35 cents. Yeah, it looks like it's about 35 cents an issue. It might have gone up to 40 later on, but 35 cents an issue.
APPRAISER: Well, this Ken Kesey issue is actually quite collectible, and this can sell for $70 or $80 just for the one issue. Did you ever have it appraised?
GUEST: Never appraised. It's been in the box in the closet.
APPRAISER: Well, you took pretty good care of it, I have to say. Even when you read it the first time, you didn't beat it up too much. The full collection that you have, which I think is complete-- it may not be, but it's a substantial collection with about 50 to 60 issues in it-- we would appraise at auction between $1,500 and $2,000.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Yeah, yeah, it's great. So how about that?
GUEST: Far out. Yeah, I can dig it.
APPRAISER: Thanks so much for bringing it in.
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