Inscribed First Ed. “Mary Poppins”
It's a copy of Mary Poppins that has been signed by P.L. Travers that was given to my uncle.
It defies some of the points that people feel books have to have to be valuable. It's not a particularly old book, the condition is fairly good, but it's a little worn up, as children's books tend to be. It's a first edition, and it's from 1934. Here we have the title page and the frontispiece illustration by Mary Shepard. And then you mentioned the point that is most interesting about this copy. On the end papers, there's this wonderful inscription with a double signature, "For Julian Fisher, from Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, October, 1936." And Julian Fisher was your uncle?
He was my uncle. My grandfather knew P.L. Travers and evidently got her to sign this book for my uncle when he would have been about ten.
So the perfect age to have read the book.
What's nice about this is we often see books that are only signed by the author. This is a true presentation copy, a gift from the author to a likely reader. We see double signatures sometimes from authors who use pseudonyms. That is, Samuel Clemens often signed items Samuel Clemens and Mark Twain. This book is not written in the first person. So it's very interesting that Travers signed with her own name and then again with the name of her character. P.L. Travers died this year, as you know.
After several decades in almost seclusion. I've checked the auction records, and surprisingly for a 20th century author, there are very few inscribed copies that seem to turn up. I wouldn't hesitate to estimate this to bring between $1,000 and $1,500.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.