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Value: Dutch vs French?

#1 · Posted: 19 Mar 2016 12:51
I'm curious for opinions on why people think French editions seem to attract a higher value for Tintin books.

I've noticed in most cases the Dutch printing of first or limited editions tends to number lesser print runs than the french editions (consider the Dutch version of "Vijftig Jaar Kapriolen aan de Ketting" with a limited run of 750 vs the French version as "Cinquante ans de travaux fort gais" with a run of 2000) yet has a lower value/interest from collectors.

I get that Herge spoke French as his first language (of course he spoke many other languages) but seems the scarcer editions should have higher value.

Of course I'm over-simplifying but I'm curious to hear other viewpoints.

I feel the Dutch / more limited run editions are more valuable :-)

#2 · Posted: 20 Mar 2016 14:12 · Edited by: jock123
There's no sense to the "value" of books at all, to be honest - as has been said on here many times before, "value" is only what a given person will pay on a given day at a given time.
It always seems a bit bleak to me to think of things just as a commodity, and to rank them on things like scarcity and "worth".
The only measures which affects my purchasing is "What is it worth to me?", and, "Can I afford that?".

There will undoubtedly be far more people, say, looking to complete a collection of editions in French, to whom that is the important objective, than who just want books because they are scarce; this will almost inevitably lead to a greater competition for copies of a title in French than in Dutch.
It would also be true that there are fewer copies printed in English than in French, but would you immediately call these rarer or more valuable than French ones? Probably not, as there isn't the same demand for them.

I waited and bided my time until I found a copy of Cinquante Ans at a price I could afford, because I wanted to read (rather than just own) it; a Dutch copy would have been far less useful to me, because even if scarcer, it would just have sat gathering dust, as I couldn't read it. It took several years, but I knew what I could afford, and eventually a copy appeared that was within my budget; I paid more than I did for most of my books, but I didn't pay that much more.

All that scarcity in this case meant to me was that the process took longer than normal as there are fewer copies to track down, and only a subset of that in my price-range; it was an obstacle to overcome (although not a great one), not an attribute of the book itself. It doesn't make the book more significant to me, that it isn't one of a great many, it just made it more difficult to get.
#3 · Posted: 22 Mar 2016 12:50
Well stated, sir! And a good reminder to myself as to WHY i collect. It's not the money but the true value.

Herge items throw me off a bit as they are so wildly popular I tend to get caught up in it.

But your post reminds me to stay on target and pursue that which brings me joy, not financial reward.

Last year I found a piece of Copley Hotel (Boston) stationary with Albert, Elisabeth and Leopold's signatures from 1919. To folks in the US it meant little, but to me, and my friends in Belgium, it was very spectacular. So, thanks jock123 for the well written post and reminder!

Love these forums!

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