Night Thoughts about the Auction (4)

There are many things VN I haven’t seen, including a copy of the 1920 Entomologist offprint. But, based on how scientific journals in those days worked, I was pretty sure that there had been some offprints. And so I said in my bibliography, “…most probably this item exists.” And I was right. Sometimes you shoot semi-blindly and actually hit the target.

My copy of the catalog arrived. I made a preliminary pass through it and that lot #344 is one I am interested in. There are a dozen others. I’ll have to email some questions of clarification to the curators.

I’m in the same quandary all of us with limited means are in: how to decide what to focus on, how to follow the action, how to most efficiently place bids. I don’t know what I’ll do.

Is the Nabokov book-dealing/collecting/buying world ready and willing to buy some 150+ artifacts of VN’s (signed/lepidopterized/inscribed/corrected) personal life all at one time? I’m thinking that a collector will think, “I might be able to afford to buy one, maybe two lots. But that’s it”. And a dealer will think, “If all of us dealers buy several lots, who are we going to sell them to? The serious collectors will have already bought at the auction. And I’ll be sitting on these books for years.” So, my first consideration is, “What can the world absorb?”

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