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Collecting Highlights Archives Past issues of the Collecting Highlights column for Anne McCaffrey Fans. Posts are open for reply, so feel free to add a comment about what you own or would like to!

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Old May 31 2006, 08:29 PM   #1
Cheryl
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White Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

A Time When (being a tale of young Lord Jaxom, his white dragon, Ruth and various fire-lizards.) is a novelette that was published in limited numbers, preceeding the publication of The White Dragon by three years. Because the events of A Time When were expanded upon in The White Dragon, it was never republished and many fans have never heard of it -- though any that have looked at the copyright page for The White Dragon should have noticed it's mention there and been curious. Conversely, A Time When's copyright page notes that it comes from the forthcoming White Dragon.


A Time When cover, 2nd binding state


A Time When copyright page


The White Dragon copyright page

A Time When is a hardcover book published by Nesfa Press (Nesfa being the New England Science Fiction Association) in 1975, in conjuction with Anne's Guest of Honor appearance as Boskone 12, which was held Feb 28th to Mar 2nd, 1975 in Boston, Massachusetts. The cover and three interior illustrations were done by Bonnie Dalzell, who was the official artist of the convention.

Two binding states were made, as follows:

20 copies, lettered A through T, signed by both Anne and the illustrator, bound in leather (three quarter leather, on spine and corners) and marbled paper. Gold foil was used for text lettering and a decorative design on the spine and boards. Hargreaves reports that brown leather was used, while NESFA's site states that some copies had blue leather rather than brown. These 20 copies were sold for $40 US to persons with advanced subscriptions only.

800 copies, numbered, signed by Anne (though perhaps not all copies were signed, according to the NESFA site). Bound in blue cloth with silver foil lettering, and a dust jacket. Any of the 935 guests at the con that purchased the book for the original price of $6 US wil have had their purchase appreciate in value approximately 50 times! (Those that didn't bother buying one must be kicking themselves now!) The book didn't sell out at the convention as NESFA's website states that the price was raised to $7 US in December 1975.

Besides being the first published story centered on Jaxom, A Time When also marks the first appearance of a Dragondex within a Pern book. The Dragondex was compiled and designed by Wendy Glasser, from the data in Dragonflight and Dragonquest. More information on Glasser's Dragondex will be given in my next Collecting Highlight.


The frontispiece by Bonnie Dalzell. I read a description somewhere that called this a picture of a firelizard in distress. Certainly he doesn't look happy -- perhaps because of the that paintbrush tip about to tickle his belly?

In my years of collecting, I've come across about five copies of the 800 numbered copies for sale. Two have gone through my hands -- the first for just over $300 US and the second one for a steal at $60 US. I managed to resell the first at about the same price as I had paid. The other copies I've seen sell at auction have also sold for $300-350 US.

Currently online I can find 7 copies for sale (most are listed multiple times), for prices ranging from $295-800 US. Beware that the copies listed multiple times are marked up through some sellers by $50-$100!
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Old Jun 1 2006, 12:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

I managed to purchase one of these last year from Europe. It sat on a bookshelf for 30 years before I acquired it . The only damage is a slightly yellowed book end from the sun. It is a great little book. Signed and numbered. It was the first book that I had paid over $100 for. I was so nervous about buying it but now I am so happy about having it.
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Old Jun 1 2006, 01:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

Thanks a lot for the info!!!

I would love to obtain a copy of this
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Old Jun 1 2006, 08:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

Ah, congrats Suzy, you made a lucky find!

Matt, good luck on finding one of your own -- and one that doesnt' break the bank!
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Old Jun 1 2006, 12:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

six of them on abe. Starting at 295$ and topping at 805$. I little bit beyond my means
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Old Jun 1 2006, 02:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

That'd be six of the seven I mentioned above as available online. :nods:

Of course the $805 one can be had for less through a different listing service.
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Old Jun 1 2006, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

I would love to have one of these lovely books, but I am not going to pay that kind of money for it. Perhaps someday I will come across a great sale, or find one in a old book store somewhere and then I will finally have one of them too.
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Old Jun 3 2006, 01:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

I hope you do find one Maelin! Sometimes you just never know what you'll find tucked away on a shelf somewhere.
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Old Jun 6 2006, 09:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyQ
I managed to purchase one of these last year from Europe. It sat on a bookshelf for 30 years before I acquired it . The only damage is a slightly yellowed book end from the sun. It is a great little book. Signed and numbered. It was the first book that I had paid over $100 for. I was so nervous about buying it but now I am so happy about having it.
Over $100? I take it you havent bought textbooks before?

*has spent over $200 for just one textbook in her past*

However, I have never seent his book. I'll keep my eyes peeled.

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Old Jun 6 2006, 11:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

The last time I bought textbooks was 15 years ago! I guess the prices must have really gone up. It was just really weird to buy something for myself that cost that much! Usually it would be for my kids or husband but not me. I am really trying to do better about that!

Since I began collecting Anne's books my husband has gotten the bug even worse than myself. He pays for most of the books I find online. So this was a big purchase. I am looking at another "Find" that is about $400 but haven't yet taken the plunge. Maybe when I get back to work from maternity leave and have a regular paycheck again I will "Plunge forth"
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Old Jun 7 2006, 06:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

My husband got me this book as a birthday present about 4/5 years ago. He paid about £80 sterling for it and bought it in a second hand book shop in London. It is on the back cover on the blue cloth that my 4 year old did a little writing recently with an ink pen. Why of all my Anne McCaffrey books she picked this one I have no idea. I still have not tried to remove the writing.

And my copy is unsigned, so the website is correct. But it is also un-numbered.
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Old Jun 7 2006, 08:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (19) - A Time When

Intersting Clamball, very interesting!

I would have said your hubby got it for a good price, but since it's an unsigned unnumbered copy, I think that reduces the value a fair chunk.
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