When shopping online it is wise to remember that old adage 'Fools rush in ...' and this is as true for vintage books as any other item. The book illustrated here is a useful case in point. As I have indicated in previous posts I have a modest collection of books relating to my research on Völkisch photographers including books produced by Heinrich Himmler's Ahnenerbe and their Dutch counterparts through the Uitgeverij Hamer. I am chiefly drawn by their use of photography as well as the identitarian or ethno-nationalist interpretations of mythlore, folklore, ethnology and art history.
I came across this particular (Ahnenerbe) volume Kleine Kostbarkeiten aus Kunst und Geschichte (1940) on ebay and was immediately interested in the book and its contents. It was an illustrated text and, as the title indicates, was a small volume examining certain treasures of art and history and their relevance to the broader Germanic volk. Interestingly (for me), the book included a Retzlaff photograph of a woman in traditional costume (as illustrated here below). On the ebay listing the book had a starting price of £8.90 - worth a punt I thought - so I submitted a modest bid not much above this amount. I then did what I should have done before bidding and searched for the same book online and discovered several copies on AbeBooks. I scrolled through the hits and, finding one in a similar 'Very Good' condition, I added it to my Abe basket. Over the following days I continued to watch the auction on ebay. After a couple of days I was outbid on ebay and at that point I returned to Abe and bought the book. When the ebay auction finally ended I was a little surprised to see that there had been 30 bids and that the final sale price was £48 significantly above my bid of £15.99!! Yesterday my Abe copy arrived. It was, just as described, in a 'Very Good' condition and (including postage from Germany) had only cost me £13.88.