Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

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Cla1revoyant
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:47 pm

Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by Cla1revoyant »

This set of books goes up for auction on Tuesday, just thought i'd share, because it seems like a really good deal! :o

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/98 ... ograph-set

Matt2
Posts: 286
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by Matt2 »

It won't go that cheap. There was a set for sale here in seattle for 1600...which isn't a bad price.

Why haven't they come out with a digital version of the monographs? So much easier than bulky books.

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by SDR »

Too good to be true---so far . . .!

A digital set would be good. Considering the market price for existing volumes (present company excepted), what would be the right price ?

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

Cla1revoyant
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:47 pm

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by Cla1revoyant »

But, they’re estimating at $600-$800... maybe the market has slowed down on these books?

It was my understanding that the books were put out by GLobal Architecture Magazine in Japan, unlikely that they would put out a digital copy of something that was a limited print run 30+ years ago....

DRN
Posts: 4044
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by DRN »

Auction estimates listed in auction catalogs are typically lower than the expected price... my understanding is that this is by design.

The best deals at auctions seem to be when the audience doesn’t include those who are interested in the item for sale, or those who are aware of the market value of the item.

DRN
Posts: 4044
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by DRN »

As to a reprint, I’m certain GA knows the Monos are going for high prices, and has already done the math that indicates the potential for profit still doesn’t justify a reprint of the set, particularly in hardcover.

We Wright enthusiasts are a relatively small market. There are not enough sets of Monos to satisfy our needs, but I believe there is still not enough potential market to undertake a reprint of the full set.

I think the democratization of the Archive via the move to the Avery and the release of the B&W photos of most of the drawings on Artstor has made certain that the market for books or discs or downloads is too slim for commercial release.

The Monos first hit the shelves in 1985. Prior to that, only what Wright published or others paid the rights to publish had been seen. The Treasures of Taliesin and the GA Monos were a revelation.

JimM
Posts: 1567
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by JimM »

What the market will bear, but Abe Books is a good gauge of expected cost... currently three near fine sets in the $7,000 range, one "used" at $3,500 with individual volumes $300 to $900... softcover sets around $2,000. All editions are in very good condition and with boxes; curious why individual volumes vary significantly... does not seem to have anything to do with the periods of his work...

Interestingly, one set at $4,000 has been available for some time and includes notations throughout purportedly by John Howe (I believe mentioned in the forum at one time).

Prices have remained quite consistent for some time and they do not appear to change hands often. Obviously there is wide spread agreement as to their intrinsic value. At these perceived prices and limited availability you'd think even a "somewhat pricey" reprint in some form would do very well.

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by SDR »

One question then remains: Assuming the plates used to print the first edition(s) do not exist but that the photography and/or typography do exist in some form, would it be cheaper for the publisher to reprint the volumes (let's leave out the hard bindings) on paper, or to create DVDs or other digital media ?

During what period of time was the Getty photography accomplished ? Let's link this thread:

http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewto ... f=2&t=6547 Note the jump on page 4, from 2011, to 2015, to 2020.

Posts at the bottom of page six of that thread answer some of my questions, and raise concerns about the quality of the images. The photos of the drawings were made at the Archives, presumably at T West, "decades ago." Did the Getty pay for that work ? It is clear from study of the images that the photographic resolution---the sharpness of focus---varies remarkably. The implication is that the work was not accomplished to the highest standard. Today those sheets could and would be scanned digitally. It seems a pity that this enormous project, the recording of the work, would not be done once and done right.

Nevertheless, it was done, and we now, all this time later, reap the invaluable result. Note the apparent sea change, somewhere in the last six months, in the matter of permissions to view and to share the work.

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10571
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by Roderick Grant »

I bought them as they came out, and over the several years paid ~$1,600.
I plan to leave all my books on FLW to a worthy recipient.

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by SDR »

Two years ago I spent that amount in one sitting, for the first eight volumes, paperbound.

It should be evident from my comments that for me, the greatest part of the value of the Monographs is in the drawings reproduced in them. The Futagawa photographs are evocative and informative; the texts are as well. I must say I've not made the effort to read many of Pfeiffer's introductory essays to each volume. I'm sure there's valuable insight and information there as well---couched in the customary laudatory prose, of course.

Now that we have unfettered access to the vast bulk of the drawings, it must be said, the value of the Monographs is greatly reduced---for me, in any event. I doubt that I am alone in thinking so. Could this new state of affairs have already affected the market value of a set of Monographs ? Can we expect the new valuation (if such it be) to be reflected in the prices future sellers of the volumes will be asking ?

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10571
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by Roderick Grant »

The same questions could be asked about all books, what with the computer age looming. Writing was once a lucrative profession, fiction or non-, but as access online becomes even more normal than it is, there will inevitably be fewer writers willing to settle for less and less money to publish books on any subject. Copyright laws will also be harder to enforce.

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Frank Lloyd Wright 12 Monograph set

Post by SDR »

There are still paywalls in use, to limit free consumption of content. And there's nothing to stop publishers from selling books in digital form, saving themselves 100% of traditional book production costs ?

That said, the public's willingness to read is declining, I expect. There's nothing that publishers can do about that . . .

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

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