Shady Dealers
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:00 pm 
 

It could be a leftover 1st cover bundled with a 2nd Edition (1st print) interior.  Certainly a track record of such later on down the road from TSR.

I'm more concerned about the stapling situation.  Like quite possibly the cover is a fake, and a restapling job attempted.

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Post Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:22 am 
 

I asked the question(s) and made the comments which the seller posted in the listing.

faro wrote in Shady Dealers:Personally, I'd've been a bit happier if that didn't have an Evansville address on the title page (c/w Tome of Treasures :: View topic - Chainmail (1971) ) and the cover didn't appear to have a horizontal texture in the paper. A bit late to dig out copies for comparison but I suspect the winner will be in a position to make an informed assessment from their own material.


When it arrives I shall inform the members what I note about the cover, staples and inside center sheet.
I used a credit card for this purchase... just in case.


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:56 pm 
 

FoulFoot wrote in Shady Dealers:This auction from "montcalm1758" was turned up by Auction Hunter:

** eBay auction listing blocked.  Please enable cookies in your browser for this site and for eBay! **

As the question posed (not by me) at the bottom notes, the scan provided is of a First print (not a Second), and was lifted from the Acaeum.  The seller's response is a bit shifty -- he doesn't actually say that the scan is his, just that "this is the cover of the copy I own".

Since all versions of the Second print we've seen so far have "2nd Edition" on the front cover, and since he's definitely using our scan and being evasive about it, I would definitely avoid this auction.  The seller says he's going to post more scans soon; should he fail to do that, I will block his future auctions.

Foul


FoulFoot wrote in Shady Dealers:Ooh, good catch.

1) First scan is from this site, as we already established.

2) Staples do not seem to include the cover.  Is the cover loose?

3) Is the cover genuine?

4) Staples on the inside seem to indicate that the center sheet is at least loose.

I'll wait to reserve further judgment, but at the very least, there's some condition questions here.  And a Frankenstein cover that may or may not be genuine.

Foul


Staples:
There are two sets of two staples (four staples in all).
The two sets of staples look much the same to me... not being a staple expert I cannot say.
Placement: The two outer staples are attached to the cover (from near the spine through the back, which is why they could not be seen in the pictures) and run through the inside pages to the center page and those two outer staples are set about a half inch above and a half inch below the two inner staples.
The two inner staples run from the first inside page to the center page.

Inside pages:
The inside pages are definitely from a second edition booklet (I have another second edition booklet to compare this one with).
The center page is most certainly not loose and is in fact steadied up quite well by four staples...
I believe the inside pages are originals (not fakes) from a second edition booklet.

Cover: This is probably not an original first edition cover.
I have a complete first edition booklet (recently acquired) to compare this cover with.
The cover of this booklet looks different in at least three areas from my copy of the first edition booklet.
1) This one has a smoother texture, though still pitted (horizontally only, not mixed pitting as on my first Edition booklets outside cover).
2) The color of the cover is also darker and has the same darker color on the inside of the cover and the inside also has the same horizontal pitting.
My first edition booklet has a lighter tan color with a rough (mixed) texture outside, but smooth texture and solid white inside.
3) The 1st Edition booklet has smooth solid white inside covers; the possible fake has the same texture and same color on both the outside and inside.


This outside cover is in VF to NM condition and to be honest it looks almost new (nicer than my first edition booklet) with no stains, no sticker residue, and only a small bit of evidence of dirt.
Not what one would expect from a 35 year old booklets cover, but that alone does not tell me this one is fake, as I have a first print Greyhawk that looks like it came off the press yesterday and I KNOW it is original and I completely trust the person I obtained it from (via trade some years ago).

My thoughts:
I think the cover of this booklet was created by using a scan of a first edition cover, which was then copied onto modern heavy stock paper, which was then stapled to a true copy of the inside pages from a second edition booklet.
.... Frankenstein and/or faked.... both? Neither?

I am not sure, but not pleased and have asked the seller for a full refund.

UPDATE: Seller accepts returns and has already agreed to issue a full refund... (see my next post below).


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Last edited by Gnat the Beggar on Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:47 pm, edited 4 times in total.
  

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:34 am 
 

Before you do that:  obtain the use of a microscope or a high-power magnifying lens.  Look at the printing on the cover.  Offset printing (genuine, or at least professionally faked (unlikely) ), will have a smooth, uniform application of ink.  Toner (copy machine / laser printer) will look like dust.  Inkjet will be small round dots, bigger than dust but not much.

If in doubt about what you're looking at, compare with known samples of laser jet / inkjet / offset.  For offset, look at a newspaper.

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:00 am 
 

Just spoke on the phone with the seller.
He purchased the book along with a large box of miniatures from another mini collector roughly 10 years ago while attending a mini / war games convention.

At this time I seriously doubt he knew what this really was.
Yes, he knew it was a rare book, but he had no idea about the possibility of the cover being a fake.

He immediately agreed to issue a full refund, but has also agreed to allow me a few days to try to find a scope to look at the cover closer and I will report what I find if I am able to do so.

He plans to re-list the book with much more detailed information in the listing....
It is still a second edition book with a homemade cover (instead of the original cover) and would probably get a decent price... obviously not what I paid, but still...


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:16 am 
 

Thanks; and for the update.

FoulFoot wrote in Shady Dealers:Before you do that:  obtain the use of a microscope or a high-power magnifying lens.  Look at the printing on the cover.  Offset printing (genuine, or at least professionally faked (unlikely) ), will have a smooth, uniform application of ink.  Toner (copy machine / laser printer) will look like dust.  Inkjet will be small round dots, bigger than dust but not much.

If in doubt about what you're looking at, compare with known samples of laser jet / inkjet / offset.  For offset, look at a newspaper.

Foul

Beat me to that, and more comprehensively described, too. :)
The tone of the black seemed fairly solid/no obvious banding to have immediately red-flagged that from the pics provided before end-of-auction, anyhow.

If the cover is fake rather than a second state of the 1st print cover a maximum resolution scan of the cover, or macro photo if no suitable scanner, might be useful for future reference. Off-hand, I don't personally recall seeing any previous convincing attempts at copying early Chainmail/OD&D (covers) being sold as genuine online; only the (rarer-than-often-implied) vintage photocopies.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:11 pm 
 

NOTE: Except for a small dark smudge near the middle edge right side front cover; The cover of the booklet in question is not dirty, it is simply much darker in color than the 1st edition cover...
However, the artwork on the front cover is actually lighter, than on the 1st edition booklet I have.
In fact when I compared the sketch on the front of the 2nd edition and the possible fake, the two seemed almost equal in density and depth of detail, while the 1st edition front cover sketch is more detailed and darker toned than both the possible fake and my 2nd edition copy...

Scan of front cover of possible fake
Image

Scan of rear cover of possible fake
Image

Front Covers - In order left to right
Confirmed 1st Ed - Possible Fake - confirmed 2nd Ed
Image

Rear Covers - In order left to right
Confirmed 2nd Ed - Possible Fake - Confirmed 1st Ed
Image

Possible fake - 2nd Ed inside front cover
Image

1st Ed - possible Fake inside front cover
Image


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:33 pm 
 

Thanks for the pics/comparisons: useful, but apologies, a high-res image of a small area of the cover detail might still be of further use.
A couple other questions I had outstanding - and that the seller will receive if there's a relist - were;
- Is the booklet guillotined top and bottom or do the internal pages poke out a bit at the bottom?
- How well are the creases on the cover reflected on the internal pages? The largest one might line up but it's difficult to tell for sure at that resolution, or for the others.

> He purchased the book along with a large box of miniatures from another mini collector roughly 10 years ago while attending a mini / war games convention.
Only the Chainmail (no other rules set?) and was he led to believe it was rare/valuable?

> "It is still a second edition book with a homemade cover (instead of the original cover) and would probably get a decent price..."
I'd personally doubt that but there haven't been that many coverless 2nd prints to use as a baseline!


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:22 am 
 

At this point I am going to start calling this book the Hybrid, until further notice....

The spine creases on the cover (near the spine) are reflected perfectly with those that are present on the inside pages, both front and rear.
The fold over bend at the spine made when the cover was stapled to the inside pages also seems to align with (match) the inside book (if that is what you were asking).

I do not believe the cover has ever been cut in any way; or the inside booklet either.
I also believe (based on the spine creases in part) that the Hybrid cover has been on this book for at least the ten years the seller indicates was the time frame he purchased this booklet.
In other words, I believe the sellers description of the Hybrid history (as he knows it) in total.....

The white pages of the Hybrid do extend a small bit to the open side; and looking at my copy of the second edition booklet it looks much the same to me.
Along the bottom the white pages stick out very slightly below the Hybrid cover.... only a fraction
And the white pages are lower than the top of the Hybrid cover the same fraction.
In other words the Hybrid cover is the same size top to bottom as the inside white pages.
Seems to me that the Hybrid cover was simply not aligned perfectly with the inside booklet when stapled.

Another thing I noted (though again not an expert on staples by any means) that all (four) of the staples seem to have the same amount of wear... and a tiny bit (a tiny dot really) of rust on one of the staples holding the cover is conveyed onto the inside center page.
They are also bent the same way inside at the center page.
They are the same size length wise and the same width.

Seller did mention other items (miniatures war games rules - Redcoat for one) he had purchased, but he has researched them (price wise) and is not selling those.
He indicated that the highest priced item is currently being sold on e-Bay for around $50 USD.
He mentioned that the price he paid for this Hybrid book was $5 USD, so no; the person he purchased the items from 10 years ago did not mention that this Hybrid book was rare/valuable....
Seller learned this summer that the Hybrid had collector value and decided to list the Hybrid on e-Bay, however, the seller was genuinely surprised when the Hybrid Booklet went well beyond his expected price... (he was expecting about $40-$50 USD).
He did know what this book was however (obviously) but not that it would sell for so much.
I was the person who asked for additional pictures of this actual booklet...
Allow me restate: I believe the sellers description of the Hybrid story in total.....

Seller also mentioned that he sold a copy of Pharaoh (Day Star West) a couple of years ago on e-Bay... and that the buyer was in Australia.
Hmmm..... does that sound like someone we know?  :mrgreen:
I cannot recall if the seller mentioned where/how he obtained Pharaoh.

A few detailed scans of the Hybrid Booklet Cover.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


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Last edited by Gnat the Beggar on Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:10 am 
 

Thanks; that answers my questions. As a whole, an item is either fake or genuine - there's no half-way house.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:20 pm 
 

Reading your commentary, and looking at those last close-up pictures, it sure does appear to be a genuine hybrid, which does make it unique.  With a little more investigating, this could probably be confirmed with a fairly high confidence level.

Here's a theory which would also fit with other people's commentary:

A batch of 1st edition covers was produced.  These covers used a slightly darker paper, or perhaps there was an anomaly with the paper and one slipped through that was too dark.  It was set aside, along with some other covers that might have had other defects or anomalies.

A 2nd edition run is started up and one is produced stapled, but without a cover, due to some fault or error in the assembly process.  Person assembling the books grabs a cover from the pile and slaps it onto the 2nd edition, re-stapling it in the process.

And, presto!  You have a hybrid!

It might be worth keeping, if a mutually agreeable reduction in the price could be reached.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:32 pm 
 

dbartman wrote in Shady Dealers:A 2nd edition run is started up and one is produced stapled, but without a cover, due to some fault or error in the assembly process.  Person assembling the books grabs a cover from the pile and slaps it onto the 2nd edition, re-stapling it in the process.

If you read back, it's not the first printing of the 2nd edition per ToT. :)

dbartman wrote in Shady Dealers:It might be worth keeping, if a mutually agreeable reduction in the price could be reached.

Why? We already knew the internals appeared to be a genuine 2nd edition before the end of auction.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:17 am 
 

faro wrote in Shady Dealers:If you read back, it's not the first printing of the 2nd edition per ToT. :)

I was only floating a theory to explain the combination.  Insert whatever printing or edition you desire into the equation. :)

faro wrote in Shady Dealers:Why? We already knew the internals appeared to be a genuine 2nd edition before the end of auction.

Why?  Not sure what you mean.  Are you suggesting that was a fair price to pay for just 2nd edition internals with a mismatched cover?  Maybe it is to someone that collects oddities.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:47 am 
 

I could understand a cover slipping through the printing process that was too dark...
A single anomaly such as color density is not only possibly but quite believable.... (especially 30+ years ago)
However, the Hybrid cover has Not just one small difference like color as an anomaly might have... there are several major differences.
It is the same color on both sides and it also has the same horizontal only texture on both sides while the cover on a genuine 1st edition has neither of those features.
Why would the vast majority of the 1st edition cover batch be a lighter tan color on the outside with a scattered texture on the outside and solid white with a smooth texture on the inside, while this single anomaly is dark tan on both sides of the paper and has a completely different horizontal only texture on both sides?
For me the discussion of whether this cover is a anomaly from the 1st edition cover print run is all but impossibly unlikely due to those major differences on both sides of the cover...

Plus the fact remains (as Faro pointed out) that the booklet inside is a 2nd printing of the 2nd edition booklet, not a 2nd edition 1st print booklet.
I would assume a 1st print 2nd edition booklet using an anomaly cover from the 1st edition run would be unlikely enough...
(as you stated, possibly unique)
but....
Would it not be even more Unlikely that a single anomaly cover from a 1st edition booklet would have survived through three complete printings.
The entire 1st edition print run; the entire 2nd edition 1st print run; all the way to the end of the 2nd print of the 2nd edition?
If they (as an example) ran out of 2nd edition ; 2nd print covers, would they not tack on a 2nd edition ; 1st print cover instead of that single anomaly cover from the 1st edition run.
Some almost forgotten relic that had been sitting around gathering dust on some half forgotten shelf since the 1st edition run?

There are just too many catastrophic issues against this item being a hybrid 1st - anomaly cover / 2nd-2nd booklet.
I am leaning heavily to the side that this book is a genuine coverless 2nd edition ; 2nd print.
With a cover that was copied from a 1st edition booklets cover; using modern technology and single color heavy stock textured paper....


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:22 pm 
 

Gnat the Beggar wrote in Shady Dealers:
Plus the fact remains (as Faro pointed out) that the booklet inside is a 2nd printing of the 2nd edition booklet, not a 2nd edition 1st print booklet.
I would assume a 1st print 2nd edition booklet using an anomaly cover from the 1st edition run would be unlikely enough...
(as you stated, possibly unique)
but....
Would it not be even more Unlikely that a single anomaly cover from a 1st edition booklet would have survived through three complete printings.
The entire 1st edition print run; the entire 2nd edition 1st print run; all the way to the end of the 2nd print of the 2nd edition?
If they (as an example) ran out of 2nd edition ; 2nd print covers, would they not tack on a 2nd edition ; 1st print cover instead of that single anomaly cover from the 1st edition run.
Some almost forgotten relic that had been sitting around gathering dust on some half forgotten shelf since the 1st edition run?

There are just too many catastrophic issues against this item being a hybrid 1st - anomaly cover / 2nd-2nd booklet.
I am leaning heavily to the side that this book is a genuine coverless 2nd edition ; 2nd print.
With a cover that was copied from a 1st edition booklets cover; using modern technology and single color heavy stock textured paper....


1) I didn't pick up in the discussion what points at it being a "genuine" coverless 2nd edition? Could the cover have been simply torn off at some point, most likely accidentally?

2) I would suggest it was possible that a series of 2nd edition covers were printed but someone forgot to put 2nd edition on it, however as Faro pointed out it is a 2nd printing of the 2nd edition, so it would seem odd that it happened during the second printing. Also as Foul mentioned, the community has never spotted another 2nd edition book without the 2nd edition logo on it.

3) The only reason I suggest #2 is that the artwork on the cover truly has the same shadowing, black and white color gradient, etc., almost to perfection as the true 2nd edition cover in the above pictures. If someone had taken a scan of the first edition and printed it on modern paper for the cover used in your hybrid purchase, I would think it would look more like the first edition, unless they did some heavy photo-shopping to properly lighten it. Of course the guy who sold it to you got it what 10? years ago. I think they only had Corel Draw then :lol: , no I jest.

4) Is it possible someone used a 2nd print cover scan and took out the 2nd edition logo and printed it on modern paper? That would obviously assume some intent behind doing it, although it could have just been for "cool" factor.

5) Almost all printing errors I have read (I am no expert) about in the early days were accidents and the mishaps were usually fixed, or recalled. If the mishap was small enough, like the MM pages at the back of a DMG book they just let them go and didn't care much. The 4 staples raises a flag as I don't think the printing house would have done that, just my guess though. The 4 staples, in my opinion, says someone lost the cover and made a new one at some point. If they used the first print cover than the printing process at Kinkos provided the lightening or someone photo-shopped it.

I dunno, but it seems more plausible than leftover, originally set aside for some reason, 1st print covers.  Of course with all the fantastic printing information and knowledge from the community here, someone will be able to fake it in the future, if they found the right card stock. Let's hope not.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:23 pm 
 

My 2nd Edition Chainmail also has four staples. Two through just the interior booklet and two through the cover and booklet.

Bought it at Gen Con auction around '94 or '95.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:30 pm 
 

Gnat the Beggar wrote in Shady Dealers:single color heavy stock textured paper....


I collect all manner of digest-sized booklets/small-press ephemera from the approximate era of OD&D, & have been examining the paper texture. I can't find anything (through the '80s) with the horizontal pattern, it's almost always faux-leather-parchment patterns. In more recent years I've tried to find suitable OD&D-ish paper for my own projects, but usually settle for what's available.

For instance, on one project I ended up using a brown cardboard with little flecks of colored thread in it, a pattern that looks very unlike '70s vintage. Gnat, I seem to recall you trying to find paper like that of old JG maps, & not finding it today. So the pattern makes it somewhat suspect. (Ligmancer, how about the paper-texture pattern on yours?)

However it doesn't make sense to add more staples if one is only making a replacement cover. Much easier to just bend the original staples back. If on the other hand, one were going to do it to an entire print run, it would make sense. Amateur publishing is always presenting us with unexpected problems.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:56 pm 
 

The cover texture on my copy is similar to the parchment/faux leather of the other OD&D booklets.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:53 am 
 

Sorry

Chiming in late and don't have time to read the whole new thread, but I also have a copy with 4 staples exactly as described by Gnat if I remember correctly (I have about 6 prints so I'll need to pull them and look again) but I do seem to remember having one with 4 staples in it and the pairs are only through certain portions of the booklet.

John - I think Mike & Robert are coming over on Saturday, bring it with you if you want to come and we can compare copies (well, let me pull it first to be sure I have it still... I have sold some things this last year)

...

Ok, pulled my Chainmails... (I don't have time for this, but you sucked me in)

I have 5 copies of 2nd Edition and 1 copy of 1st Edition (no clue the print versions of each since I haven't taken the time to double check that)..

But as Ligmancer mentioned, he has a 2nd Edition with 4 staples, I also have a 2nd Edition with 4 staples. The booklet interior has 2 staples to put the entire booklet together LESS the cover. Then the Cover is stapled through to the middle from the "back" of the booklet ie: just past the crease in the cover towards the back are the staples that hold the cover on.

Also to note, the cover for this copy is about 1/4 of an inch longer on the top than the inside booklet. It's the only copy that has a larger cover than the booklet by this measurement.


As to colors of the covers, I'll post a pic showing I have just about 6 different shades of yellow/gold between them all

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:46 am 
 

eBay warning: I recently purchased 2 'shrink wrapped' items from eBay user bggguy (B10 and GAZ3). Both were described as "Still in the shrink". When the items arrived, it was obvious they were missing parts. While the modules were in decent shape, B10 was missing the counter sheet and GAZ3 was missing the map. The shrink wrap was inconsistent with other modules from this era and they were/are obvious rewarps. I contacted the seller (who was cordial and apologetic) about B10 and he refunded around 40% of the original purchase price which was acceptable to me given the condition of the module. I contacted him about GAZ3 and never heard anything. He claimed these books were bought years ago and have sat unopened. It is entirely possible that he purchased rewraps without even knowing. I did buy some shrink wrapped Planescape stuff from him and it was fine/obviously new.

Just a word of warning on those early Basic/D&D modules.

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