We (H & R Magic Books www.magicbookshop.com
) sold Martin Gardner's First Edition copy, signed on the title page by the book's illustrator, along with Gardner's correspondence with the illustrator, and his correspondence with Edgar Pratt, who led Gardner to the Erdnase=Milton Franklin Andrews theory, along with some other Erdnase related documents, on eBay in February or March of 2000 where the lot sold for slightly over $10,000. This was and remains an astonishingly high price, especially as the book itself was in very poor condition (and described as such). I do not know of any first edition copies by themselves to have sold for more than $3,000. I was able to purchase a very good copy from a reputable and knowledgeable magic dealer for less than $1,000 last November. A copy sold at Swann's in the Tom Blue auction in January 2004 for under $1,000. Many copies listed on eBay and elsewhere as first editions are not, but because they have the 1902 copyright statement are mistakenly so identified. I currently know the whereabouts of more than 70 true first editions, so it is not a rare book, though a highly desireable one, especially in good condition. If you have a first edition, I would love to know about it, as I am always adding to my list tracking them! Feel free to contact me privately (contact information is on our website).