Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Maurice Maeterlinck
By Tom Congalton
You want a collecting tip? Here's one for American collectors: don't collect Maurice Maeterlinck! He was wildly popular in the wake of his Nobel Prize, in the early part of the 20th century. His books appeared in beautifully designed editions, that might even beguile the discerning collector of today. However, after the collapse of the hyper-inflated modern first edition market that accompanied the run up to the 1929 stock market crash, he never regained his stature with American collectors. Have you ever noticed how many 1920s novels were issued in signed and limited editions for the collector's market? Among the many other author who suffered the same fate were John Galsworthy and James Branch Cabell. Some of these authors have struggled back to collectible status, but at least in the U.S., Maeterlinck ain't one of them. One exception might be those editions illustrated by Edward J. Detmold, but they are mostly of interest to a Detmold collector.
The article is published by permission of Between the Covers Rare Books, Inc. Thank you very much.