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Dealers Might Question 'Royal' Bible

November 13, 1986|RONALD L. SOBLE | Times Staff Writer

Question: I have a copy of the Bible Princess Diana carried when she married Prince Charles in 1981. Does it have much value yet? I paid $250 for it.--C.A.H.

Answer: As it turns out, from our telephone conversation, you told me that there were 20 such copies purportedly sold to the public by mail through a London-based coin and stamp firm with which you have done business in the past. All of the copies are unsigned, you said.

To be sure, the shop sent a letter along with the royal Bible copy stating that it was one of only 20 copies sold to the public. But you're still going to find that dealers and collectors will be skeptical. For example, they'll want to know how many of the books were distributed to libraries and museums, which could dilute the value.

Short of having a signed original, which the Royal Family isn't about to let loose on the market, you'll encounter difficulty spinning your copy off at a profit. However, don't discount its sentimental value, which may allow you to recover the full price and then some in the future as the wedding recedes deeper into history.

One other consideration is that demand for souvenirs generated by that world-headline-making event--affectionately referred to as royal wedding mania--was so great that practically anything with a remote tie to the royal couple produced in Great Britain at that time has a chance to appreciate in value.

Q: What are some recent price quotes you've seen on Coca-Cola trays?--M.C.

A: A recent catalogue we received showed a price range from $12.50 to $600, depending on year, condition and availability.

Some of the older trays, pre-1930, were obviously more valuable than more recent trays. Some of the artwork included American scenes or was connected to a particular event, such as a fair.

Darryl C. Rehr of Los Angeles says he will offer free ads for antique typewriter collectors who want to sell their machines through his publication, the Typewriter Trader. He says the Trader is continuously updated without any set publication schedule.

Anyone interested in receiving a free copy should send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Rehr, 10526 Butterfield Road, Los Angeles, Calif. 90064.

Rehr's rule of thumb on what is a collectible typewriter: "One which does not have four rows of keys, with type bars striking the roller from the front and a ribbon for inking."

This definition, he says, rules out old Underwoods, Royals and the like.

"Most collectible typewriters are worth under $100," he writes, "but a rarer one in good condition could be worth several hundred. Private collectors can generally give you a better price than speculators/dealers who advertise heavily and will only pay prices that are strictly wholesale. . . .

"Most people don't know what to do with antique typewriters, so those few of us who collect them (we are growing in number, however) have to do some work to get them out of the woodwork."

In response to reader inquiries, the Goebel Collectors' Club Gallery and Museum is at 105 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, N.Y. The telephone number is (914) 323-0300. There are two floors of displays in a restored 1905 Georgian mansion. The club, formed in 1977, has about 200,000 members in North America.

If you're in the area, the complex is easy to spot. We're told that on the front lawn is the world's largest M. I. Hummel figurine, named "Merry Wanderer," standing eight feet high and weighing 3,300 pounds.

Bookshelf

"What to Save From the '80s" by Charles J. Jordan (Fawcett/Columbine, $6.95, 153 pp., illustrated, indexed). An oversize paperback road map to tomorrow's collectibles, the book covers several categories, including sports, music, Hollywood, television and political memorabilia.

In a promotional statement accompanying the book, the author says finding tomorrow's values "is 25% crystal ball and 75% collecting know-how. Once you come to understand the latter, the odds are in your favor. Certain trends repeat themselves over and over again."

Date Book

Sunday--An antique-clock auction at the Reseda Masonic Lodge, 6701 Darby Ave., Reseda. Preview at noon. Auction hours 1-4 p.m. Free parking and admission. For more information, call (818) 886-4063.

Ronald L. Soble cannot answer mail personally but will respond in this column to questions of general interest about collectibles. Do not telephone. Write to Your Collectibles, You section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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