As 2020 arrives, we’re now just about four months away from the 20th Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention! To be held from April 17-19, 2020 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, Lombard, Illinois, we’re starting to move into pre-convention mode.
As has been the case in years past, this year’s convention will feature some incredible material in our estate auctions. Friday night (April 17), our auction will focus on material from the estate of legendary collector Robert Weinberg, while on Saturday night, (April 18) material from the estate of Glenn Lord, literary agent for the estate of Robert E. Howard, takes center stage. As usual, we’ll be previewing several of the unique items in the auctions over the next several months.
We’ll begin this year with a book from Glenn’s estate, a copy of a rare Clark Ashton Smith volume of poetry, “Ebony and Crystal,” published in 1922 in an edition of 500 copies (of which this is #431), which features some hand corrections by Smith. This one has seen better days, in terms of condition — it’s ex-library, with a call number written on the cover, various library stamps and writing throughout, and pasted library sheets removed from the back. The hinges are cracked and roughly 2″ of the spine have been chewed over time by a rodent with fine literary taste.
However, this copy should not be judged on its condition. The front fixed endpaper contains a pastedown from Howard Payne College Library, noting that at one time this was held in their Robert E. Howard Memorial Collection (various other stamps note that it was withdrawn from there). And on the front free endpaper, Smith has inscribed this copy to Robert E. Howard (with fraternal good wishes and referencing Dagon and Hecate, among others), dating it July 4, 1933 (assuming that Smith mailed this to REH shortly thereafter, REH would have received it while the August 1933 issue of Weird Tales was on the stands, featuring his Conan cover story, “The Devil in Iron”).
Truly a unique copy, inscribed by one of the Three Musketeers of Weird Tales to another and held by two of them during its life! (And for H.P. Lovecraft fans, no worries — the Third Musketeer will be featured in another auction preview!)