Monday, 29 May 2017

Are these the 5 most absurdly priced Napoleonic books?

It's a rainy bank holiday so I find myself tootling through amazon browsing for reading inspiration.  It turns out that these are five most expensive books you can buy on the subject of the Napoleonic wars - should they be?

Counting down they are....

5   Napoleon's Last Grande Armee: Portraits from the 1813 Campaign - leather bound and illustrated,  Alfred Umhey This one is new to me - but here is a copy  listed at £459.97.

4 L'armée de Napoléon : Uniformes du Ier Empire, 1792-1815 - by the same author as above....  Alfred Umhey and Jacques Domange, Another new one on me but looks fab and a snip at £686.93 !


3  Napoleonic Uniforms by Elting and Knotel  -  volumes 1 and 2.  Wonderful set of two volunes (you buy them together when new so all the same book) varied from an almost sensibleish £250 for used copies to £1758.64 for supposedly new copies.

2  Napoleon's Army - hardback by Lucien Rousselot  - priced somewhere between £160 and a truly gobsmacking £1065.8
 I adore his plates - maybe £160 is not insane - but the rest!

1  Napoleonic Uniforms: Volumes 3 and 4 Vassals and Enemies by Elting and Knotel. 

Love these books and lucky enough to have bought them when first published - Thinner volumes than the first two but browsing through them is inspirational.  However certainly wouldn't want to shell out up to £1,898.34  for this pair! The lowest price is around £1200.00!

So what do they have in common?

  1. Pictures - lots of lovely pictures and who doesn;t love lots of uniform pics
  2. The subject is mainly the French army
  3. Mad bookshops with unrealistic expectations

Would I sell the ones of these I own at these prices - hell yes!   Then spend the money on traveling round 2nd handbook shops to buy them back at a lower price. It would be a joy!



    Here's another. They command a higher price in the US.

  2. I think a lot of algorithms get used on Amazon, particularly for OOP books, so when one price goes up, other shops automatically respond and the seller may not realise. It's the same with Abebooks (also owned by Amazon), where the prices are even higher. It appears the Book Depository was selling Rousselot for £50, when Abebooks has a copy for £8k. Obviously the last copy was bought by speculators...


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