So a few months back I tried to win an eBay auction for an early printing of Charleston Receipts by the Junior League of Charleston, SC. It was a fifth printing and I figured that was one of the earliest editions I’d come across. Needless to say, I ended up getting outbid right there at the end.
A few weeks ago, I was doing a search on eBay and came across another listing for a Charleston Receipts, but this one actually said “true first edition.” Hmmmmmmm. Really? Is that even possible? This didn’t come up in my usual search, it was listed at the bottom of the page—which meant it was listed slightly differently, enough so that I wouldn’t have come across it normally.
I clicked on the images and saw an inscription that was dated 1950. Unbelievable! It really looks like a first edition, first printing. The opening bid was a little on the high side, but if it’s the real deal, I could consider this a birthday present for myself and plan on a little extra padding on the maximum bid.
And then it happened, the auction ended and no one bid against me. Seriously? Was this listing so off the beaten path that no one else saw it? Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy that I won it without having to blow my bank account.
The seller was up in Raleigh and the package arrived very quickly, within two days. When the mail arrived, I was on my way to the grocery store so I took the package with me. As I sat in the parking lot of the Food Lion, I couldn’t wait any longer. I opened up the box, unwrapped the layers of bubble wrap and tissue paper. As I opened up the cookbook, there was a smaller booklet tucked in.
Well…..that wasn’t in the eBay description. It’s a cool “nice to have” item, looks like a small booklet with recipes. The back cover has spaces for mailing addresses. So this is some kind of souvenir recipe booklet mailer. And then, to my dismay, I looked at the inscription:
My heart sank. It’s the wrong one. I looked at the page with the publication dates….not even close to an original printing:
Oh no. I bet the seller accidentally mailed out mine first printing to the person that was meant to have this version. My mind started racing, that person would open up their package and notice that they got an original first printing…know exactly what it was and keep it. Ugh….
When I got back home, I logged on and went to the seller’s page. And there was another listing for a later edition Charleston Receipts with a booklet, the one that was at my side. So, maybe this was just an accident of shipping out the wrong one—not that both were sold and I’ll never get the one I won.
I sent an email to the seller and let them know what happened. They emailed back very quickly to apologize and said they forgot about having more than one copy of Charleston Receipts. And to my surprise, said to keep the one I had. What? I offered to ship it back so that they could still have the opportunity to sell it again but they said to keep it to make up for the disappointment I must have felt when I opened up the box only to see the wrong cookbook.
How nice, that was really generous!
Two days later, another box arrived and there was the inscription:
And when I got to the list of publication dates…I saw a lot of empty space:
It’s like the cookbook version of a unicorn! I didn’t think it actually existed but here it was! I feel like I’ve got a major addition to the collection here and I am so relieved to finally have it here.