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Today, we’re covering the investment opportunities for The Time Machine, by HG Wells:
- First edition inscribed copy of The Time Machine
- A few interesting collectable options from around the internets
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Not a Sponsor
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The Prison Math Project connects incarcerated individuals to mentors in the outside world. The programme gives them coaching on their math studies and helps integrate them with the wider maths community.
Listen to what one beneficiary had to say:
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It’s an amazing project.
Table of Contents
H.G. Wells: The Time Machine (1st ed, inscribed)
About the Asset
This is a first UK edition of HG Wells’ immortal The Time Machine. There was a US edition released shortly prior to the UK version, but it was riddled with mistakes. The UK version is considered the seminal work.
As it was Wells’ first novel, only 1,500 of these books were published, so they’re very rare, particularly inscribed or signed.
The book was published in 1895 by William heinemann, and this copy is a First State edition in Near Fine condition.
It’s worth quickly reviewing the hierarchy of rare books so we know what we’re dealing with. Starting from least to most valuable:
- Inscription: a short note written by the author
- Signed: the author has signed the book; can also include an inscription, but not required
- Association: signed and inscribed to someone noteworthy either historically or to the author herself
- Projected growth trend
- Full valuation
- Asset class volatility
- Our verdict on the asset as an investment
About the drop
This asset will drop on Rally on 25th June 2021 at noon EST. It has a market cap of $46,500 and no retained equity.
Add IPO to calendar
About The Time Machine by HG Wells
First and most notably, this book is widely considered to have launched the popularity of science fiction novels. Wells was also one of the first to introduce the concept of time travel in a novel.
On that note, it’s probably better described as a novella than novel, as it’s only 84 pages long (plus 16 pages of adverts at the end).
It’s been adapted into two films, two television series, and many many comic books.
The story follows The Time Traveller (as he’s only known) as he visits earth hundreds of thousands of years in the future. In this new earth, humankind has split into two species:
- The Eloi – a society of small, childlike elegant adults that are all rather daft and useless
- The Morlocks – ape-like troglodytes who live in darkness and only surface at night
The two species serve as a social commentary that would have been poignant in Victorian London. The downtrodden Morlocks work underground to support the ineffectual Eloi and, unable to feed themselves any other way, occasionally come above ground to eat a couple of the useless bourgeoise.
The names themselves are significant as well. Eloi is the Hebrew plural for Elohim, or lesser gods, in the Old Testament. Morlocks is slightly harder to pin down, but it could refer to the Canaanite god Moloch, who is associated with child sacrifice. It may also be a play on the word mollacks, which is what some miners call themselves; it’s also a Scottish word for rubbish.
Exceptionally multifaceted, the book has been the subject of numerous scholarly works over the last century with clusters of study in the 1960s and around its centenary in 1995.
The Time Machine is a foundational work for an entire genre and a transcendent plot device. Its importance and value to literature — and popular culture — is hard to overstate.
Recent sales history and Valuation
As Rally says, there have been no recent public auctions of a signed (or inscribed) first edition of The Time Machine for some time.
Rally purchased the book for $40k, so that’s sort of our starting point.
Inferred value is between $25k and $50k.