24 August 2005

A treasure on eBay

People often ask me where to look for Spurgeon memorabilia—especially letters and signatures from Spurgeon's own pen. Occasionally, eBay features quality Spurgeon collectables. At the moment, there's a rare opportunity to bid on a book personally inscribed from Spurgeon to Lord Kinnaird, a philanthropist who assisted in the support of the Pastors' College.

The eBay listing bills the book as a "family Bible." The book is actually one of Spurgeon's own works—The Interpreter. This was a family devotional book written by Spurgeon and consisting of selected Bible passages with devotional commentary (much like Morning and Evening). The Interpreter was the largest of all Spurgeon's books and was as large as a family Bible, with similar binding. The signature and inscription on this copy bear all the marks of authenticity.

10:30 AM UPDATE: A shrewd collector who found the listing through PyroManiac this morning has already purchased the book. The rest of you may now go back to whatever you were doing.

PS: Not that such statistics mean anything, but according to the BlogSpot counter, this is post #100 on PyroManiac.

Phil's signature


Dave Davis said...

Hey Phil,

Have you ever visited the Spurgeon Library that I mentioned yesterday?

Just wondering..........

Maybe I could blog about it on my site and maybe someone could blogspot it???

in hopes of inspiration


Frank Martens said...

uhm, $2.2k ... ouch

Steve said...

I agree that eBay is a great source of Spurgeon memorabilia. While I'm sure there are auctions I may have missed and thus the figures I'm about to share may be incomplete in that regard, in my own observations over the past three or four years, the most I've seen unsigned copies of The Interpreter sell for is $150, the most I've seen handwritten letters sell for is about $1,200, and the range in which I've seen various signed volumes sell for is $500-1,000.

Hessel-Man said...

I hope this isn't off-topic, but it seems a little bit of a waste of money to spend so much on a Spurgeon "collectible". Not that I don't think it'd be kind of neat to have something like that... I think Spurgeon was a real man of God, and left a wonderful legacy of very useful literature to the Church. Several of his sermons have been particularly encouraging to me recently. And I really appreciate Phil's post yesterday on his conversion (and generally speaking, I really like this blog an awful lot).

But it seems kind of silly to honor Spurgeon by making memorabilia that sells for hundreds or thousands out of stuff he autographed or handwrote. I kind of doubt he'd think that was a really neat way for us to spend our money, but maybe I'm wrong. Isn't that kind or worldly? I'm sure someone could tell me why I'm out to lunch on this issue...

Sorry, I'm really not trying to be incindiary or mean or anything.

Stephen H.

Momo said...

Hey Hassel-man, I've got a Jack Hyles signed Bible I'll sell you for the right price.


Hessel-Man said...

Hey James,

It's Hassle-man, thanks very much.

So I guess you didn't quite think my comment had any merit then? Honestly, the Jack Hyles allusion escapes me, but I found a site that seemed to belong to a fundamentalist web-ring or something. Am I a fundamentalist? Nuts.

I do have a signed copy of R.C. Sproul's Faith Alone, but he signed it in person and I let someone else borrow it once, so I guess that makes it OK. :)

FX Turk said...

100 posts. pheh. You take too many vacations. You could easily be past 200 by now ...

Jonathan said...

Thanks for posting this Phil. I'm glad to announce that the Bible is going to a great home.


Jonathan (The Seller)

JD Wetterling said...

For what it's worth, The Interpreter is more like a somewhat condensed Bible with running commentary, matching the way CHS read scripture in his worship service, as opposed to his MOrning and Evening Devotional, which spent the whole devotional page expounding on a single phrase of scripture. Baker Book House reprinted it as Spurgeon's Devotional Bible in 1964, 74, and 75. Now out of print. Someone, like perhaps a famous Spurgeon authority..., would do the Kingdom a great service by talking some Chistian publisher into reprinting it. I consider it a treasure equal to or better than Morning and Evenng.

JD Wetterling said...

The Interpreter, reprinted in 1964, 74, & 75 by Baker as Spurgeon's Devotional Bible, is a treasure--not the finanical kind. Some...uh...renowned Spurgeon authority would do the Kingdom a great service if he talked a Christian publisher into reprinting it. Should be a piece of cake for a pyromaniac.

JD Wetterling said...

I apologize for the double post. It's a mystery...

Momo said...

Hassel-man, I did think there was some merit to what you said. I was just in a bit of a frivolous mood. All in all, I would think that collecting Spurgeon memorabilia would be about as good a use of money as collecting sports memorabilia or stamps or coins or what have you. It would at least be a sort of 'Christian' hobby. It would certainly be a better use of money than purchasing Jack Hyles memorabilia. LOL

I'll trade you my autographed Jack Hyles book for your autographed Sproul book. :)

Jeremy said...

Baker Books Reprinted Spurgeon's Devotional Bible in 1990 and I was able to pick up a copy of it while I was a student at Moody. I really enjoy being able to get Spurgeon's comments on the text and enjoy reading it daily...

There are two drawbacks to it:
1. The text of the Scriptures is KJV, which isn't bad and is certainly what Spurgeon used, I would just like to have it in a modern (ESV if possible) translation.

2. The verse numbering is Roman Numerals instead of the common Arabic numbering system we use today. It makes it a little bit hard when you are doing a crossreference study and you have to look up 2 Chronicles XXXIV (34 maybe?)

Otherwise it is a great tool and certainly worthy of being edited and reprinted. Given what the Christian Focus label has done with J.C. Ryle's stuff lately in reprinting it they would be a good choice as a publisher to do this project... I nominate Phil (and I will gladly help) to jump start this project.

If you want a version of the Devotional Bible click here.

puritanicoal said...

I bought a copy of Benny Hinn's "Good Morning, Holy Spirit" at Half Price Books to review it. Upon opening it one day, I saw that it was actually signed by Hinn himself (I assume). A dubious discovery, at best, I know.

Why can't that happen when I buy a used Cormac McCarthy novel?

hessel-man, that beats a Jack Hyles signed Bible anyday.....wanna trade? :-)

Jeremy Weaver said...

When I get my Tales from the Temple book, will you sign it so I have a Spurgeon collectible?

puritanicoal said...

Phil, I was comparing your picture with Spurgeon's. You could annex a pair of chops on that goatee of yours and get the full Spurgeon-esque beard effect. Just a thought...

Hessel-Man said...

James and Puritanicoal,

I dunno... your offers are tantilizing, but violate my principles. I only trade memorabilia/action figures of minister's whose writings I have a) heard of and b) profited from, or have the potential to profit from (spiritually, not financially). If I was to be a sell-out, I'd probably go with the Benny Hinn, since I've heard him (unfortunately) and since Puritanicoal doesn't find it a hassle to spell my name correctly. I did rather like the idea of a signed "Tales from the Temple" book, though... if there was, say, a complimentary play-set with it, featuring a communist-hunting preacher w/firearm, I would be sorely tempted indeed to trade my signed R.C. Sproul book

JD Wetterling said...

Thanks, Pastor Jeremy W., for the heads up on Amazon. Last time I checked the cheapest CHS Devo Bible was $70. I grabbed 2 more for my family. Mine's too marked up to share....

Matthew Self said...

QOTD: Would Spurgeon have spent that much money on a book?

Steve said...

CenturiOn: If you've got time to count total number of posts so far, you've got too much time on your hands.

hessel-man: I hear where you're coming from on the question about spending large amounts on memorabilia. Knowing how Spurgeon felt about photographers making money off his photos, I'm sure he'd have qualms about the prices of some Spurgeon memorabilia. But it's a tad late for his opinion to count now. :)

As for us today, that's not an easy question to answer, and I believe it's one of those matters in which believers need to exercise discernment by asking some questions. For example, Why am I buying this? (A serious collector putting together a fine assortment of memorabilia that might benefit future scholars, etc. can be doing a good service.) Do I have the money to spend on this without hurting my obligatory expenses and without cutting corners on my offerings to the Lord and His work? The first 15 years or so of my marriage, I couldn't even justify buying more than one or two $15 commentaries a year because our funds were so limited. Nowadays I can handle buying books quite regularly for research purposes without depriving my family or the Lord. So the amount of $$$ we have at our disposal certainly is a factor. If you have wads of money to spend, then hey, buying the Spurgeon-inscribed copy of The Interpreter is a better use of the money than, say, a frivolous entertainment expenditure. There's also the question of whether my decision to purchase the collectible arises from an unhealthy "adoration" of the person behind the collectible.

I'm sure there are additional discerning questions to consider, but that's a start.

Now, about those minister action figures. Anyone know where I can get one of Spurgeon wearing a PyroManiac T-shirt?

William Dicks said...

Hi Phil,

Some time ago in one of your blogs you mentioned Gary Ezzo and said you might give us some details on him. Are you going to?


Momo said...

Jeremy wrote: James,
When I get my Tales from the Temple book, will you sign it so I have a Spurgeon collectible?


It would be an authentic 'Spurgeon' that's for sure.

On another note, if Disney decides to do the movie, there will be lots of memorabilia available at Burger King, probably about a month before it comes out.


Are we off-topic yet? I feel like I have a license to comment on anything I want if the initial blog post has the name 'Spurgeon' in it.

Momo said...

Dear Dr, Hassel-man, if it were not for my dyslaxia I would probably spell your name right.


Momo said...

Hey Phil, out of the 100 posts, how many are blogspotting posts? Do those really count? That's sort of like the way they used to count bus attendance in my fundamentalist days. Sure, they had 53 on the bus, but 24 of them were workers. LOL

Hessel-Man said...

James - I guess I can forgive you if you have dyslexia. And calling me "Dr." more than makes up for it!

Steve - Thanks for pondering my question. You brought up some really good points, and it does take a lot of discernment. I think you're right. A purchase like that being a good use of our resources would largely depend on how much disposable income God had provided for us and what the motivations were behind it. I know, for myself, that sort of thing would be an unwise use of the resources I have - we have enough, but not such an abundance that I could justify that (I could get an awful lot of commentaries or theological works for that amount though!). And it's certainly a better use than some frivolous entertainment expense. And I do appreciate that people have preserved things like that.

I guess even with smaller purchases, like a small set of Spurgeon Sermons or something, one needs to be careful about idolizing the minister. It's unfortunately, easy to do.

I really do like the idea of a Spurgeon action figure with a Pyromanic shirt... Maybe Phil could whip up a graphic of that sometime? :)

mwkraft said...

Hi there,

have a book that was given to me by an elderly pastor a number of years ago and I have some questions about it.

It is a 8 and a half inch by 11 inch book - brown in color, entitled, The Metropolitan Tabernacle and its Institutions.

It has an introduction written by Vernon J. Charlesworth and the publisher seems to be Passmore and Alabaster
and Brine Brothers and Company, Mansion House Buildings.

it's a book that is mostly filled with beautiful photographs of Spurgeon and the church. Pictures of the sanctuary and some pictures of his library and his study at the church.

The most interesting thing is that it seems that Spurgeon himself has signed this book with a fountain pen. I could take a few digital photographs of the book and autograph.

I'm wondering if anyone at your office may know of this book or any that are similar and what if any value it might be?

sincerley, Rev. Mark Kraft (Canada)