Arthur Miller was born in Harlem, New York on this day in 1915. He was the second of three children. He attended the University of Michigan where he wrote his first play, ‘The Villain’ in 1936. He would go on to win a Hopwood Ward for that play. In honor of Arthur Miller’s birthday today, I thought we would play a little game of What’s It Worth? Let’s take a look at the current values of his most famous work, ‘Death of a Salesman’. It was first published by Viking Press in 1949. The First edition, first issue was published with orange cloth boards. The jacket price was $2.50 and features an illustration of the play’s stage setting and the spine lettering in brown, pictorial endpapers illustrated with a reproduced drawing of the play’s stage setting by the play’s original set designer Jo Mielziner; original first issue dust jacket with illustration of the protagonist Willy Loman designed by Joseph Hirsch. One of the distinguishing marks between a first edition and a Book Club, Book club editions have a dot on the lower right of the back boards (near the spine). ‘Death of a Salesman’ went on to win both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play in 1949 and would become one of the most popular plays ever written. So the big question is, What’s It Worth? First edition, first printings with a jacket can range in value from $100 to as much as $2500. This copy shown was found on the ABAA website for $2,200. Signed copies can go as high as $6,000 depending on any special associations the inscription has.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *