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I have individual dark red / maroon, with light white vertical stripes (chain lines), covered No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 issues. These I presume to be 1922 reprints, although the words "reprint" do not show up anywhere.

I also have a bound Volume I with very similar maroon red covered issues No. 2 and No. 4 included. These also have white chain lines and no "reprint" words. These I also presume to be 1922 reprints, but because they are bound, have a lesser value.

My bound Volume I includes No. 1 and No. 3 issues which are brick red with NO white stripes.  I have a letter from Don White, dated September 1978, stating that these two issues are originals.

My dilemma is: Who would desire to buy this batch of 1888-1889 original/reprint bound anomalies? Mel and I discussed the possibility of a professional "unbinding" them ... but came to the conclusion to leave the Volume "as-is" ... allowing any future purchaser to decide what to do.

Anyone else's advice or interest will be appreciated.


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Hi James,
Could you post some pictures of the bound vol.1 including the originals of #1 and #3?

Larry Moffett

In addition to two of the photos attached to my original post, here are photos of the bound volume I covers of No. 1 and No. 3 issues. The third photo is a close-up of the bottom binding.

I also need to correct my previous post. My father did have a very similar bound Vol. I which he bought from Don Smith (not Don White) in September 1978. He subsequently sold that and bought another, almost identical volume one from Ed Buxbaum in December of 1978. I have my father's and Ed's letters of interest and sale regarding this purchase. Interestingly enough is that this Vo. I issue is signed George A. Fairfield, a Charter Member of the NGS.  Ed called this in his letter a " ... great rarity in mint condition ....that happens only a few times in a lifetime, ..."

What my additional research uncovered is now really puzzling !!! How is it that there were two bound volume ones floating around 40+ years ago ... each with original issues No. 1 & No. 3 and reprinted issues No. 2 & No. 4 ....???

Thank you for your interest.



Vol 1, No's 2 & 4 were so rare by 1922 the NGS was persuaded to reproduce them in 1922.

The Volume 1 binding with one or both 1922 reprints is more common than a Volume 1 binding with all originals.

I have only observed one bound combined Volume 1 & 2 with all originals. It sold on eBay in 2010 for $20,000.00+. The new owner subsequently de bound the two volumes and had each single issues restored.

James, forgive me for being a little picky here:

1st sentence should read Vol I, No. 2 and No. 4 issues.

2nd sentence, there is no presumption, these "are" 1922 reprints. Collectors know the word "REPRINT" is nowhere to be found on these productions. The covers are the distinguishing identifier. However, an explanation of such detail could assist the uninitiated to NGM collecting.

2nd paragraph, ditto with the presumption.

3rd paragraph, please check your letter. Was the respondent really Don "White" an unknown entity, or was it Don "Smith," a well-known and respected entity in all things NGM collecting. (I do see in subsequent posts that you corrected this.)

And forgive me for being super sensitive, but I concluded nothing. I provided you examples of past events and the benefit of my experience, any conclusions based on our discussions are yours alone.

Kindest Regards,


I very much appreciate your detailed response and in no way feel that it was "picky" .  Reiterating, my Vol. I, with combined originals and reprints is not unusual. At this early stage of down sizing my collection, I really do need an expert like you to guide me. You are a great help. I apologize implying that we came to a conclusion ... it is my responsibility alone to proceed on a path forward with Vol. I. I value your experience greatly and am very thankful for you providing me with examples. 

Hi James,

I just so happens that i have an original Vol, 1, issue 3 original, also in mint condition, signed at the top by the same George Fairfield. I have made a detailed search of this gentleman's background, etc,  and attach a photo of him.  Since you have Vol. 1, issue 1 from the same individual it would seem probable that there are issues 2 and 4, also signed and mint, out there somewhere. Perhaps in the possession of a reader of this note? (If so, please reply!).  I also have an expertly restored Vol 1. issue 1, and all the original reprints of Vol. 1, issues 2 and 4.


Tom Jovin




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