|Christie's, auction catalogue, 4 December 1933, page 35|
|Christie's, auction catalogue, 4 December 1933|
|Christie's, auction catalogue, 4 December 1933, lot 403|
Of the first issue (1889) 200 copies had been printed, thirteen of which were still available in 1892. The second issue, also 200 copies, apparently sold out. Then the number of copies was raised to 250 for the third issue, and 270 for the last two issues.
|Title on the wrapper of The Dial (No. 4, 1896)|
An explanation for this failure is not easy to give. Perhaps Ricketts did not care enough when the last number was published in 1897, as he was occupied by the more demanding task of The Vale Press that had issued its first book in 1896. He no longer was in need of a magazine to publish his wood-engravings, and kept them for the Vale Press books.
In 1933, eighty-three copies of the last number of The Dial flooded the market, or were they kept by a bookseller who, every now and then, would sell off a copy? The word 'scarce' usually found its way into descriptions of The Dial in bookseller's and auction catalogues, although the fifth number never had been scarce. Only if all copies that were auctioned in 1933 would have been destroyed (on purpose, or, during the War) the fifth number would have become really 'scarce': with 187 previously sold copies the issue would have been more scarce than the first number that was issued in no more than 200 copies.
However, today, two copies of number 5 are offered for sale online, and none of the others. That, perhaps, is an indication.
|Publisher's name on the wrapper of The Dial (No. 4, 1896)|