Lions Rampant

lionsCopies of the Candle version of “Lions” are going great guns on Ebay currently. A couple of months ago a copy went for what I considered a very steep £75, but today we climbed past the £100 mark.

Admittedly a nice copy and with provenance back to the band itself, but I can’t help feeling like one of the old dealers I used to chat to when I collected books who would value things grudgingly at 10/6 based on what they had paid in the 1950s and then be annoyed they went for £50 at auction because of competing collectors bidding the prices up.

My own “par” valuation of a Candle Lions is maybe £30. They do come up 2 or 3 times a year if you keep your eyes peeled and are by no means the most difficult thing to find – just try to find a playable “Hey Manhattan!” CD! – although definitely the most iconic piece of Sprout vinyl.

Ebay is a dangerous place to buy too: visibility of items is global and the auction psychology and late competition can make prices run away. It’s not uncommon for two competing bidders to put in a large bid late on so as to “guarantee” a win: I remember seeing a pack of playing cards go for £100 on this basis where the value was closer to maybe a tenner – the winner was expecting to win for something closer to that but was skewered by someone else doing exactly the same thing. It’s probable that some combination of these effects is what is sending the prices skywards. and when the competing bidders have their own copies the prices will reduce.

But as a collector you only regret what you don’t buy so good luck to whoever it was who won the auction. You wince at the price for a bit and then it’s paid for. It’s all good. And I can’t exactly be smug: I’ve overpaid massively for things, for example the first Crimson/Red CD-R promo that came up when I wasn’t sure if there would be any more of them.


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