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Jim Morrison inscribed book on Antique Roadshow

This evening PBS‘ Antique Roadshow had appraisals from Baton Rogue, Louisiana. One of the guests on the show was a man identified only as ‘Ed’ and he had a book the “The History of Magic” by Kurt Seligman. The interesting part of the appraisal and what gave the book most of it’s value was that it was signed by Ed’s college roommate Jim Morrison.

"The History of Magic" an inscribed book Jim Morrison gave a college friend for Christmas of 1963.
PBS: Antique Roadshow

Ed was a student at Florida State University in 1963 and shared a room in a rooming house with Jim Morrison. The two would walk to school and for Christmas 1963 they exchanged gifts. Ed gave Jim one of his drawings and Jim gave Ed “The History of Magic” and inscribed it “Christmas ‘63, J Morrison.”

The appraiser, Timothy Gordon, described the book as having illuminated manuscript art, engraved prints and woodcuts and valued the book itself at $100. However, because the book was signed by Jim Morrison gave it a value of $8000-$10,000! They also talked about Morrison’s interest in drama, and he thought Jim would be an actor, Ed said Jim had appeared in a couple theatrical productions and was good. He also mentioned a theory Jim had that criminals may be saints and saints may be criminals. What they both seemed to miss is that this shows Morrison’s very early interest in magic. Jim was 19 years old when he knew Ed the Christmas of ‘63 and it was in January of 1964 that Jim transferred to the UCLA film school.

Unfortunately, the Antiques Roadshow won’t let me embed a video, but you can watch the appraisal at the Antiques Roadshow website and there is also a post appraisal video of Ed talking about his relationship with Jim Morrison.

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