‘SURGE’ IN RARE EARLY EDITIONS OF CLASSIC BOOKS, SAYS REGIONAL SPECIALIST AUCTIONEER
A surge of rare early editions of classic books continues to come onto the market, says Keys Auctioneers and Valuers of Norfolk, which has already had three such volumes consigned to its December Books and Ephemera Sale.
A first illustrated edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a very rare third edition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and a limited-edition signed first edition of Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service will all feature in the sale with four-figure estimates.
The 1831 first illustrated edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has an estimate of £2,500-£3,000. Published 13 years after the novel’s first (anonymous) print run, this was intended to be a ‘popular’ edition, and featured both illustrations and text revision by the author – this is the version which is most commonly published today.
The third edition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was published in 1843, was the last of three editions published that year, coming out (appropriately) on Christmas Eve. The first edition was 6,000 copies, whereas the combined second and third editions are believed to have numbered only two to three thousand, making this edition rarer than the first edition. It has a pre-sale estimate of £2,000-£2,500.
Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was published in 1963. The Vellum-spined signed version was a limited edition of just 250 copies; the copy on sale at Keys in numbered 233/250. It has a pre-sale estimate of £1,500-£2,000
Keys head of books Andrew Lindsay-Bullock said, “Demand for scarce early editions, especially of classic Victorian and popular 20th century books, remains very strong. This is resulting in a surge of such volumes being consigned for auction, which is resulting in a vibrant market and robust prices being achieved.
Keys two day Books and Ephemera Sale takes place on Thursday 9th December and Friday 10th December. Full details at www.keysauctions.co.uk.