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2nd Jun 2017
Keys Book Sale first edition Hound of the Baskervilles

The ‘Sherlock Effect’ is set to put Norfolk in the spotlight amongst fictional detective fans when a huge collection of Arthur Conan Doyle first editions – including a rare first edition of ‘The Hound Of The Baskervilles’ dating from 1902 – goes under the hammer in Aylsham next week.

Keys Fine art Auctioneers three day Book & Ephemera Sale includes a total of 55 Sherlock Holmes first editions, alongside dozens of detective fiction works by many other authors.

The sale also includes a first edition of the very first Agatha Christie Poirot novel, ‘The Mysterious Affair At Styles’, published in 1921.

“The continuing popularity of the TV series ‘Sherlock’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch has rekindled interest in the original Conan Doyle books,” said Keys head of books Robert Henshilwood.

“This ‘Sherlock Effect’ means that demand is very strong for anything to do with Holmes, and we are expecting Conan Doyle fans from all over the world to be focussing on Norfolk during the sale.  This is one the finest collections of first edition Sherlock Holmes books to come to the market for many years.”

The Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie first editions will go up for auction on the first day of the three day sale, which starts on Wednesday 7th June.  Full details, and a downloadable catalogue, can be found at www.keysauctions.co.uk.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes

The fictional ‘consulting detective’ first appeared in 1887 in the story ‘A Study In Scarlet’, the first of four novels and 56 short stories – many of which were serialised in the popular Strand magazine.

The BBC series ‘Sherlock’, which sets the fictional detective in modern times and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, first aired in July 2010, and is the latest in a long line of film and television adaptations of the Holmes stories, starring such actors as Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett.  In fact, there have been over 200 Sherlock Holmes feature films, with over 70 different actors playing the great detective.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who created the character, was born in 1859 and originally trained as a physician before turning to writing in his twenties.  He was also a successful sportsman, playing for Portsmouth Football Club, as well as ten matches for the Marylebone Cricket Club (the forerunner of the England team).  He took just one first class wicket as a bowler – but it was that of the legendary W.G.Grace.  He was knighted in 1902, and died in 1930, aged 71.