First Edition

Book collectors seek out first editions as they represent the original form in which a book was originally published.

Signed and inscribed copies are even more desirable, and the ‘dedication copy’ – the copy which is inscribed to the person to whom the author dedicated the book – is more sought after still.


Collector interview: Tracking down detective works

13 May 2024

ATG meets Jeffrey Johnson, whose collection of classic ‘Whodunnits’ was recently on public display at the Grolier Club in New York

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone illustration

Original cover artwork for Harry Potter estimated at record $600,000 comes to auction

02 May 2024

The original cover watercolour for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by Thomas Taylor is coming to auction with the highest pre-sale estimate ever placed on an item of any Harry Potter-related work, according to Sotheby’s.


Charles Darwin presentation copy of On the Origin of Species is among five lots to watch

18 March 2024

With estimates from £800, here are five previews of items coming up at auction this week.


Conan Doyle appears in detail as second part of dedicated collection comes to auction

11 March 2024

Chicago sale offers more than 300 works related to the British author amassed by US collectors


First edition of early feminist text makes over 30 times estimate

19 February 2024

Actress cheated by the Prince of Wales turned to a campaign based on ‘injustice of mental subordination’


Keeping the dust jacket was definitely not a dumb move

22 January 2024

An original dust jacket made all the difference when Weiss Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) offered a first edition copy of Agatha Christie’s Dumb Witness in Lynbrook, New York.

WEB Harry Potter 1 Hansons

Boy wizard Harry Potter casts his spell on book collectors

12 December 2023

Harry Potter continues to bring big bids at auction especially for the earliest hardback editions


Presentation copies with a special touch

04 December 2023

Pictured here are two fine 19th century presentation copies that, unexpectedly, topped sales in South Cerney and Cambridge in October.


Price helped by ‘voice beyond the grave’

13 November 2023

A first edition, first impression presentation of WB Yeats’ first book, Mosada (1886), was among the standout sales at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair.


Charlie Watts sale drums up top bids for super first editions

23 October 2023

Agatha Christie and Evelyn Waugh records beaten as collection of a Rolling Stone comes to auction

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Top stories this week including news of the auction of Charlie Watts’ book collection

08 October 2023

The most viewed stories on this website over the last week included news of Christie’s sale of the late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts’ extraordinary library of modern first editions.

Charlie Watts’ copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles

Charlie Watts books sale: it’s all over now

02 October 2023

Christie’s sale Charlie Watts: Gentleman, Collector, Rolling Stone combined stardust with an extraordinary library of modern first editions.


News in brief including Charlie Watts' book collection coming to auction

17 July 2023

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including the book collection of the late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts being offered at Christie's.


The web shop window: First edition of seminal work that prompted Arts & Crafts movement

03 July 2023

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.


Brontë works hit saleroom heights

22 May 2023

Works by the three sisters including copies published under pseudonyms come to a Cambridge auction


Austen’s pride in her work

22 May 2023

Two of Jane Austen’s works, both from the same Wyoming collector’s estate, were stand-out lots in a May 11 sale held in Chicago.


Bookplate boosts Sackville-West debut novel result

08 May 2023

The best-selling lot in a recent Carlisle auction was a 1919, Collins first of Heritage, the debut novel of Vita Sackville-West, who at that time was better known for her poetry.


No escaping Houdini’s research

08 May 2023

'A Magician Among the Spirits' by Harry Houdini conjured up one of the highest prices in the Potter & Potter (20% buyer’s premium) Houdini-related sale in Chicago on April 8 when it sold for $15,000 (£12,095).

The Study of Sociology by Herbert Spencer

On the origin of the ‘survival of the fittest’ comes to London auction

17 April 2023

This copy of 'The Study of Sociology' by Herbert Spencer is a first edition from 1875 in original cloth.


Sayers serves £2100 Gaudy Night feast

10 April 2023

The dust jacket in those familiar red, black and yellow colours favoured by the publisher, Gollancz, had a few shortcomings in terms of condition, including some chips and losses, but this ‘Just out!’ 1935 first of 'Gaudy Night', signed by its author, Dorothy L Sayers, was bid to £2100 on March 3.