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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.


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Ghastly tales, joyful vendors

04 October 2021

Remarkably well-preserved 1818 Frankenstein and 1897 Dracula firsts impress in New York

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The web shop window: Copy of Great Plague death list in unusually healthy condition

04 October 2021

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

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First edition of Ian Fleming’s 'Casino Royale' saved from a skip

20 September 2021

This first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale will be offered for sale by Scammell Auctions in Adelaide on October 11.

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Saleroom with a view on Forster

13 September 2021

Author’s works were well represented in London auction that included a £24,000 surprise

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First book-form edition of Middlemarch sets record at Doyle

30 August 2021

George Eliot’s much-admired novel 'Middlemarch…' made its first appearance in a parts issue in 1871.

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The web shop window: First edition of Ian Fleming’s 'From Russia With Love'

26 July 2021

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

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The web shop window: Ada Lovelace's first-edition copy of key mathematical text

22 March 2021

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

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Heinemann first edition of 'Present Laughter' by Noel Coward sold at Toovey's auction

01 February 2021

Signed by the author and all members of the cast, the stage manager and the props manager, a 1943, Heinemann first of 'Present Laughter' was one of two Noel Coward plays that made up a lot sold for £1600 via thesaleroom.com in a Toovey’s (24.5% buyer’s premium) auction.

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Very earliest Christmas Carol sold in Philadelphia

18 January 2021

There were, inevitably, a few copies of Charles Dickens’ much-loved tale, 'A Christmas Carol', on offer at auction as the big day approached.

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When art meets science

14 December 2020

Sixteenth century book-maker’s creativity makes maths and astronomy more accessible

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Peter Harrington's catalogue includes inscribed Rudyard Kipling first edition

14 December 2020

Peter Harrington’s Christmas 2020 catalogue features a selection of first and special editions such as this copy of 'Just So Stories' by Rudyard Kipling.

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Pick of the week: Rev Gilpin champions the Romantic ideal

30 November 2020

The artist, cleric, schoolmaster and author William Gilpin (1724-1804) is best known as a champion of the Romantic idea of the picturesque.

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Sticky situation is resolved

09 November 2020

An 1859 first of Darwin’s seminal work shrugs off condition issues to be a best-seller

First edition of Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' sells in New York

26 October 2020

A 1776 first of Adam Smith’s '…Wealth of Nations' sold in a New York summer sale bore an understandably irritated inscription by the man to whom it had been gifted by its author.

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Eye-opening images feature in German auction

12 October 2020

An October 27-30 sale of more than 2800 lots at Reiss & Sohn of Königstein-im-Taunus includes a 1583 first of Georg Bartisch’s Opthalmodouleia…, a famous work on eye surgery that is also the first extensively illustrated account of any surgical speciality.

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Dalmations spotted as Dodie Smith books bring demand

21 September 2020

Inscribed copies of the works of Dodie Smith were among the attractions of a summer sale held by Stride & Son (18% buyer’s premium) of Chichester.

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First edition of Thomas Malthus’ essay on population and first Ethiopian edition of the New Testament leads German auction

14 September 2020

Always likely to produce one of the sale’s best results, a 1798 first of Thomas Malthus’ 'Essay on the Principle of Population' duly led the bidding in a recent German sale.

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Humphry Repton first edition on landscaping features at North Carolina auction

07 September 2020

On September 12 Brunk Auctions of Asheville, North Carolina, is holding a single-owner sale comprising the estate of William N Banks Junior from his Georgia property, Bankshaven.

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Kipling first edition equals auction record thanks to author’s signature

13 July 2020

The gilt decorated blue cloth binding showed signs of age, but a copy of Rudyard Kipling’s 'Captains Courageous, A Story of the Grand Banks' offered in a Philadelphia sale bore the author’s signature on the title-page.

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JK Rowling's children's classic dumped in a skip, now £33,000

22 June 2020

Harry Potter first deemed too scruffy by a public library brings a spellbinding result