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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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And then there were two Brothers Karamazov

01 April 2017

“Very rare, most extant copies behind institutional walls,” said Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) of a first English language version of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.

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Bonhams’ double 0 heaven

25 March 2017

A crease that runs around the lower part of the dust jacket detracts somewhat from the appeal of a first impression copy of the first of Ian Fleming’s Bond books, Casino Royale of 1953, but it sold for £16,000 in a March 1 sale held by Bonhams (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).

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Bidder goes wild about Wilde

25 March 2017

Elizabeth Barrett Browning lots fall flat... but annotated Dorian Gray leaves treble the estimate

Adrian Greenwood

Book dealer’s murder linked to attempt to steal £50,000 first edition Wind in the Willows

04 October 2016

The murder of book dealer Adrian Greenwood was part of an attempt to steal a £50,000 first edition of the Wind in the Willows, a court has heard.

Don Quixote first english edition at Keys auction

The Man of La Mancha in Norfolk – first English edition of Don Quixote makes £25,000

09 August 2016

One of a great many books removed from a couple of terraced houses in Norwich for sale by Keys of Aylsham was an 1612 first English edition of the first part only of Don Quixote.

Reliquiae sacrae Carolinae

A prince among potboilers: 366-year-old book found in a box of 20th century paperbacks

08 August 2016

A 366-year-old book on the virtues of Charles I is to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers after it was discovered in a box among 20th-century paperbacks.

Carroll's first Alice... comes to auction

First edition recalled issue of Alice set to take top spot at Christie's

06 June 2016

With an estimate of $2-3m, a first printing of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) being offered by Christie's New York on June 16 is eagerly anticipated.

Oliver Twist at Cuttlestones

Books with a twist – Charles Dickens first editions emerge in Wolverhampton

29 April 2016

Interesting oddities that were ironed out in subsequent editions bump up demand when it comes to book collecting. A good example of this is coming up at Wolverhampton auction house Cuttlestones on May 6.

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First issue of the Beano sets auction record

23 September 2015

Fans of Lord Snooty and his Pals, Big Eggo, Morgyn the Mighty and dear Contrary Mary were drawn to the Comic Book Auctions sale of September 13 by the appearance of a good copy of the very first issue of the Beano.

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The birth of British newspapers comes to auction

28 October 2013

Little did “the Reverend Dr Walter Blandford Warden of Wadham Colledge” of Oxford University realise that one day his name would have such significance in the world of newspapers.

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Documents of Cornish history

21 March 2013

For those with Cornish ancestors or a general interest in the area’s history, David Lay’s sale of Part I of the Pendarve archive on March 26 in Penzance may well be of interest.

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Hirschhorn collection provides major sale of modern first editions

16 November 2012

Modern firsts from the library of Clive Hirschhorn produced plenty of strong and many record prices at Bloomsbury Auctions but a number of significant works did not sell. As such, this was an important sale for illustrating the vagaries of the market.

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First Editions galore at Bloomsbury

18 October 2012

This first edition, first issue of ‘The Great Gatsby’ from 1922 is one of the star lots in a sale described by Bloomsbury Auctions as “one of the most important collections of modern first editions to come onto the market in the last ten years”.

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Dealer offers Byron’s own copy of Frankenstein

07 September 2012

London book dealer Peter Harrington is to offer for sale Lord Byron’s first edition presentation copy of ‘Frankenstein’ (1818), given to him and inscribed in her own hand by Mary Shelley.

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Jane Austen’s ring fetches £126,000

17 August 2012

“My dear Caroline, The enclosed Ring once belonged to your Aunt Jane. It was given to me by your Aunt Cassandra as soon as she knew that I was engaged to your Uncle. I bequeath it to you. God bless you.”

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Dust jacket helps Orwell reach record £86,000

29 March 2010

WHEN Aaron Dean was asked to catalogue a local collection of Modern Firsts at Gorringes' Lewes saleroom, he knew he was dealing with something special.

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Christmas Carol at the top of the tree

22 December 2009

A COPY of A Christmas Carol has now knocked Oliver Twist off the top of the tree to become the most expensive Dickens title ever sold at auction.

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Ulysses sold for £275,000 at Olympia

08 June 2009

THERE were notable sales in the first hour of the two fairs which opened at Olympia in West London last Thursday.

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Making a splash at £74,000

12 November 2007

THE first book on swimming printed in England was Everard Digby’s De arte natandi of 1587.

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The tale of how a man was turned into a dormouse

18 December 2006

JOHN Taylor was the Sawrey joiner and wheelwright, whose wife and stout, elderly daughter, Agnes Anne, kept the village shop immortalised by Beatrix Potter in Ginger and Pickles. But the first Taylor to appear in one of her books was his son, young John, who was the model for the terrier carpenter John Joiner in The Roly Poly Pudding.