Casino Royale first edition

The first edition, first impression copy of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel Casino Royale, estimated £10,000-15,000 at Adam Partridge Southwest.

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Chris Surfleet of Adam Partridge Southwest in Devon, an auctioneer of 32 years standing, told ATG it was “the stuff of legend and the type of discovery that every auctioneer hopes to stumble upon”.  

The owner, a lady from Torquay, said she had bought it 10 years ago when visiting family in Yorkshire. Although unfamiliar with the title and not a collector of books, she had appreciated the pink hearts on the cover.  

Fast forward to earlier this year and the owner decided to have a clear out. Emptying a box which had remained unopened for years, she found her £1 purchase and entered the title into Google. Heart soon racing, she contacted the auction house for advice and later met with Surfleet who declared it a good, clean first edition that retained a first state dust jacket featuring only a few minor tears.

It is identifiable as one of the 4729 early impressions by the absence of a Times review. Similar editions of Casino Royale sold at Forum Auctions for £10,000 and £17,000 in July 2023 and September 2021 respectively, while back in 2017 a particularly fine copy made £22,500 at Thomson Roddick of Carlisle.

Only presentation copies signed or inscribed by Fleming have made more.

The vendor has entered the book for sale at Adam Partridge Southwest in Hele, Exeter on June 24.