Casino Royale Results L&T

A fine presentation first edition of Casino Royale, with the first-issue dust jacket inscribed by the author, sold at Lyon & Turnbull’s Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs sale in Edinburgh on June 19 for £31,000 hammer.


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Chris Surfleet of Adam Partridge Southwest in Devon, an auctioneer of 32 years' standing, told ATG it was “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 a few minor tears.

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.

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.

Estimated at £10,000-15,000, the vendor entered the book for sale at Adam Partridge Southwest in Hele, Exeter, on June 24. There was plenty of pre-sale interest, and on the day it realised £10,000 hammer (plus 25% buyer's premium), won by a UK buyer on the phone who specialised in collecting Ian Fleming rare editions.

As the auctioneer told ATG, the condition of the dust jacket probably prevented it making any more.

First edition of Casino Royale

In comparison, a fine presentation first edition of Casino Royale, complete with the first-issue dust jacket inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper To I. S. M., who’s staunch keeping of the night watches freed the author for this extra-mural opus, Ian Fleming, April 1953 was offered for sale at Lyon & Turnbull’s Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs sale in Edinburgh on June 19.

In good condition, this hammered down for £31,000 (guide £30,000-50,000).

It was inscribed by Fleming in the month of publication to Ion Smeaton Munro (1883-1970), his night editor at Kemsley Newspapers (owner of the Sunday Times) and a soldier-adventurer much in the mould of Bond himself.

Fleming joined Kemsley Newspapers as foreign manager after demobilisation in 1945 with responsibility for managing the group's worldwide network of correspondents, negotiating a generous contract which allowed him three months' holiday a year, which he spent at his Jamaican retreat, Goldeneye, affording him the scope to develop his writing career.