One such was an 1817 copy in original boards of Maria Edgworth’s Comic Dramas that sold for $2750 (£2100). The binding, though rather battered, was the original one of boards with a paper label and it bore on the front pastedown the armorial bookplate of the 2nd Marquis of Stafford, one of the country’s richest men at the time, known as the ‘Leviathan of Wealth’.
The real attraction, however, was the owner’s signature at the head of the half title: ‘P.B.Shelley’.
An Edgar Rice Burroughs section of the sale ran to over 40 lots, the more successful items including 1920 firsts in dust jackets of Tarzan the Untamed and the copy of Thuvia, Maid of the Mars shown above which sold at $2250 (£1720) and $2000 (£1525) respectively.
The former, which at 428pp was the longest hardback novel this prolific writer ever produced, features Tarzan taking on the Germans in Africa during the First World War.
The Martian novel has Cathoris, son of John Carter, hero of ERB’s ‘Barsoom’ stories, battle with green men and phantom bowmen to rescue the royal Martian maiden depicted on the jacket.
The Daryl Litchfield collection of Arkham House & HP Lovecraft material ran to 100 lots.
Sold at $7500 (£5725) was a copy of Lovecraft’s first book of fiction, The Shunned House. It was originally published in 1928 by the Recluse Press in an edition of 300 copies, but this example was one of 100 copies of (black cloth) bound sheets distributed by Arkham House in 1961. A complete set of the eight unbound gatherings of the original edition sold at $7000 (£5345).
The first of Lovecraft’s posthumously published works, and the first book issued by Arkham House, was The Outsider and Others of 1939. The copy that featured on the sale catalogue cover and is shown above was sold at what may be a record $3500 (£2670).
Valued at up to $12,000 but sold at a more modest $5000 (£3815) was a 1962 first of Madeleine l’Engle’s multi-award winning A Wrinkle in Time, the first of her series of novels for children featuring the Murry and O’Keefe families.
A Disney film version is scheduled for release in 2018.