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A signed 1951 first of Frank Herbert’s SF classic, Dune – sold by Heritage for $12,000 (£8635).

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In a late 19th century binding of olive green morocco, it made $36,000 (£25,900).

Auction greats

The somewhat poignantly inscribed copy of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby sold for $130,000 (£93,525) and featured in last week’s issue (ATG No 2334) was the literary highlight of that March 7 sale, but several other more modern Seacrest lots produced notable results.

A near fine and signed, 1936 first of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind sold well at $17,000 (£12,230) and an inscribed and dust jacketed presentation copy of the 1951 first edition (10th printing) of JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye made $22,000 (£15,825).

In the original green Olympia Press wrappers, now somewhat discoloured and creased, a 1955 first issue of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, signed and dated two years later by the author, was yet another Seacrest lot. It sold for $26,000 (£18,705), but other inscribed copies have made much more.

From a different source came a signed, 1951 first in a well-preserved jacket of Frank Herbert’s Sci-Fi classic, Dune, at what must be a record $12,000 (£8635).

Nietzsche niche

In other fields, an inscribed 1874 first of the second of Nietzsche’s four published Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen, or ‘Untimely Meditations’, was sold at $18,000 (£12,950).

A record was set for an exceptional copy of a book that is seldom seen in UK auctions but has enjoyed a great many successes in US salerooms.

This was Bill Wilson’s famous ‘Big Red Book’, Alcoholics Anonymous of 1939, and here a worn, soiled and repaired copy inscribed by both Wilson and Clarence Snyder, the subject of the chapter entitled ‘Home Brewmeister’, made $24,000 (£17,265).

Each of the ‘Personal Stories’ contributors is identified by name and city on the contents pages of this record-breaking copy.