In an 83-lot section at Potter & Potter (20% buyer’s premium) of Chicago devoted to Fleming’s books and associated material, a first-issue copy in dust jacket of the book that launched the literary career of James Bond, Casino Royale of 1953, sold at $19,000 (£15,200).
One of its author’s travel books, Thrilling Cities of 1963, made $5500 (£4400) – shown above.
The latter was signed and inscribed by Fleming, “Dave/To keep your mind/off your work!/Ian”, and given to an American friend that he had presumably met during his involvement with the intelligence services in the Second World War.
David Bruce at that time headed the European branch of the OSS, a forerunner of the CIA, but later, as a diplomat, served as the US Ambassador to France, Germany and, during much of the 1960s, the UK.
Also part of the sale was one of just a hundred copies of a handsome 1884, elephant folio edition of Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of the Rubáiyat of Omar Khayyám. Published by Houghton Miflin of Boston, it was illustrated in Art Nouveau style and signed by Elihu Vedder, who also designed the fine binding by the Riverside Press. It sold at $5500 (£4400).