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Bound in full but now rubbed and rebacked contemporary calf and sold at $100,000 (£76,925) by Swann Galleries (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on July 30, it was it seems a pre-publication gift from the author that once contained a “…handsome compliment in Mr Smith’s writing which was cut out by a stupid French bookbinder & could not be found, he having destroyed it as sullied paper”.

It had been given by Smith to William Alexander, a well-connected Edinburgh banker who is said to have made notable and numerous contributions to the work.

A friend to many other distinguished figures in Scotland, England and France, among them Benjamin Franklin, Alexander emigrated to America in 1783, where he planned to enter the tobacco trade.

Signed by Walt

A very different lot sold well at $18,000 (£13,845) was a 1938 UK first of a Sketch Book presenting a dozen tipped-in colour plates from the Disney version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Externally it was showing its age a little, but it was signed and dated by Walt and bore the number 4 in his hand on the front flap of the jacket.

It was one of five special presentation copies, two of which are known to have gone to the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, but who the lucky recipient of No 4 might have been remains a mystery. It was last seen at Phillips in London in 1998, when it made £3600.


Signed just days after the 1928 première of 'An American in Paris', and inscribed with a musical quotation from that work, a photograph of composer George Gershwin was sold for $8000 (£6155) at Swann in New York.