An 1898 copy of Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol – estimate $7000-10,000 at Potter & Potter.

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It was published in London by Leonard Smithers in 1898. This limited edition copy, number 16 of 99, is signed by Wilde, and estimated at estimated at $7000-10,000.

The book was published anonymously, using the name C.3.3., Wilde’s number at Reading prison where he was jailed after being convicted of homosexual offences in 1895. He was fearful of the negative associations with his name, but word leaked about the identity of this work and the book immediately became a commercial success and one of his most recognised works.

Also on offer among selections of letters, documents, and other literature-themed ephemera is a letter signed by James Joyce (1882-1941) to Madame Yasushi Tanaka (Louise Gebhard Cann), guided at $10,000-15,000.

The one-page note is dated November 29, 1920, and is Joyce’s response to a request from Cann – a prominent writer and art critic in early 20th century France – that she be sent materials for an article. He directs her to an acquaintance who will have more, adding at the end: “…I am sure he will let you have the copy of The Egoist (15 January 1913) which I lent him some time ago. It contains the whole story of The Dubliners. Sincerely yours, James Joyce.”