Maggs Bros kicked off Firsts by parting with a copy of James Joyce’s Dubliners that was ticketed at £200,000.
The fair ran from September 15-18 including its preview day at Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea. The theme of the event was banned books, making the 1914 volume of short stories, which took nine years to publish, a fitting highlight.
Starting in 1905 the author submitted the book 18 times to 15 publishers. When it eventually landed with London house Grant Richards, they initially refused to set one of the stories.
As Joyce pursued other options, the book was repeatedly rejected and the pages even burned by a printing company. It was f inally released by Grant Richards.
The copy at Maggs was a first edition, still with its dust jacket. It went to an existing client on the opening night. Only three other comparable copies are known to have come on the open market before.
Meanwhile, Tribal Art London ran from September 15-17 (with an opening on the 14th) at the Mall Galleries in St James’s.
Ian Shaw, one of the TAL exhibitors, made his stand costs back early in the fair. He sold a 19th century Togolese Ewe ceremonial robe, 10ft x 5ft 7in (3.05 x 1.7m), which would have been worn by an elder, to the British Museum for a fourfigure sum.
TAL was scheduled to run until the 18th. However, due to its proximity to the state funeral proceedings it closed a day early.