Bid to £3400 against a much more modest estimate at Laidlaw (18.5% buyer’s premium) on March 24, it was an advance copy and retained a publisher’s compliments slip.
However, more significant was the fact that it also bore the bookplate of Aileen Pippett, along with a typewritten and signed letter of c.1955 on her headed stationery, addressed to “My Dear Lord Berwick”.
Pippett, a British-born journalist, literary critic and biographer who was later resident in the US, had in 1953 produced The Moth and the Star, the first full-length biography of Virginia Woolf.
Gone with the estimate
One other lot in the sale that had been expected to make at least £3000 did just that, but no more.
This was a much more famous work, a 1936, first issue copy in an unclipped dust jacket of Macmillan’s New York edition of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind that came in a bespoke, gilt tooled calf and cloth double slipcase.