Offered in a recent Scottish sale was a 1938 first edition of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, one that sports the familiar red, black and yellow colours of the trademark, typographic-only jackets once favoured by the publisher, Gollancz.
Described as a copy without any major flaws, it was said to show some edge wear, mostly along the top, and to have the spine of the unclipped jacket sunned and bearing some minor marks. A small knock at the bottom of the front cover was also noted but the binding was said to be otherwise tight and the contents essentially clean and clear.
In a May 4 sale held by Taylors (25% buyer’s premium) in Montrose, Angus, it realised £4200 against an estimate of £300-500.
Also part of that auction was a copy of a much less familiar work, and one for which I have so far been unable to find anything more than what is revealed by the title-page.
It tells of the despicable behaviour of a so-called ‘Young Gentleman’ who seduced and ruined a young lady but then declined to marry her – which shameful behaviour “…was the utter Destruction of them both”.
A copy of The Misfortunate Fair, or; Unhappy Lovely Maid, and the Deceiver Punished, it came with a condition report that read: “Leather rubbed, bookplate partially removed, original back paper cover lost, ex ownership inscription to final page, light browning/foxing/staining, page corners and edges folded and sometimes a little frayed.”
But it was still sold at £800 against an estimate of £20-30.