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First Edition

Book collectors seek out first editions as they represent the original form in which a book was originally published.

Signed and inscribed copies are even more desirable, and the ‘dedication copy’ – the copy which is inscribed to the person to whom the author dedicated the book – is more sought after still.


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Kipling first edition equals auction record thanks to author’s signature

13 July 2020

The gilt decorated blue cloth binding showed signs of age, but a copy of Rudyard Kipling’s 'Captains Courageous, A Story of the Grand Banks' offered in a Philadelphia sale bore the author’s signature on the title-page.

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JK Rowling's children's classic dumped in a skip, now £33,000

22 June 2020

Harry Potter first deemed too scruffy by a public library brings a spellbinding result

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First edition of Mary Shelley’s 'The Last Man' offered in dealer's latest catalogue

15 June 2020

A rare first edition of the first fully realised post-apocalyptic tale is on offer in Peter Harrington’s inaugural fantasy and science-fiction catalogue, 'In Other Worlds'.

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Wide-ranging PG Wodehouse collection in Philadelphia features both popular and less well-known works

26 May 2020

Diligently researched and documented by a local collector, the late William Toplis, a wide-ranging PG Wodehouse collection offered by Freeman’s of Philadelphia featured books, manuscripts, artwork and much more besides.

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Sylvia Plath’s 'The Bell Jar' sells for £3000 at Surrey auction

16 March 2020

A copy of Sylvia Plath’s 'The Bell Jar' in a well-preserved dust jacket sold for £3000 in a recent Surrey auction may have set a record for any uninscribed or association copy.

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Shakespeare’s First Folio comes to auction at Christie’s with $4-6m estimate

13 January 2020

William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, often referred to as the ‘First Folio’, is regarded as the greatest work of the English language.

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Hammett hammers at joint record price

09 December 2019

A fine-looking copy of the 1931, US first of The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett sold right on the low estimate at $60,000 (£46,875) at Christie’s New York (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium) to match a previous auction high.

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Eleven early Christmas Carols stored in a garage

02 December 2019

Although Charles Dickens is often credited with creating the ‘modern’ Christmas, some of the recognition should go to John Leech.

first quarto edition copy of ‘Macbeth: A Tragedy’

Charlton Heston’s 1673 copy of Macbeth returns to the market at Bonhams’ New York sale

27 November 2019

A 17th century copy of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ formerly owned by Charlton Heston (1923-2008) is reappearing at auction only three years after it sold from the actor’s collection.

Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ first edition

Hindman sets auction record for copy of Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’

08 November 2019

A record for a copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species came at Hindman’s sale of the library of a Midwestern collector in Chicago earlier this week.

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Harry Potter casts spell on bidders

04 November 2019

Code locked in a briefcase for two decades, a finely preserved, 1997 first issue of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was finally released this summer after being delivered by its Lancashire owners into the hands of a Derbyshire saleroom.

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First issue of James Joyce’s 'Ulysses' in Chicago sale

28 October 2019

Copy No 74 of the 100 signed, first issue copies of James Joyce’s 'Ulysses' is estimated at $120,000-180,000 in November 5 sale being held by Hindman of Chicago.

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Chelsea book fair previews – including Arthur Conan Doyle first edition

28 October 2019

The ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair is one of two major London events held annually by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association.

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Modern First Editions sale goes Greene

28 October 2019

A sale of Modern First Editions at Bloomsbury Auctions on November 14 includes this ‘near mint’ 1950 copy of Graham Greene’s 'The Third Man and The Fallen Idol'.

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The Bentley story at Transport Collector Auctions

28 October 2019

Estimated at £250-350 in a November 12 motoring and cycling sale being held by Transport Collector Auctions in conjunction with Lawrences, at the latter’s Crewkerne rooms, is a 1956 first of Darell Berthon’s Racing History of the Bentley.

Famed Manhattan collection yields second tempting selection of first editions in New York

14 October 2019

Graham Greene was a star turn when a second portion of the famed ‘Mystery Fiction’ collections and stock of Otto Penzler, proprietor of Manhattan’s ‘Mysterious Bookshop’, came to auction in New York on September 5.

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Choice first edition of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ carries high hopes at Hindman Auctions

16 September 2019

Hindman Auctions will be selling a Midwestern collector’s ensemble of rare books in an 85 lot auction in Chicago on November 5.

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Emmeline Pankhurst biography by her daughter sold at Forum Auctions

15 July 2019

For three years now Forum Auctions (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) has, in addition to its high-profile auctions, been holding fortnightly, online-only timed sales that in their diverse content, it feels, act as a useful bellwether for the book world at large.

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Shakespeare’s First Folio goes on display at London book fair

09 May 2019

A rare near-complete copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio is included in a loan display at Firsts: London’s Rare Book Fair.

Signed Oscar Wilde first edition of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' makes £19,700... but inscribed copies can make more

19 April 2019

Bid to £19,700 in a recent sale was one of 100 signed, large paper firsts of Oscar Wilde’s 'The Importance of Being Earnest' published by Leonard Smithers in 1899.