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.

The Wealth of Nations

Auction of Staffordshire manor house contents unearths first edition copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations

24 September 2018

A first edition copy of Adam Smith’s 'The Wealth of Nations' has been unearthed during final preparations for the sale of the contents of a Staffordshire manor house.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry buys first edition Winnie the Pooh christening gift from book dealer

10 July 2018

Prince Harry has bought a first edition Winnie the Pooh from antiquarian book dealer Peter Harrington for his nephew Louis.


Postal worker delivers top sums

28 May 2018

Science fiction and fantasy were among the lifelong principal collecting interests of the late Stanley Simon, a postal worker from Queens. In a recent 19th and 20th century literature sale held in his home city of New York a number of his books brought record bids.


First edition of Karl Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’ available to the masses – for £100,000

26 April 2018

What would Karl Marx (1818-83) have made of the fact that Das Kapital, his foundational text on capitalism, is on the market for a six-figure price?

Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath’s personal copy of ‘The Bell Jar’ comes to auction at Bonhams

29 January 2018

A sketch, family books and other personal effects of poet Sylvia Plath are to be offered at auction this spring.


Pick of the Week: Orwell classic hammered down and out of saleroom at £46,000

02 January 2018

Complete with slightly frayed and browned but rarely seen jacket, a 1933 copy of George Orwell’s 'Down and Out in Paris and London' was bid to £46,000 by James Hall of Lucius Books in York at a Dominic Winter sale.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone first edition

First edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone inscribed by JK Rowling sets £85,000 auction record

23 November 2017

Probably best kept out of the hands of children unless, like the member of Bonhams' staff seen here, they are wearing white gloves, inscribed firsts of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone’ are getting seriously expensive.


The magic of a clean Harry Potter

25 September 2017

Harry Potter’s 20th birthday celebrations continue apace – with a new record for a standard copy of 'The Philosopher’s Stone'.


First English edition of 'Around the World in Eighty Days' tops Catherine Southon sale

25 September 2017

One of Jules Verne’s most popular tales, 'Around the World in Eighty Days', led the book section of a September 6 sale held by Catherine Southon (18% buyer’s premium).

HG Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’

First edition of HG Wells’ ‘The War of the Worlds’ doubles estimate at £11,000

28 July 2017

Martians land in Surrey and terrorise much of southern England in tripedal war-machines equipped with death-rays before finally succumbing to terrestrial bacteria. That, put very simply, is the story line of HG Wells’ 1898 novel, ‘The War of the Worlds’, an apocalyptic vision that retains an iconic place in the realms of science fiction.

Casino Royale first edition by Ian Fleming

James Bond’s big number comes up in Carlisle auction as ‘Casino Royale’ first edition takes £22,500

29 June 2017

The novel that introduced the world to James Bond, ‘Casino Royale’ of 1953, has long been a key target for collectors. Anyone who laid out 10/6d for a copy over 60 years ago and has kept good care of the book will have done themselves or their descendants proud.

Jock of the Bushveld by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick

The Likkle People’s copy of Jock of the Bushveld offered on online auction

30 May 2017

A signed copy of the South African classic, ‘Jock of the Bushveld’ by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, with an inscription describing it as “the first copy” of the book is being offered in an online sale ending this week.


Pick of the Week: First edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

10 April 2017

First editions of Jane Austen’s most popular book, Pride and Prejudice of 1813, in contemporary bindings don’t come along often. But one such prize – a copy with a rather distant but nonetheless attractive family link – appeared at Mellors & Kirk (20% buyer’s premium) in Nottingham on March 22-23.


And then there were two Brothers Karamazov

01 April 2017

“Very rare, most extant copies behind institutional walls,” said Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) of a first English language version of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.


Bidder goes wild about Wilde

25 March 2017

Elizabeth Barrett Browning lots fall flat... but annotated Dorian Gray leaves treble the estimate


Bonhams’ double 0 heaven

25 March 2017

A crease that runs around the lower part of the dust jacket detracts somewhat from the appeal of a first impression copy of the first of Ian Fleming’s Bond books, Casino Royale of 1953, but it sold for £16,000 in a March 1 sale held by Bonhams (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).

Adrian Greenwood

Book dealer’s murder linked to attempt to steal £50,000 first edition Wind in the Willows

04 October 2016

The murder of book dealer Adrian Greenwood was part of an attempt to steal a £50,000 first edition of the Wind in the Willows, a court has heard.

Don Quixote first english edition at Keys auction

The Man of La Mancha in Norfolk – first English edition of Don Quixote makes £25,000

09 August 2016

One of a great many books removed from a couple of terraced houses in Norwich for sale by Keys of Aylsham was an 1612 first English edition of the first part only of Don Quixote.

Reliquiae sacrae Carolinae

A prince among potboilers: 366-year-old book found in a box of 20th century paperbacks

08 August 2016

A 366-year-old book on the virtues of Charles I is to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers after it was discovered in a box among 20th-century paperbacks.

Carroll's first Alice... comes to auction

First edition recalled issue of Alice set to take top spot at Christie's

06 June 2016

With an estimate of $2-3m, a first printing of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) being offered by Christie's New York on June 16 is eagerly anticipated.