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.

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.

Oliver Twist at Cuttlestones

Books with a twist – Charles Dickens first editions emerge in Wolverhampton

29 April 2016

Interesting oddities that were ironed out in subsequent editions bump up demand when it comes to book collecting. A good example of this is coming up at Wolverhampton auction house Cuttlestones on May 6.

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First issue of the Beano sets auction record

23 September 2015

Fans of Lord Snooty and his Pals, Big Eggo, Morgyn the Mighty and dear Contrary Mary were drawn to the Comic Book Auctions sale of September 13 by the appearance of a good copy of the very first issue of the Beano.

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The birth of British newspapers comes to auction

28 October 2013

Little did “the Reverend Dr Walter Blandford Warden of Wadham Colledge” of Oxford University realise that one day his name would have such significance in the world of newspapers.

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Documents of Cornish history

21 March 2013

For those with Cornish ancestors or a general interest in the area’s history, David Lay’s sale of Part I of the Pendarve archive on March 26 in Penzance may well be of interest.


Hirschhorn collection provides major sale of modern first editions

16 November 2012

Modern firsts from the library of Clive Hirschhorn produced plenty of strong and many record prices at Bloomsbury Auctions but a number of significant works did not sell. As such, this was an important sale for illustrating the vagaries of the market.


First Editions galore at Bloomsbury

18 October 2012

This first edition, first issue of ‘The Great Gatsby’ from 1922 is one of the star lots in a sale described by Bloomsbury Auctions as “one of the most important collections of modern first editions to come onto the market in the last ten years”.


Dealer offers Byron’s own copy of Frankenstein

07 September 2012

London book dealer Peter Harrington is to offer for sale Lord Byron’s first edition presentation copy of ‘Frankenstein’ (1818), given to him and inscribed in her own hand by Mary Shelley.


Jane Austen’s ring fetches £126,000

17 August 2012

“My dear Caroline, The enclosed Ring once belonged to your Aunt Jane. It was given to me by your Aunt Cassandra as soon as she knew that I was engaged to your Uncle. I bequeath it to you. God bless you.”


Dust jacket helps Orwell reach record £86,000

29 March 2010

WHEN Aaron Dean was asked to catalogue a local collection of Modern Firsts at Gorringes' Lewes saleroom, he knew he was dealing with something special.


Christmas Carol at the top of the tree

22 December 2009

A COPY of A Christmas Carol has now knocked Oliver Twist off the top of the tree to become the most expensive Dickens title ever sold at auction.


Ulysses sold for £275,000 at Olympia

08 June 2009

THERE were notable sales in the first hour of the two fairs which opened at Olympia in West London last Thursday.


Making a splash at £74,000

12 November 2007

THE first book on swimming printed in England was Everard Digby’s De arte natandi of 1587.


The tale of how a man was turned into a dormouse

18 December 2006

JOHN Taylor was the Sawrey joiner and wheelwright, whose wife and stout, elderly daughter, Agnes Anne, kept the village shop immortalised by Beatrix Potter in Ginger and Pickles. But the first Taylor to appear in one of her books was his son, young John, who was the model for the terrier carpenter John Joiner in The Roly Poly Pudding.

The Critique of Pure Reason

06 May 2005

IN contemporary brown calf and buff coloured boards, a good, unsophisticated copy of the 1781, Riga first edition of Immanuel Kant’s Critik der reinen Vernunft was sold for $8500 (£4505) in a March 28 sale held by Baltimore Book Auctions.


Latin verses by and for the scholarly bibliophile ...

28 April 2005

LAST week’s ATG included a short piece on a 1566 poem by Patrick Adamson, giving thanks for the birth of a son to Mary Queen of Scots, that made £3100 in a Dominic Winter sale of April 6.


Concerning Homer, Lawrence, a clumsy camel and broken pens

24 March 2005

ILLUSTRATED top right is William Hole’s engraved title page for The Iliads from a copy of George Chapman’s first English translation of The Iliads of Homer, Prince of Poets and The Odysses.


Biggles at Bloomsbury

08 March 2005

by Ian McKayLAST summer, when a large Biggles collection was put up for sale in Swindon, results were a little disappointing – at least for some of those titles offered individually, where some reserves proved too strong for collectors and trade alike – and around half of the 100 lots were bought in – but W.E. Johns’ famous creation certainly does not lack admirers and in a Bloomsbury Auctions sale of February, a much smaller group of Biggles books, mostly from one source, brought good prices.

Macclesfield Psalter saved with £1.7m

31 January 2005

The £1.7m price tag needed to keep the Macclesfield Psalter in the UK has been found.

All Quiet on the Western Front, but still room for improvement

18 January 2005

ERICH Maria Remarque’s corrected galley proofs for the 1929, first bookform edition of Im Westen nichts Neues [All Quiet on the Western Front] brought a collector’s bid of £26,000 at Sotheby’s on November 30.