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Early printed books in the mixed sale included a small group of Aldines, among them the 1502 editio princeps of the Tragoediae of Sophocles – the first Greek book issued in the small, portable Aldine format. Unfortunately, someone had added coloured drawings, mostly on the blanks and divisional titles, and coloured in a few of the initials. This, and the modern morocco binding, obviously held the price down, but the book nevertheless made rather more than the auctioneers had expected, at $15,000 (£10,345).

In a modern leather binding and lacking the title and nine other leaves, but still very rare, a 1578, fifth edition of Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, illustrated with 23 woodcuts, reached $12,000 (£8275)

Right, top: A group of 20 Ernest Hemingway lots in the Christie’s East general sale included a fine first edition copy of his first book, Three Stories & Ten Poems of 1923. Published in Paris by the Contact Publishing Co., it lacked the glassine outer wrapper with which it was first issued, but the greyish-blue main jacket was well preserved, with only slight fading to the spine and a small, closed tear at the head. It sold for $24,000 (£16,550). Sold at $8000 (£5515) was a first of In Our Times, one of 108 copies on handmade paper of the 1924 Three Mountains Press edition in the original but defective printed boards – partly perished at the spine, dull and with some rippling to the pastedowns – but seen right, below is a copy of the second, revised US edition of 1930, partly unopened in a bright jacket, which made $5500 (£3795).

Buyer’s premium: 17.5/10 per cent
Exchange Rate: £1 = $1.45