The 1956 first of 'The Hundred and One Dalmatians' sold for £3600 by Stride & Son.

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They formed part of the estate of the late writer and publisher, Jon Wynne Tyson, founder of the Centaur Press.

Sold at a record £3600 via at the auction on July 30 was a 1956 first of The Hundred and One Dalmatians, inscribed “To Jon, with love from Dodie…”, while bid online to that same sum, again a record, was a lot presenting a similarly inscribed copy of the 1948, first US edition of I Capture the Castle.

The latter was lotted with a second copy of that first edition inscribed for Esmé Wynne Tyson, Jon’s mother.

Another of Esmé’s books was an inscribed 1967 first of Dodie Smith’s The Starlight Barking that realised £1350 – once again a record sum.

Esmé had initially pursued a career as an actress and became a close friend, confidante, and collaborator with Noël Coward, but in 1920 she gave up the stage.

Thereafter she produced a series of novels but also developed a growing interest in religious and moral matters that led her into non-fiction and journalism, sometimes in partnership with the writer JD Beresford, with whom she developed a close relationship.

A two-shelf lot of some 60 or so books by or associated with Beresford, that sold for £3000 was headed by a copy of his 1921 novel Revolution…, inscribed “to Dorothy” but bearing pencil annotations by Esmé.

Also bid to £3000 was a presentation first of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, inscribed in 1945 by Beresford for Esmé and possiby a review copy.

Earlier high spots in the Chichester sale included an 1838 first of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s The Seraphim and other Poems… that bore the half-title inscription “with the kindest remembrances, E.B.B”. It sold at £750.

The property also included a good collection of literary correspondence relating to both Esmé and Jon’s literary circles.


Sold for £1250 in Chichester were copies in original wrappers of the first two issues of Wyndham Lewis’ vorticist journal, 'Blast'. Illustrated here is No 2, published in July 1915.