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Very earliest issue of Charles Dickens’ 'A Christmas Carol', $16,000 (£14,545) at Freeman's.

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Among them was an example of the very earliest issue offered as part of a November 12 sale held by Freeman’s (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) in Philadelphia.

In the original gilt and blind stamped brown cloth binding with two small stains on front board, this 1843 copy showed some soiling to John Leech’s frontispiece illustration of ‘Mr Fezziwig’s Ball’ and to the title-page, along with scattered minor spotting to text and plates. It nevertheless sold at $16,000 (£14,545).

Another first-issue copy sold for £8500 in a November 18, Forum sale of books from the Rugby School Library.

Many copies of this perennial best-seller have made a great deal more and three have brought six-figure bids. In October 2010, at Sotheby’s in London, a copy that Dickens inscribed for his great friend, the actor and stage manager William Macready, made a record £150,000.