Interesting books sales of 2016

My picks of interesting sales in the book world from 2016. This information is via Abe Books and Fine Books Magazine and are credited as such:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll- £28,400

Only 22 copies of the true first edition are in existence after Lewis Carroll withdrew the entire print run of 2,000 copies. One such copy came up for auction earlier in 2016 and was expected to sell for between £1.6 million and £2.4 million, but it failed to meet its reserve and didn’t sell. This copy that sold via AbeBooks was one of the first thousand copies printed for the American market. The publisher is Appleton of New York and the publication date is 1866.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Original drawing of Sam I Am carrying Green Eggs and Ham
by Dr. Seuss – £14,085
A rare original drawing of Seuss’ iconic character Sam I Am in black felt tip on wove paper, signed by Dr. Seuss.

Original drawing by Dr. Seuss of Sam I Am carrying Green Eggs and Ham

A Set of F Scott Fitzgerald first editions
First editions of Flappers and Philosophers, The Beautiful and Damned, Tales Of The Jazz Age, The Great Gatsby, All The Sad Young Men, and Tender Is The Night – all with facsimile dust jackets. The set also included a number of works about the author and his wife Zelda.

Winnie the Pooh
by A.A. Milne – £9,360
The story of the world’s favourite bear, signed by Milne on a bookplate stating the author’s address. The opposite page is inscribed by the book’s illustrator Ernest H. Shepard. A fine first edition from 1926.

Malleus Maleficarum
by Jakob Sprenger & Heinrich Kramer – £6,955
The infamous ‘Hammer of the Witches.’ A guide to identifying, questioning, torturing and killing witches that sparked witch-hunts across Europe. In two volumes, this edition was published in 1588. The original editions from 1486 are much more expensive.

Rowling’s Unique “Beedle” Manuscript Sells for $467,317

One of only seven copies of J. K. Rowling’s handwritten and illustrated manuscripts of The Tales of Beedle the Bard sold at Sotheby’s on December 13. 2016 for £368,750 ($467,317) to an anonymous phone bidder. This copy had been personally inscribed for British publisher Barry Cunningham, who made publishing history by accepting the first Harry Potter for publication twenty years ago. Rowling wrote and illustrated six manuscripts in celebration of completing her series in 2007 to present as gifts to those intimiately involved in its creation; a seventh copy was made for an auction to benefit the children’s charity, Lumos.

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At Auction: Printing Plates from Rare First Edition of “Alice in Wonderland”

Forty-nine original printing blocks for the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (London: R. Clay, Son, and Taylor for Macmillan and Co., 1865), and for the first edition of Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice found there (London: R. Clay, Son, and Taylor for Macmillan and Co., 1871). Image courtesy of Christie’s.

John Tenniel judged the images produced from electrotype printing plates of his illustrations for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to be so poorly rendered that he convinced the book’s author, Lewis Carroll, to recall entire first edition. Carroll’s diary entry for July 20, 1865 states as much: “Called on [publisher] Macmillan, and showed him Tenniel’s letter about the fairy-tale — he is entirely dissatisfied with the printing of the pictures, and I suppose we shall have to do it all again.” (R.L. Green, ed., The Diaries (London: 1953), p.234). As a result, only twenty copies of that first edition are known to remain in existence, making it something of a black tulip among collectors. Now, the original printing blocks are heading to auction on December 1 at Christie’s London with pre-sale estimates of $43,000-56,000.



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