Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2016 Issue

AbeBooks Top 10 Highest Prices for the Summer of 2016

5fdad0a1-4c05-40bc-aed0-8d122532c444

The British Gazette.

AbeBooks has released the top 10 most expensive prices paid on their listing site for the three months ending in September. AbeBooks has been selling many related ephemeral items at the top of late, but this period was solidly back in the camp of traditional books. Nine of the top 10 were books, though it should be mentioned that two of those books were notable more for their art than their text. The remainder reminded us that the great authors of the past two centuries are still highly collectible in the 21st. As AbeBooks described the list, it features "two Alices, two Waughs, and two Brontës." Here is the top 10.

 

10. Sports et Divertissements (1914), by Erik Satie. Satie was various things, but primarily a composer and pianist. This work is actually a cooperative effort with French artist Charles Martin, a collector's album featuring Satie's compositions and Martin's Art Deco illustrations. $8,826.

 

9. Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey (1850), by "Ellis and Acton Bell" (actually Emily and Anne Brontë, respectively). This is a second edition of these two volumes combined, including some poems by the two sisters not previously published and a "Biographical Notice" by "Currer Bell" (actually third sister Charlotte). By this time, only Charlotte was still living. $9,029.

 

8. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1969), by Lewis Carroll (another fake name, he was actually Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). As to why such a later edition is on a top 10 list, the answer is the illustrations. It includes 12 surrealist drawings (appropriate enough for Alice) from Salvador Dali in this limited edition. $9,500.

 

7. Brideshead Revisited (1945), by Evelyn Waugh. This is a first U.S. edition, inscribed by Waugh to his agent's wife. $9,719.

 

6. Great Books of the Western World (1970). The Franklin Press' 25th anniversary edition, containing 96 volumes, from Plato to Darwin. $9,775.

 

5. The British Gazette (1926), issues 1-8, a full run. This short-lived newspaper was published by the government during the General Strike of 1926. Among those to walk out were printers. It was edited by Winston Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and it is signed by Churchill, Stanley Baldwin, and J.C.C. Davidson. It was accompanied by Churchill's handwritten notice to the Press that the strike had ended. $9,825.

 

4. 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, (1921-1934) by F. Scott Fitzgerald, in facsimile dust jackets. The lot included some works about Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda. $15,096.

 

3. To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), by Harper Lee. We can now say this was Harper Lee's first book, not her only book. $16,000.

 

2. A Handful of Dust (1934), by Evelyn Waugh. This book is also inscribed by Waugh, to "Bertie & Diane." $16,450.

 

1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1866), by Lewis Carroll. This copy doesn't have Dali's illustrations, but it does have precedence. The first edition was withdrawn because of poor quality, only 22 copies known to survive. However, the poorly printed pages were shipped off to America to be sold to the rabble. This is therefore not only the first American edition, but technically the second issue of the overall first edition. $36,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.
  • <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> George Washington ADS, One of the Earliest in His Hand, A Survey from 1752, the Same Year He Inherited Mount Vernon.
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Rare JFK Signed Check & Transmittal Letter During Campaign for 1956 VP Nomination, Both BAS Slabbed; Possibly A Unique Combo!
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Daniel Boone Signed Receipt as VA Delegate; During His 1st of 3 Terms, Boone Was Kidnapped by British Forces Gunning for Gov. T. Jefferson & Other Legislators.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Benjamin Franklin Signed Receipt for “Pennsylvania Gazette,” Important & Beautifully Displayed
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Lincoln & His Civil War Cabinet: 8 Signatures, Beautifully Presented!
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> G.A. Custer ALS from Fort Lincoln, Dakota Territory to Capt. Yates, Who Also Died at Little Bighorn, Re: Acquiring “good horses” from Kentucky for 7th Cavalry.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Jefferson Davis ALS: “the negroes are humble and generally inclined to cling to their masters…neither crop or stock could be protected from their thieving” – Incredible!
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Lee Harvey Oswald Signed Letter: “if we finally get back to the states…maybe we’ll…settle in Texas,” Warren Commission Exhibit.
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Babe Ruth First Edition Biography Signed Just Months Before His Death, Excellent Signature!
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> “B Arnold” ANS on Pre-Revolutionary War Promissory Note Dating From His Days as a New Haven Merchant
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Bob Dylan Signed LP “Blonde on Blonde” with Jeff Rosen COA.
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Marilyn Monroe & Joe DiMaggio Signed Checks, Handsomely Displayed.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions