AbeBooks has issued their list of the most expensive sales on their website for the third quarter of 2022, July through September. The visual plays an increasing role this time. As AbeBooks explains, “Our list is dominated by fine art in various forms and includes an illustrated book of poetry, a portfolio of surreal lithographs, a new luxury book showcasing iconic Renaissance art, and a complete set of influential French art magazines.” Ever since television came along and won over hearts from radio, this has been becoming a more visual world. Here is AbeBooks list of the Top 15 prices from the third quarter.
15. Alcoholics Anonymous by Bill W. (Wilson), aka the “Big Book.” Anonymously written and first published in 1939 (this is a first edition), it has helped to save countless lives ever since. $11,500.
14. Spherical Trigonometry by Murray J. Leventhal & Charles Salkind, published in 1943. If you can understand this book you are smarter than I. Signed by famous British code breaker Alan Turing. $11,600.
12 (tie). A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, an 1843 first edition. Scrooge never would have paid this much. $12,000.
12 (tie). A typed and signed letter from Virginia Woolf, dated November 6, 1932. Addressed to essayist and critic Logan Pearsall Smith. Evidently about strained relations in Chelsea, everyone laughing behind each other's back. $12,000.
11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Published in 1997, this is a first edition, fourth printing of the first Harry Potter book.
10. Coronation Gospels of the Holy Roman Empire, facsimile published in 2012. The original was created around the year 800 at the behest of Charlemagne, the empire's first emperor. Not surprisingly, it is a beautiful work of art. $15,200.
9. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, an 1873 first edition of a long journey underwater. $17,500.
8. Verve Magazine, a complete set of 38 issues from 1937-1960 of this French art periodical. $19,900.
7. A Journey to the Center of the Earth, a first American edition from 1874. This time, Jules Verne went deep into the earth rather than the sea. It included a laid-in Verne signature. $20,000.
6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, a 1968 first American edition. It included a letter by Dick. Do they? $21,275.
5. The Sistine Chapel by Vatican Museums, a three-volume elephant folio book (75 lbs. in weight) published in 2020. Compiled from 270,000 photographs it reproduces the images of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. $22,000.
4. The Dark Tower by Stephen King, first editions of all nine books in the series, all signed by King, published 1985-2012. $24,000.
2 (tie). Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, a 1936 first edition signed by the author. I wish I was in Dixie. $25,000.
2 (tie). Les Vitraux by Salvador Dalí published in 1973. A folio of 24 loose colored lithographs by the surrealist artist, including the melting clock from his Persistence of Memory. $25,000.
1. Cantique des Cantiques de Salomon (Song of Songs) published in 1931. The French edition of the Cranach Press masterpiece, featuring the wood engravings of Eric Gill. Only eight copies were created in French. $35,000.