January's list of most expensive sales includes a lot of classic authors - Joseph Conrad, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Faulkner and Anthony Trollope to name a few - as well as some more modern and obscure items. Topping the list was a 24-volume limited, numbered edition set of The Works of Joseph Conrad signed by the same.
We were delighted to note that our recent Cosway Bindings feature garnered some attention. The books are selling, and our number two spot for January went to the Cosway binding edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic tale of race and prejudice, Uncle Tom's Cabin. This edition was bound by the Chelsea Bindery and sold for $12,302.
One of the more modern entries on the list was a complete deluxe set of all seven Harry Potter novels which fetched $11,791. While the deluxe editions are not generally the most highly sought after in the world of collectible Harry Potter, this set was also inscribed by J.K. Rowling, sending the value much higher.
Other items of interest included a 1926, first edition copy of William Faulkner's first novel, a 32-part weekly serialized novel by Anthony Trollope, and a five-volume set of books documenting the planning and construction of a railway route that never came to be.
1. The Works by Joseph Conrad - $13,823
Published by Doubleday in 1920 over 24 volumes (including The Life and Letters of G Jean-Aubry) this Sun-dial Edition was limited to 735 copies, of which this was number 352 and signed by the author.
2. Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe - $12,302
Published in 1852 in two volumes in an edition of 5,000 copies, this particular edition was bound by the Chelsea Bindery in full red morocco leather with a Cosway style binding. It was showcased in AbeBooks’ feature about Cosway bindings in January.
3. Set of seven deluxe edition Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling - $11,791
Complete set of deluxe edition Harry Potter novels, signed by Rowling ‘To Hugh’.
4. Soldier’s Pay by William Faulkner - $8,500
Published in 1926, this copy was a first edition of Faulkner’s debut novel housed in a second edition dust jacket.
5. The Voyages and Travels of John Struys by John Struys - $8,424
The celebrated account of three journeys (1649-73) from Europe to Asia, includes early descriptions of the politics, customs, people, and cities found along the way as well as the many dangers the author faced while on journey. Published in 1684, first edition.
6. Big Game Hunting in the Rockies and on the Great Plains by Theodore Roosevelt - $8,125
Published by G.P. Putman in 1899 and limited to 1000 copies all signed by Roosevelt (this was #276), the book comprises two earlier books, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman and The Wilderness Hunter. This edition contains 55 illustrations by Remington, Frost, Beard and others.
7. He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope - $7,500
This novel was serialized in 32 weekly parts and published by Virtue & Company from October 17 1868 to May 22 1869.
8. Nippon gekijō shashinchō by Daidō Moriyama - $6,000
First edition, from 1968, of “Japan: a Photo Theatre,” the photo-essay detailing the darker sides of urban life and the less-seen parts of cities, signed by Moriyama.
9. An Embassy from The East-India Company Of The United Provinces by Jan Nieufoff - $5,000
Published in 1669, this is a document outlining the Dutch East India Company’s mission to secure trade relations with China at Canton.
10. The Story of the Cape to Cairo Railway and River Route, from 1887 to 1922 by Leo Weinthal - $4,654
Published from 1923-26 in five volumes, this set was meant to document the building of the rail route from Cape Town to Cairo - the brain child of Cecil Rhodes. However, the rail route never materialized.