The combination of the Works of Charles Dickens and a signed letter from the great man himself makes AbeBooks’ most expensive sale from November 2009 into something very special indeed. Just behind Mr Dickens is F Scott Fitzgerald and a 1934 first edition of Tender is the Night, which sold for $11,000.
And now for something completely different – Sumo by Helmut Newton is a massive photography book packed with incredibly tall fashion models wearing not a great deal. Somebody’s coffee table will be showcasing that $10,867 book over Christmas. Learn more about titles like Sumo from our collectible photography books feature.
Elsewhere on the list, there are the Complete Works of Winston Churchill, a first edition of Alice in Wonderland and a couple of legendary science fiction writers – Philip K Dick and Isaac Asimov – plus books on magnetism, Spanish art and a medical dictionary from 1564.
1. Works of Charles Dickens and a Signed Letter - $12,500
Complete set, 22 volumes, of Dickens′ works published by Chapman and Hall. The set included a note from Dickens on his Tavistock House note paper dated Nov. 10, 1859 - "To Peter Cunningham. This set of my library edition, in remembrance of an old engagement between us. Charles Dickens."
2. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald - $11,000
First edition of this American classic published by Charles Scribner in 1934.
3. Sumo by Helmut Newton - $10,867
Limited edition of 10,000 and this copy is signed by the German-born fashion photographer. This massive photography book measures 20 x 28 inches, and is accompanied by an embossed stand, designed by Philippe Starck.
4. The Collected Works of Sir Winston Churchill - $10,000
Published by the Library of Imperial History, London, to mark the centenary of his birth on November 30, 1874. This collection is issued as a limited edition and contains all 50 of Churchill's published titles in 34 volumes. Limited to 3,000 sets worldwide.
5. Alice′s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - $9,500
First edition copy from 1866 published by D. Appleton and Co.
6. The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov - $9,042
Complete set of first editions. Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation published by Gnome Press in 1951, ′52, and ′53 respectively. The second volume is inscribed by Asimov to one of his publishers.
7. Philosophia Magnetica by Niccolo Cabeo - $8,880
First edition published in 1629 describes Cabeo′s work with the Earth′s magnetism and electrical repulsion
8. Espana Artistica y Monumental, Vistas y Discripcion De Los Sitios y Monumentos Mas Notables De Espana by Genaro Perez Vila Amil - $7,500
Volume I and III of this set which depict the artistic and monumental sites of Spain. Written by Genaro Perez Villa Amil (1807-1854) who was one of the finest landscape artists of Spanish Romanticism. First editions published 1842 and 1850 respectively.
9. Definitionum Medicarum Libri XXIIII by Jean de Gorris - $7,498
Published in 1564, this dictionary arranges in order of the Greek alphabet all Greek medical terms and carefully explains them in Latin. It was widely used and exerted much influence on modern medical terminology.
10. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick - $6,500
First edition of this iconic science fiction novel used as the basis for Ridley Scott′s Bladerunner movie. Published by Doubleday in 1968.