Where there are books, there are usually bookends. Holding together last month's list of bumper sales are a pair of bronze Scottie dog bookends sculpted by animal artist Marguerite Kirmse (1885-1954). The dogs went for a whopping $6,000, making these bookends the most expensive ever sold on AbeBooks. In the picture to the left, one Scottie (right) is signed by Kirmse who was best known for her dog etchings. The English born artist left London for the United States as a young woman, where she contributed drawings and etchings to magazines and books, including Eric Knight's classic children's story, Lassie Come Home. Her prints and illustrated books are very collectible today.
Topping the list is a rare first edition of Das Kapital, followed by two limited fascimile editions of religious texts, Stephen King and Isaac Asimov signed firsts, and a collection of Jane Austen first editions. The beloved Rupert the Bear also makes an appearance in last month's top 10, with the sale of the very first Rupert Annual published by the Daily Express in 1936. Fans of great shipwreck tales will be pleased to see Morgan Robertson's Futility on the list. Also known as The Wreck of the Titan, Futility is known for its uncanny resemblence to the real-life Titanic wreck that happened 14 years after the fictional novella's publication.
1. Das Kapital by Karl Marx - $40,000
Published in 1867 by Otto Meissner with German text, this copy of Das Kapital was the only one published in Marx’s lifetime (he died in 1883). The book is housed in a slipcover with cloth wrapping.
2. Lindisfarne Gospels - $8,627
A limited facsimile edition of four Celtic gospels from the Middle Ages, featuring Celtic art and bound in white leather.
3. Rupert Annual by Alfred Bestall - $8,494
A copy of the first Rupert the Bear Annual published by the Daily Express newspaper in 1936.
=4. Carrie by Stephen King - $7,500
A signed first edition of Stephen King's debut novel, first published in 1974.
=4. The Novels of Jane Austen - $7,500
A rare first American printing of Austen's collected novels published in 1838. The two volumes include Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey.
=4. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov - $7,500
A signed first edition of Asimov's futuristic short story collection, published in 1950.
7. Futility by Morgan Robertson - $7,200
This rare first edition of Futility, or, The Wreck of the Titan as it is otherwise known, was printed by M.F. Mansfield in 1898, 14 years before the sinking of the Titanic. Futility is the fictional story of a ship, The Titan, that sinks when it hits an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. Over 2000 of The Titan's passengers died when there were not enough lifeboats to save them all.
8. Belles Heurs of Jean Duke of Berry - $6,775
This limited fascimile edition of Belles Heurs of Jean Duke of Berry was published in 2002. The original book of hours was illuminated by the Limburg brothers and dates back to the 1400s.
9. Tschachtlans Bilderchronik by Bendicht Tschachtlan - $6,500
An 1986 facsimile edition of Tscachtlans Illustrated Chronicle from the 15th century, the oldest of Swiss chronicles.
10. Scottie Dog Bookends - $6,000
Rare bronze bookends sculpted and signed by artist Marguerite Kirmse (1885-1954). Kirmse was best known for her dog etchings, in particular, her illustrations in Eric Knight's classic story, Lassie. She did some sculpting in the 1920s and 1930s.