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What big spenders are buying

With a bit of luck, you might have completed your Christmas shopping or perhaps you have it all to do. The money-is-not-object crowd have been busy picking up unique gifts on AbeBooks.com for bookloving friends and family – here’s some of the highlights from the past two weeks.

Top 10 most expensive sales on AbeBooks.com Nov 23-Dec 9

  1. Two Stories by Salman Rushdie – $7,031
    ‘The Prophet’s Hair’ and ‘The Free Radio’ combined into one book and printed in 1991, this is No. 4 of only 12 books privately printed. Bound in full leather and signed
  2. Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne – $5,500
    A first edition from 1926 of this legendary children’s book
  3. A Guide to Modern Cookery by Escoffier – $5,124
    One of the world’s great cookbooks, a 1907 first edition signed by the author and inscribed to Sarah Morgan, who worked at the Cavendish Hotel in London
  4. Thelema by Aleister Crowley – $4,655
    Witchcraft for Christmas? Perhaps. A first edition of a privately printed book from around 1909 containing The Book of Law – Crowley’s essential work
  5. David Thompson’s Narrative of His Explorations in Western America 1784-1812 – $4,250
    One of North America’s great geographers, Thompson mapped more than 3.9 million square kilometers. Published in 1916 – one of just 550 copies.
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling – $3,600
    More witchcraft for Christmas? It’s only Harry. One of 1,700 copies signed at JK Rowling’s midnight launch in July
  7. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill – $3,500
    An 1859 first edition bound in three-quarter leather of this key conceptual work on liberty by the great liberal thinker of the 19th century
  8. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie – $3,000
    A 1981 first edition of this Booker Prize-winning novel signed by the author “They are despite everything, acts of love, Salman Rushdie, 9/12/81”
  9. An Atlas of Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine and Woodford Counties, Kentucky – $2,750
    A rare Kentucky atlas from 1877 – published by Beers of Philadelphia
  10. Dune by Frank Herbert – $2,750
    A 1965 first edition of this famous sci-fi novel where spice matters – first winner of the Nebula Award
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