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Book Bonanza at Cuttlestones’ August Specialist Collectors’ Sale

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It seems Midlands’ auction house Cuttlestones is capitalising on its growing reputation for achieving significant sums for collectable books, if last week’s Specialist Collectors’ Sale is anything to go by. The Wolverhampton sale room saw an influx of rare and antiquarian tomes consigned for auction following the sale, earlier in the year, of a collection of early and first edition Charles Dickens novels for in excess of £15,000.

The undoubted highlight of a strong section last week had to be 1903 edition of Erskine Childers’ ‘Riddle of the Sands’. Considered by many to be the first spy novel and a regular in Top 100 books lists, first edition copies are scarce and rarely come up in good condition with only 1,250 printed initially, the hammer fell at £2,100 (before premium).

Whilst Childers’ novel was expected to achieve in this region, the second biggest seller of the day was something more of a surprise. A box of antiquarian children’s books which, although collectable, included many examples with evidence of repair and some with significant damage, fetched £1,800.

Also achieving four figures were three volumes making up JOHN WESLEY’s – ‘EXPLANATORY NOTES UPON THE OLD TESTAMENT’, printed in 1765 by William Pine, saw the hammer fall at an impressive £1,100; and a copy of ERICH MARIA REMARQUE’S ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. A particularly rare 1929 first edition, with its dustjacket intact, triggered a flurry of interest in the run up to the sale, when it achieved £1,000.

Elsewhere, a first edition of H. G. Wells’ ‘The Time Machine’, and one of the few paper covered versions surviving, sold for £850 despite missing its back cover and adverts, and another H.G. Wells’ title – ‘THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU’, dating from 1896 – went for £600.

Moving forward to the turn of the 21st century, the final highlight of the book section was a first Canadian edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’. One of only 400 copies signed on her Canadian visit in October 2000, it sold for £270.

MD and Head Auctioneer, Ben Gamble, says:

“The success of the Dickens collection undoubtedly encouraged vendors to consign books with us and we’re hugely pleased with the results from last week’s sale. As expected, the internet bidding contingents was especially strong but we also had good number in the sale room throughout the day. Books are something that so many people inherit and yet don’t have a clue as to the potential value – as this sale showed, even a box of badly damaged children’s books can hold significant value to collectors, so our advice is to seek an expert valuation on books – especially antiquarian ones – before sending them to the charity shop or car boot sale!”

The full sale results are available at here. To arrange a valuation with specialist Books valuer, Rosie Blackburn, call 01785 714905 or email [email protected]

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