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Rare first edition H.G. Wells novels expected to bring in the bids at December auction

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We have a particularly rare collection of first edition novels by the famous English author H.G. Wells consigned to our Friday 15th December Specialist Collectors’ Sale in Wolverhampton.

While a native of the South East, Wells has links to Staffordshire; with an 1888 stay in Basford, Stoke on Trent, inspiring his 1895 macabre short story “The Cone”; set in a Stoke ironworks. His works spanned a wide variety of genres, although it is perhaps his seminal works of Science Fiction for which he is best known.

There are a total of nineteen books in this first edition collection, including ‘Kipps The Story of a Simple Soul’ (1905), estimated at £2,000 – 4,000; ‘The War In The Air’ (1908) also expected to fetch £2,000 – 4,000; ‘Tono-Bungay’ (1909) carrying an estimate of £100 – 200; ‘Ann Veronica’ (1909) at £200 – 400; ‘Mr Britling Sees It Through’ (1916) £200 – 300 and ‘Men Like Gods’, at £100 – 150. While the collection does not include copies of some of Wells’ best-known works such as The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, the examples that are featured are incredibly rare, and showcase the breadth of Wells’ style as Cuttlestones’ book specialist, Rosie Blackburn, explains:

“This really is a fascinating collection that shows how prolific and versatile H.G. Wells was as an author – the genres here cover sci-fi, humour, realist, military and even proto-feminist. When it came to valuing these our research showed that many of the titles have not come up in recent years as first editions with their dust jackets, which makes it incredibly hard to gauge their value.

“We anticipate very strong interest from international collectors as it is a fine collection, the equal of which has not been seen for a long time – we anticipate some examples could easily fetch into the thousands.”

The books will come under the hammer at Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Auction Rooms on Friday, 15th December as part of its Specialist Collectors’ Sale. The full catalogue will be available online at from Friday 8th December, and for those unable to attend the sale in person live internet, commission and telephone bidding options are available.

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