This week’s list includes a few more from our stock of the Agatha Christie facsimile editions. All of these were bought new and are unread. These editions give the modern collector of Christie an opportunity to be both completist and uniform with the publisher, Harper Collins, adding a wraparound band to each title thus increasing the difficulty of finding pristine copies. It has now become the case that a mint copy of even a reprint of the facsimile edition of some of these titles is worth much more than an average copy of the original first edition.
We’ve also added a very good copy of the first edition C R Ashbee’s ‘Modern English Silverwork’. Issued in an edition of just 200, with each copy being signed by the author, this notoriously fragile and very scarce work includes 100 lithographs of his designs for silverwork, many of which are hand-coloured. Ashbee had bought William Morris’ Albion Printing Presses and other items from the Kelmscott Press and founded the Essex House Press alongside The Guild of Handicrafts. This work remains an important reference for collectors of Ashbee silverware and our copy is in much better condition than is usually found.
Two sets of C. S. Lewis’ ‘Space’ trilogy are also included. First editions in dustwrapper of ‘Out of the Silent Planet’ are extremely scarce whereas our early set of reprints is much more affordable. The third title, ‘That Hideous Strength’ is the most difficult to find as a reprint in nice condition. Our second set demonstrates that a nice set from the 1970s is more affordable still, at less than £100.
An additional rarity in the list is John and Horace Wright’s ‘Vegetable Grower’s Guide’ in four divisions. This lavish production, dating from c.1908, is richly gilt to the spine and edges and with finely embossed boards. It contains numerous engravings and fine colour plates celebrating fine varieties of the nation’s vegetables. John Wright had previously produced a ‘Fruit Grower’s Guide’ and a ‘Flower Grower’s Guide’ but this title is by far the most elusive and this set is in lovely condition.
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