Stamford auctioneers sell early Bond novel for more than £3,000
Batemans Auctioneers in Ryhall Road, Stamford, auctioned a collection of James Bond books and memorabilia on Saturday.
The collection amassed over a 40-year period by collector Brian Young, contained everything imaginable related to the world’s most famous fictional spy, from models, to movie posters, and even a pair of shoes once belonging to Bond actor Roger Moore.
However, it was the books which proved to be the stars of the show. Fleming first editions are popular with collectors, and with an almost complete set of the 14 Bond novels on offer, interest was high.
A first edition, second impression copy of Casino Royale, Bond’s first ever appearance in print, was most in demand.
Casino Royale was a huge success when it was first published in April 1953, selling out of its first print run within a month. As such, publisher Jonathan Cape rushed to create a second impression, releasing it in May 1953. The cover, depicting nine red hearts against a grey background, was designed by Fleming himself.
This copy, which was in good condition, with its original dust jacket, and non-price clipped, finally went to the UK trade on the phone, selling at £3,300 against its initial £500 to £800 estimate.
Other titles performed similarly well, with most more than doubling their estimates; From Russia with Love made £520, whilst Live and Let Die reached £440.
Most surprising was a full set of Bond novels written by John Gardner, the first author to pick up the “golden pen” after the death of Ian Fleming. Against an initial estimate of just £80 to £120, the bidding soared to a total of £1,100, eventually selling online.
In total, the sale of the collection reached £12,500, against estimates £6,500-£9,500, with 83 per cent of lots selling.
The usual antiques and fine arts sale, also on Saturday, proved popular as well.