Fitzgerald's Flappers and Philosophers first edition makes $119,000

A first edition of F Scott Fitzgerald's Flappers and Philosophers has provided one of the highlights of Sotheby's Books & Manuscripts auction in New York.

The 1920 work was Fitzgerald's second book and predates The Great Gatsby by five years.

Flappers and Philosophers
The first copy with its correct dust jacket to auction since 1977

Its small 5,000 print run ensured that this was the first copy with its correct dust jacket to come up for auction since 1977, fully warranting its estimate-doubling performance of $118,750.

Sotheby's June 11 auction also featured the $112,500 sale of a first edition of Fitzgerald's Gatsby, once owned by noted critic and author Malcolm Cowley.

Cowley is perhaps best known for his work on Fitzgerald, and this copy features more than 100 notes and comments originally made by Fitzgerald in his personal copy, which Cowley has transcribed.

In addition to its important provenance, the work was further enhanced by the presence of its original dust jacket, which is something of a rarity for the book.

The record for a Gatsby first edition stands at $163,500, achieved in 2002.

Top lot of the sale was a first edition of Louise Labe's 1555 [O]Euvres. Lyon: Jean de Tournes - her only publication. The French poet's work achieved $485,000, smashing its $5,000 by 9,600%.

The price is testament to the rarity of the book at auction. A first edition had last appeared for sale in 1975.

You can view our books and manuscripts for sale here.


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