From Russia with love: Bond and Harry Potter sell with Gogol masterpiece

At the end of this month Bloomsbury Auctions will be holding another major books auction under the heading Antiquarian Books & Modern First Editions with just over 200 lots going under the hammer.

The most substantial section of the sale is the first editions of Ian Fleming's classic James Bond books. There are 22 lots devoted to them, with the stand out lots being two with their original dust jackets:

A Moonraker first edition, of the issue with "shoot" on p. 10, has the title and endpapers foxed and edges a little rubbed and creased. Nevertheless, with its original cloth and dust jacket it is expected to bring £1,000 - £1,500.

Live and Let Die James Bond first edition
First edition of Live and Let Die

A Live and Let Die first edition boasts its original decorative boards and dust-jacket with a very small tear on upper cover. Its edges are a little rubbed but otherwise it's a good copy and expected to bring £2,000-3,000.

Recently named as the greatest fantasy character of the 20th century in a poll, Harry Potter is represented by a first edition, first impression copy of his original adventure, The Philosopher's Stone.

It has light marginal browning and a light water stain affecting title and half-title, but it is one of a very small hardback print run largely intended to meet the needs of public libraries. This copy is without the usual library stamps and is therefore extremely rare and expected to sell for around £4,000-6,000. It will make a great investment.

How to tell if your Philosopher's Stone is a first impression

The expected top lot was written by Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol. It is a very rare first edition of The Adventures of Chichikov, or Dead Souls: A Poem in two volumes, first printed by Moscow, University Press in 1842-1855.

The book has a fair number of issues, but is one of the classics of Russian literature. The second volume was posthumously published by the author's heirs, having been pieced together from a number of drafts as Gogol burned the original second volume.

It is expected to bring £6000 - £8000 (up to $12,600) in Bloomsbury's auction which takes place on January 27, 2011 in London.


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