Excitement rose among rare book collectors as first editions from the renowned collection of M.B. Gladstone appeared at Bonhams, New York, on June 10.

A 1925 first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic The Great Gatsby was the star sale at the Rare Books and Manuscripts auction.

Experts called it, "the most expensive piece of 20th century printed paper in book collecting."

It sold for an astonishing $180,000 - a world record price for any Gatsby - easily surpassing its $80,000 to $120,000 estimate.

This was largely due to the rare book's immaculate dust jacket. 

Another outperformer was an 1851 first American edition of Herman Melville's iconic Moby Dick in its original blue cloth binding. The copy far exceeded its predicted $20,000, selling for $30,500.

Gladstone's 1929 first edition, first printing of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest amazingly brought over five times its $5,000 top estimate, selling for $27,450.

Aside from Gladstone's collection, aggressive bidding greeted Salvador Dali's ballet Tristan Fou. It brought over six times its $5,000 top estimate, achieving a remarkable price of $33,550.

The auctions Top 10 sales included the library of legendary chess player Bobby Fischer, which made $61,000.

Other Top 10s included Goldstone's 1776 edition of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, which drew $21,960, and a Mercator-Hondius atlas which brought $33,550.

"This was a phenomenal sale, with furious bidding from many quarters" Christina Geiger, Bonhams New York Books Specialist, said in a statement.

"This sale has proven that our market for great books with notable provenance remains exceptionally strong."

More items from the Goldstone library will be offered at the San Francisco showrooms of Bonhams & Butterfields in August.


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