How 'Moonraking' through the sales can bring you a James Bond bargain

Collectibles can be a funny old business, particularly in terms of the surprises the markets can throw up. For instance, earlier this month we reported on the "potential bargain" 1955 first edition of author Ian Fleming's third James Bond '007' adventure, Moonraker.

Sold by auction house Gray's in Ohio, US, the copy was estimated at just $500-700. "It's worth remembering that another Moonraker first edition sold for $50,400 in New York in April," we reported. "Although that edition was also signed and inscribed by Fleming himself."

Dominic Winter's first edition Moonraker, sold for $11,181 

So what did the unsigned Ohio copy sell for? In the end, it brought just $900. But, if you're thinking that a signature by Fleming adds $45,500 to a first edition Moonraker's price, think again... On the other side of the pond, another unsigned Moonraker first edition was auctioned for £7,200 ($11,181).

Sold by Gloucester, UK, auction house Dominic Winter, the book was in similar condition to Gray's example - still with its dust jacket, crucial to the book's value, and original cloth with slight browning to the book's pages.


So why did Gray's Moonraker sell for just $900? Perhaps it was down to lack of promotion. One thing's for sure, the lucky buyer picked up a strong alternative asset for a low price which could be sold for considerably more in the future.

And it wasn't the only Bond success at Dominic Winter's sale. The auction's highlight was a first edition, first impression Casino Royale from 1953 also with its original cloth and dust jacket. Billed as a "good copy" it brought a final price of £19,000 ($29,505).


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