Jane Austen's Emma sells for over $10k

Bonham's held a major auction over the weekend in Los Angeles, where it was offering a number of rare books.

Those we reported on previously included a first edition copy of Jane Austen's Emma. Austen described the heroine as someone "whom no-one but myself will much like".

Clearly not everyone agrees, as the book improved on its $8,000-10,000 estimate to sell for $10,370.

Galileo's dialogue Systema Cosmicum, likewise, sneaked past its expected price of $2,000-3,000 to reach $3,050.

The collection of John Latham's A General History of Birds turned out to be the relative bargain of the sale, falling slightly short of its $6,000 lower estimate and selling for $5,185.

Thomas Blake's Hawaiian Surfboard - the first definitive book on Hawaii's favourite sport - sold within its estimate range at $3,965.


Mark Twain's Celebrated Jumping Frog
Mark Twain's first book, with original purple cloth

In contrast, the first published work of Samuel Longhorne Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, titled The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, leapt over its $3,000-5,000 valuation to be taken home at a very respectable $6,710.


With many lots exceeding their estimates, the sale demonstrated that rare book collecting is in fine fettle.

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