Lewis Carroll 1865 issue of Alice to sell for $3m?

A rare 1865 withdrawn first issue of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is valued at $2m-3m.

It will sell at Christie's New York on June 16.

Alice Wonderland 1865
Only 22 copies of the 1865 edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland survive

The edition was published in a run of 2,000, but was swiftly withdrawn from shelves after the book's illustrator complained about the quality of the printing.

The book was reprinted, with the improved first edition bearing an 1866 date.

These later editions are much less valuable, generally selling in the $15,000-30,000 range.  

Christie's explains: "Surviving copies of the 1865 edition are, not surprisingly, excessively rare. There are now only 22 known copies in existence, 16 of which are in institutional libraries.

"Only six remain in private hands—including the present copy. Of the six, four are rebound.

"The sale of this copy presents a rare opportunity to acquire an example of the legendary '1865 Alice'—in its true original state, with the text and binding as they were when the book was first produced.

"No other copy in the original binding in this condition exists in private hands."

Lewis Carroll's signed personal copy of the 1865 edition of the book sold for $1.5m in 1998 - around $2.1m today after inflation.

An 1866 two volume printing of Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is to sell at Swann Auction Galleries on May 18.

You can look at all our books and manuscripts for sale here.

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