Rex Stout first edition tops Swann auction at $21,000

An incredibly rare first edition copy of Rex Stout's first detective novel, Fer-de-Lance, has performed well in Swann Auction Galleries' 19th and 20th Century Literature auction, held on November 21 in New York.

Rex Stout Fer de Lance first edition
A first edition of the book with its original dust jacket hasn't been seen for more than a decade

The book marks the first appearance of Stout's detective genius Nero Wolfe, and a first edition has not been seen with its original dust jacket at auction since 2002. This example is in superb condition given that it was first published in 1934, warranting the final sale price of $21,250.

Rex Stout (1886-1975) was an American writer whose work is defined by his detective stories featuring Nero Wolfe. According to a friend of artist Rene Magritte, a number of his paintings are named after Stout's titles, with the Belgian painter a fan of his work.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some wonderful literary collectibles for sale, including a signed extract from William Golding's Lord of the Flies.

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