Perhaps the most divisive American book, JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, is starring at PFC Auctions, thanks to a first edition copy signed by the author.
The iconic book has become a symbol of the teenage rebellion since its publication in 1951, and is renowned for being banned in various countries across the world.
But it is not just for its liberal use of sexual imagery and profanities that the book is known, it is also regarded as one of the finest novels of the 20th century. Adam Gopnik, a staff writer at the New York Times, regards The Catcher in the Rye as one the three perfect books of American literature, alongside Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby.
Our example, a stunning first edition octavo copy with the publisher's original black cloth and dust jacket, is signed by Salinger, with an inscription to his fiancee's mother. It reads: "To Marian B. - Just that I'm pleased that you thought of asking me to sign your book. With affection, Jerry Salinger Dec. 23, 1951". The autograph and inscription were written just five months after the book's release date.
Fuelled by the controversy it caused, Salinger became increasingly reclusive following its release and therefore his autograph is extremely scarce on today's market. In fact, it is so rare that when actor Nicholas Cage proposed to Patricia Arquette, she requested the author's autograph as one of three "impossible" requests.
With signed first edition copies of the book retailing for anywhere upwards of $25,000 online, the auction offers a bargain with a minimum bid of just £5,000 ($8,000).
"This copy of Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is incredibly important, due to the fact that it features such a unique inscription, and one that is dedicated to someone who knew the author personally," said Kylie Whitehead of PFC Auctions.
"With Salinger so reluctant to give out his autograph, even signatures far less important than this one can sell for thousands at auction. We are expecting an excellent result."
The sale ends on September 27.