Signed Lewis Carroll, Beatrix Potter and HG Wells books to sell online

You have one day left to bid online in the Pat McInally Collection of Children's Literature Auction, which takes place tomorrow (December 16).

Born of Mr McInally's determination to collect only the finest copies available of some of the most important children's books ever created, the sale is easily among the finest of book auctions.

Estimated at $40k-60k

As we previously reported, starring at the auction is an utterly remarkable book: a first edition of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass which was once presented to, and signed by, the original Alice - Alice Pleasance Liddell (1852-1934), who inspired the story.

The edition was autographed by her, in 1872, above a dedicated acrostic poem printed in the back of the book. It carries an estimate of $100,000-150,000.

Another outstanding lot is Beatrix Potter's personal, specially-bound presentation copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, inscribed by Potter herself. This 1902 edition, published by Frederick Warne & Co, is one of two - the other of which was gifted to Edward VIII as a young boy

It will sell with a pre-sale estimate of $80,000-120,000.

Estimated at $80k-120k


A first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, one of only 2,000 copies from the first 8,000 bound in green cloth, will also go under the hammer at $50,000-70,000.

Also selling is a book sometimes described as the "holy grail of children's literature": a first edition (first state of the text and first state of the plates) of L Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in Chicago and New York in 1900.

The fine condition book, very bright and clean throughout, will auction with an estimate of $40,000-60,000.

Collectors with a soft spot for science fiction won't want to miss out on a first edition, presentation copy of HG Wells' landmark novel The Time Machine: An Invention.

This edition is inscribed by Wells himself, reading: "With the Author's Kindest Regards." The novel with which Wells invented the now-popular term "time machine" has an estimate of $20,000-30,000.

Alongside science fiction is Middle Earth fantasy in the form of JRR Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring trilogy; namely a first edition of The Lord of the Rings, published in London by George Allen and Unwin Ltd in 1954.

Crucially, the book has its dust jacket intact. Described as being, despite minor wear, "as fine as can be found" by the auctioneers, it could well exceed its $10,000-$12,000 estimate.

Alice in Wonderland... signed by the
real-life Alice ($100-150k)

Meanwhile, limited editions of Winnie the Pooh and Now We Are Six signed by the author and illustrator, "A. A. Milne" and "Ernest H. Shepard", on Japanese Vellum will sell estimated at $30,000-50,000. In particular, Now We Are Six included unopened - actually uncut - pages.

Editions of AA Milne's We Were Very Young, Winnie the Pooh, Now We Are Six and The House at Pooh Corner will also appear in their original Publisher Deluxe Issue original boxes - going up to the auction block at $8,000-12,0000.

For bidders who miss out on the exceptional Through the Looking Glass lot, The Nursery Alice, a rare first edition presentation copy of the Lewis Carroll tale, is also auctioning.

Inscribed by Carroll's sister, the 1889 edition carries an estimate of $10,000-15,000.

The sale, hosted by Profiles in History, takes place in Calabasas Hills, California tomorrow, December 16. More information on live bidding can be found at the iCollector website.

Collectors searching for signed children's books may also be interested in our copy of Harry Potter, signed by J K Rowling.


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