Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Record Price for Oliver Twist

Full results haven't been released yet, but today's Christie's sale of The Kenyon Starling Library of Charles Dickens has already set at least one record: the presentation copy of Oliver Twist I mentioned on Monday sold for a hammer price price including premium of $229,000, setting a new Dickens record (the previous was $160,000, paid for a first edition of A Christmas Carol in 1996). Pre-sale estimates on the Twist, inscribed to William Harrison Ainsworth, were for $200,000-300,000.

More results from the sale as they're available.

[Update: full results are available here. The total for the sale was $1.9 million, just inside the estimate range. The manuscript leaf from The Pickwick Papers failed to sell. Two lots besides the Oliver Twist made more than $100,000: a Christmas presentation copy of the first separate edition of The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) with significant provenance (estimated at $40-60K, sold for $115,000); and a presentation copy to the Count D'Orsay of The Cricket on the Hearth (1846, i.e. 1845). This was estimated at $60-80K, and fetched $145,000.]

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