Rare Books

Follow-up: First-Edition Anne

To follow up on my earlier article “First-Edition Anne Expected to Set Auction Record”: James Adams reports in today’s Globe and Mail that this copy sold at auction for $37,500:

A first-edition copy of the Canadian classic Anne of Green Gables was sold by Sotheby’s New York Friday afternoon for $37,500 (U.S.)—a live auction record for the famous debut novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery that originally retailed for $1.50.

Read the rest of the article here.

First-edition Anne Expected to Set Auction Record

A news story by Randy Boswell has appeared in a number of newspapers across Canada yesterday and today.

One of the books most coveted by collectors of Canadian literary history — a first edition copy of Anne of Green Gables — is to be sold at auction next week in New York for what could be a record price.

The vintage edition of the classic novel by P.E.I.-born author Lucy Maud Montgomery, first printed in April 1908 by the Boston publishing house L.C. Page, is expected to fetch up to $25,000 U.S. at Sotheby’s Dec. 11 sale of rare books and manuscripts.

A top hammer price would just surpass the $24,000 record set in 2005 for another inaugural copy of the famous work.

Update: Tan Green Gables sells

The following update to yesterday’s blog entry appears in this morning’s Globe and Mail:

Green Gables first edition sells for more than $8,000 [Globe and Mail, 6 December 2008, R14]

Toronto—A rare first edition of the original 1908 Anne of Green Gables by Canada’s L.M. Montgomery sold at auction in New York yesterday for $8,125 (U.S.), including buyer’s premium. The clothbound edition, offered without the even-rarer dust jacket, went into bidding with a presale estimate of $8,000-$12,000.

What made the Christie’s consignment something of a rarity was its tan cover. Most first editions—it’s believed Montgomery’s Boston-based publisher printed no more than 7,000 copies in spring, 1908—have a green binding. The record for a first-edition Anne sold at auction is $24,000, set by Sotheby’s New York in 2005. That book was consigned by a collector in Victoria. (James Adams)

CBC News: First edition of Anne Up for Auction

From CBC News:

Christie’s in New York will auction a first edition of Anne of Green Gables on Friday morning.

The 1908 book by L. M. Montgomery, which spawned an entire industry on Prince Edward Island, including Canada’s longest running musical, is described on the auction house’s website as “the property of a lady.”

Several movie versions of the book have also been made.

First editions of Anne are rare. While it eventually became a worldwide phenomenon, published in at least 30 languages, the first run of the book was small.

The edition on sale Friday is described as unusual because it comes in a brown cover. Most of the first editions come in a green cover.

Christie’s expects the book to sell for between $8,000 US and $12,000 US, but in 2005 a green-covered first edition went for $24,000. At the time, that was the fifth first edition to go up for auction in 30 years.

This sale is part of an auction that includes 299 books and manuscripts.

UPDATE: Jason has tracked down the item on Christie’s website.