MODERN FIRST EDITIONS & ILLUSTRATIONS
The market for modern rst editions – that’s any book published from the early 20th century onwards – is thriving, and includes the highly speculative category known as ‘ultra moderns’ or recently published books, reports Clive Moss, specialist at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury. Among the most sought-after
rst editions that have proven currency at auction are those by TS Eliot, Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, Harper Lee, CS Lewis, AA Milne, George Orwell, JRR Tolkien, PG Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh and John Wyndham and good copies can fetch hundreds, even thousands of pounds for a rarity. ‘Picking who will be the collectable authors of the future among the ultra moderns is much more dif cult because they have no track record. At this stage it is a purely speculative buy, and an area that many collectors shy away from,’ says Moss. Having said that, any author who’s won the Man Booker prize or the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
is worth considering. And tips for the top include Julian Barnes, John le Carré, Stephen King (a 1977 rst edition of The Shining fetched £ 320 at Forum Auctions recently), Hilary Mantel, Michael Morpurgo, Ian McEwan, Philip Pullman ( His Dark Materials I:
Northern Lights, 1995, fetched £ 320 at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury recently) and Ian Rankin.
Another colllecting area to consider is original book illustrations. At Tennants in April a great collection of Ladybird book illustrations by the artist John Berry came up for sale. Berry was Ladybird’s leading illustrator and created gouache and watercolour artworks for over 35 books between 1961 and 1978, including the ‘People at Work’ series.
This John Berry illustration is one of three from The Fireman, Xxxxxx caption here please xxx xx Book No 1 (1962) xx Xxxxxx please xxx xx xx Xxxxxx entitled ‘Chimney Fire’. caption here xxxx caption here The trio sold for £ 450 please xxx xx at Tennants