Homes and Antiques Magazine - - THE GUIDE -

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

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