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Editor's Feature: Fiction Editor's Feature: Non-Fiction Bookseller Profile Treasures in the Attic
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More Treasures Have Been Found!

We’ve recently received another selection of books that were evaluated by Adrian Harrington Rare Books in London, UK. We were pleasantly surprised about the results and think you will be too.

Has your book been selected? See below to find out if your book has been appraised by our expert booksellers. Simply click on the title of the book to read the full appraisal.

We'd like to say a big thank you to our participating booksellers who took the time from their busy schedules to participate in Treasures in Your Attic: Between the Covers, The Book Guys/Second Story Books, Adrian Harrington and Daniel Farr.

See more appraisals: [Page1]  [Page 2]  [Page3]

Please note that Abebooks will not be held responsible for views expressed by booksellers.

Appraisal Synopsis

Gravity’s Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington
Appraiser Comments:
"...4000 it is nevertheless really tricky to find a copy in nice condition".
Estimated Appraisal: £1,500

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington
Appraiser Comments:
"...this book is one of our favourites"
Estimated Appraisal: £700

 

Thunderball
Ian Fleming
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington
Appraiser Comments:
"...most copies of the Bond firsts look like they’ve just lost a tussle with a shark and been launched from an ejector seat."
Estimated Appraisal: £500

 

Mad Queen
Harry Crosby
Appraised by: Adrian Harrington
Appraiser Comments: "Anything by Harry Crosby is worthy of some note.
Estimated Appraisal: £500 - £2,000

 

Complete Aurey/Maturin Novel Series
Patrick O’Brian
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington
Appraiser Comments: Described by one of my colleagues as "Jane Austen for blokes."
Estimated Appraisal: £6 - £10,000

 

Appointment With Death
Agatha Christie
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington
Appraiser Comments: "...Christie is another one of the giants of modern first edition collecting "
Estimated Appraisal: £2,000

 

Lurker at the Threshold
Lovecraft and Derleth
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington
Appraiser Comments: "...lovely little books that are truly satisfying to collect"
Estimated Appraisal: £250 - £350

 

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Appraisals

 

Gravity’s Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
Appraised by: Adrian Harrington

Book Owner Comments: First Edition (published in 1973)

Appraiser Comments: One of the greatest and most infuriatingly dense novels of the twentieth century. Printed by Viking in a run of around 4000 it is nevertheless really tricky to find a copy in nice condition. The sheer bulk of the book at 700-odd pages causes it to collapse under its own weight, copies tend to be found cocked or leaning wildly to one side, the dustwrapper is also frequently faded. A lovely copy without the usual defects might cost as much as $1500 or more.

Estimated Appraisal: £1,500

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington

Book Owner Comments: The cover is red cloth with gilt decoration

Appraiser Comments: A really lovely piece of early twentieth century book design, a gilt on dark red cloth design centred around a giant black hound, this book is one of our favourites. Apart from being arguably the most famous Sherlock Holmes story, it is also one of the more attractive books, Valley of Fear and Casebook for example are now most often seen without dustwrappers, and are relatively drab in comparison, although The Sign of Four is another beauty with its maroon and knife-edge gilt titles. The Hound was originally issued in a dustjacket, but only two copies in jacket are known to exist (The Adventures and The Memoirs were also issued in dustjackets, and a similar situation exists with them), the last copy in dustjacket sold at auction was around £75,000 and that was a good few years ago. The Hound then has come to be recognised without its jacket, a fine copy with only the slightest fading might be £3,000 upwards, they are however quite common books (condition is crucial) so the prices probably start somewhere around £700.

Estimated Appraisal: £700

 

Thunderball
Ian Fleming
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington

Book Owner Comments: First Edition with dustjacket

Appraiser Comments: Jonathan Cape first editions (not stated as firsts, but they do state ‘first published’ and later impressions, generally only first printings are properly collectable). Not necessarily rare, in fact mass produced but rare in fine condition, Thunderball not being one of the difficult ones, although the spine has a tendency to fade. It has a rather attractive Richard Chopping dustwrapper featuring a skeletal hand, a design that is repeated on the cloth of the book. Part of the ‘few hundred pounds’ rather than ‘few thousand pound’ Bonds. In fine condition probably worth about £500. A good basis for collecting first editions of Fleming, although you should anticipate problems somewhere around From Russia With Love (1957), and bear in mind that a fine Casino Royale (1953) without a dustwrapper is still a thousand pound book in a wrapper £12000 or so . Always popular, the Bond firsts tend to suffer from being read (which might sound odd) but they were purchased and enjoyed and passed around, splashed with martinis and covered in suntan oil, definitely not the kind of books that would only be read once. The rarity value therefore stems from the fact that most copies of the Bond firsts look like they’ve just lost a tussle with a shark and been launched from an ejector seat.

Estimated Appraisal: £500

 

Mad Queen
Harry Crosby
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington

Book Owner Comments: First Edition (published in 1929)

Appraiser Comments: Anything by Harry Crosby is worthy of some note. This particular book was the only limited edition (the 1 of 20 limitation anyway) to be signed by both Harry and Carresse Crosby, and was published in the year of Harry’s suicide in Paris (he shot himself and the young woman he was in bed with at the time, the mythology maintains that the detective assigned to the case saw Harry lying dead in bed and murmured “What a beautiful man.”). This end was probably the only one Crosby could have had, disillusioned after the Great War, moving to Paris after scandalising Boston (one of his less challenging exploits I would imagine) and resolving to live a life of madness and extravagance that makes Ozzy Osbourne look all shy and retiring in comparison. He and Carresse formed the Black Sun press in 1927 and produced several beautiful little books including Six Poems in 1928 and this title in 1929. He led a short, fierce little life with his harem of admiring women and a collection of friends who quite definitely spent most of their time exquisitely drunk, but the behavioural disorder I find most irresistable was his habit of sneaking rare books from his own massive collection into antiquarian bookshops having previously pencilled in ridiculously low prices, extreme anxiety is something that actually suits many bookdealers and anything that causes it is probably good for them. This particular book if in fine condition and complete is probably worth anywhere up to £500. The 1 of 20 copies limitation on different paper is worth anywhere up to £2000 or more, but all Black Sun publications are worthy of collection.

Estimated Appraisal: £500 - £2,000

 

 

Complete Aurey/Maturin Novel Series
Patrick O’Brian
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington

Book Owner Comments: All the set are first editions

Appraiser Comments: Described by one of my colleagues as “Jane Austen for blokes.” Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin novels have to be amongst the most collected historical fiction series in a field thronged with fairly stiff competition. Apart from (or perhaps because of) Patrick O’Brian’s ability to describe the setting of sail and the rigging of ships in something approaching ‘real time, the novels are truly an accurate and highly detailed depiction of nineteenth century maritime life not to mention the fact that Stephen Maturin is a marvelously well executed bit of characterization. The two most difficult books (they must be the UK editions and they must be in fine condition) are Surgeon’s Mate and Post Captain, although one of my colleagues is of the opinion that The Far Side of The World in fine condition without a clipped or labeled dustwrapper is also a very tricky thing. A full set in fine condition could go from anywhere from £6-££10,000.

Estimated Appraisal: £6 - £10,000

 

Appointment With Death
Agatha Christie
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington

Book Owner Comments: Original red cloth binding very fresh

Appraiser Comments: Agatha Christie London, published for the Crime Club by Collins, 1938. Agatha Christie is another one of the giants of modern first edition collecting. In fine condition and possessing a fine example the lovely Macartney wrapper depicting a jezzail wielding arab tribesman staring down upon the city of Petra it probably runs from £2000 upwards. Most of the collectable Christie’s were published by Collins Crime Club in their distinctive orangey-red cloth, they do need dustwrappers (some of the earlier books attain respectable prices without jackets, in fact some of them have been seen without jackets for so long we’ve all forgotten what originally looked like) and they do need to be as clean as possible, rather like the Fleming books condition is everything. One of several attractive Robin Macartney dustwrappers with Death on the Nile, Murder in Mesopotamia (with ‘Appointment with Death’ these constitute Agatha Christie’s ‘I married an archaeologist.’ period, all three being set in the Middle East) and Murder in The Mews.

Estimated Appraisal: £2,000

 

Lurker at the Threshold
Lovecraft and Derleth
Appraised by:
Adrian Harrington

Book Owner Comments: Given as a gift by cousin in middle 1960's

Appraiser Comments: The fourteenth book published by Arkham House Press. This independent US press was started by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei after the death of HP Lovecraft, the press was responsible for the appearance of many great writers of the macabre and mysterious including Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, Clark Ashton Smith and even Mr.J.G.Ballard. The press can also claim responsibility for introducing William Hope Hodgson to a wider audience with their publication of ‘Carnacki the Ghost Finder’ amongst other works. Hodgson was one the greatest and most underrated authors of bizarre fiction, whom in his short life before being killed in the Somme wrote some of the weirdest of weird tales. Amongst these the Carnacki stories stand out as exceptional. Hilariously camp, often intriguing and frequently quite chilling. Arkham House is best known of course for its publication of titles relating to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, a framework of mythology created by Lovecraft and then expanded by many other authors including Block, Derleth and Brian Lumley. Lovecraft was an erratic writer, a great imagination and a very effective storyteller, he did however balance this by being to poetry what your average bookdealer is to competitive snowboarding. August Derleth himself was something of a character, having apparently once decided that Sheridan Le Fanu hadn’t written enough short stories he penned one himself for inclusion in a collected edition, it has apparently surfaced several times in collections of Le Fanu’s work without anyone noticing. This particular book was printed in 1945 in a limitation of 3041 copies. The majority of Arkham House books being published in limited print runs, though apparently Derleth would occasionally and discreetly add a few copies to a limited edition under the guise of stock ‘found in a warehouse’ or purchased from a visitor of strangely anonymous description, in fine condition (it can frequently be found signed by Derleth) it can fetch £250-£350 approximately. Arkham House publications are lovely little books that are truly satisfying to collect and contain the works of many authors whose literary influence has spread far beyond being asked by Derleth to pay half the print costs because he wasn’t sure they were going to be a success.

Estimated Appraisal: £250 - £350

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