AbeBooks' Most Expensive Sales in 2010; An Ian Fleming for $19,529
AbeBooks has come out with its list of most expensive sales in 2010. Among them are a copy of Moby Dick, Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale," an Arabic manuscript, and many more. Check out some highlights, below, excerpted from AbeBooks:
AbeBooks' Most Expensive Sales in 2010
It was a bumper year for rare bookselling on AbeBooks. Our top 10 list of the most expensive sales of 2010 includes nothing priced under $14,000.
The top sale was a very rare Islamic manuscript, around 800 years old, for a whopping $45,000. The sale of the archives of Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, for almost $29,000, raised a lot of eyebrows in Italy.
Fallici died in 2006 but is still remembered for her revealing interviews of major international figures.
The list is broad and varied. A fine press edition of Moby Dick by Herman Melville sold for $28,900 – the Grolier Club described it as one of the mostbeautiful books of the 20th century. There was a first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale – a novel with a head-turning dust jacket design.
There was also a set of botanical magazines, more Melville and an Ottoman Atlas.
Take a moment to discover what is now sitting on the bookshelves of the world’s big-spenders.
AbeBooks' Top 10 Most Expensive Sales in 2010
1. Arabic Manuscript of Al Wajaza Fi Sihhat Il Qawl Bi l Ijaza - $45,000
This is an important work on Hadith methodology (narrations concerning the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Muhammad) that was originally written in the 10th century AD. This copy was published in the 12th-13th century A.D. and contained an ownership mark on the title page from a well known scholar called Ibrahim B. Sulleymanb Muhammad B. Abd Ul Aziz Al Hanafi Al Jinini, who bought it while living in Damascus in 1659 A.D.
2. Archive of Letters, Manuscripts, Documents, Articles and Ephemera by Oriana Fallaci - $28,994
An original archive of the personal files of one of the 20th century's most celebrated, notable and influential women. Fallaci was an Italian writer and journalist who was an accomplished war reporter - in Vietnam, Latin America, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent but made her name with stunning star interviews which were meticulously researched and often lasted several hours. Some of her more famous moments included ripping off her chador while interviewing Ayatollah Khomeini, throwing a microphone at Muhammad Ali's face when he belched in answer to one of her questions, and quoting the Shah of Iran as saying “Women are important ... only if they're beautiful and charming and keep their femininity... you're equal in the eyes of the law, but not ... in intelligence." She spoke English, French, Spanish as well as Italian and hated to use interpreters, she described her interviews as "coitus" and "a seduction".
The archive itself features thousands of pages, totalling over 50 pounds of papers, mostly categorized by subject and includes the personal research materials and handwritten notes from the woman that Elizabeth Mehren of the Los Angeles Times described as "the journalist to whom virtually no world figure would say no."
3. Moby Dick; or The Whale by Herman Melville - $28,900
Super deluxe version of The Arion Press’ 1979 printing of Melville’s classic which was limited to 265 copies. This issue includes 200 engravings and 10 drawings all signed by the illustrator, Barry Moser. This edition has been described as one of the 100 most beautiful books printed in Europe and America in the 20th century by the Grolier Club.
4. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward
Published in 1776 in six volumes, the first of these volumes was limited to 1,000 copies in its first printing so complete sets of first editions are very rare. The set is considered a major literary achievement as it was adopted as a model for modern historical methodologies and led Gibbonto be described as the first modern historian of Ancient Rome.
5. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming - $19,529
One of the most collectible modern first editions available this was a first edition, first impression copy of Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, housed in a black quarter morocco solander box made by The Chelsea Bindery.
6. Ottoman Atlas - $19,500
Published in 1860s, this atlas contains 31 hand-colored maps prepared and printed in the Muhendishane I Berri Humayun (the Royal School of Millitary Engineering in Istanbul).
7. The Works of Herman Melville - $17,250
Complete in 16 volumes, this 1922 set was limited to 750 sets, this is No. 258, and contains many first printings, Billy Budd and all the poems except Battle-Pieces, John Marr, and Timoleon as well as the first British printing of Clarel.
8. The Botanical Magazine (42 vols) by William Curtis - $15,592
A collection of the first 42 volumes and index of this magazine launched in 1787. It went on to become the longest running botanical magazine. These first volumes contain more than 1,800 hand-colored plates.
9. Book of Kells - $14,859
This 1990 facsimile edition of the Verlag Luzern edition of this mystic testimony of early Irish Christianity was limited to 1480 copies. Written in German, it contains miniatures (illustrations) of the early Middle Ages and is one of the most beautiful holy books ever created.
10. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States by Joseph Story - $14,062
Edited by Thomas M. Cooley, a first edition of this famous political commentary. One of only two treatise written about early American constitutional law written by a sitting Supreme Court Justice. Henry Baldwin's General View is the other.