Highlights from the First Editions, Second Thoughts auction

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Last night, English PEN was at Sotheby’s for our fundraising auction First Editions, Second Thoughts.  Fifty authors generously annotated a first edition of their most famous book, to be sold on behalf of English PEN.

We are delighted to report that the sale raised at total of £439,200. 

The headline lot of the evening was a first edition of Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone, personally annotated and illustrated by J.K. Rowling. The sale room fell silent as two determined bidders vied for the prized edition. Bidding leapt in increments of up to £25,000 and the hammer finally fell, to a round of applause, on a £150,000 telephone bid.  You can watch a video of auctioneer Harry Dalmeny making this historic sale on our YouTube channel.  The #PENauction hashtag on Twitter gives some flavour of the high-adrenaline atmosphere in the auction room.

The second-highest price of the auction was achieved for the much-loved children’s classic Matilda by Roald Dahl, with new illustrations by Quentin Blake, which sold for £30,000.

Further highlights of the sale include Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, which sold for £18,000; Julian Barnes’ Metroland, which sold for £14,000; Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader, which fetched £11,000; Seamus Heaney’s Death of a Naturalist, which brought £17,000; Colm Toibin’s The Heather Blazing, which sold for £15,500; Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall which sold for £16,000; Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes, which fetched £14,500 and Ralph Steadman’s richly illustrated Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, which sold for £14,500.

Full list of sale prices

Auction catalogue may be viewed here.

Lot # Price £ Price $ Price €
1 3500 5334 4141
2 7000 10668 8281
3 14000 21336 16562
4 4500 6858 5324
5 11000 16764 13013
6 1600 2438 1893
7 30000 45720 35490
8 3500 5334 4141
9 4800 7315 5678
10 800 1219 946
11 1100 1676 1301
12 1000 1524 1183
13 14500 22098 17154
14 1000 1524 1183
15 1000 1524 1183
16 4000 6096 4732
17 3000 4572 3549
18 8500 12954 10056
19 3800 5791 4495
20 17000 25908 20111
21 3500 5334 4141
22 18000 27432 21294
23 2000 3048 2366
24 800 1219 946
25 14000 21336 16562
26 850 1295 1006
27 2200 3353 2603
28 3200 4877 3786
29 1400 2134 1656
30 7000 10668 8281
31 16000 24384 18928
32 2500 3810 2958
33 3000 4572 3549
34 850 1295 1006
35 2200 3353 2603
36 2800 4267 3312
37 5200 7925 6152
38 6000 9144 7098
39 150000 228600 177450
40 1000 1524 1183
41 1400 2134 1656
42 2400 3658 2839
43 800 1219 946
44 14500 22098 17154
45 13000 19812 15379
46 3200 4877 3786
47 15500 23622 18337
48 500 762 592
49 1100 1676 1301
50 6500 9906 7690
51 2200 3353 2603

 

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2 Comments on Highlights from the First Editions, Second Thoughts auction - Leave a comment

just a book collector

Thanks for publishing these results, as someone who collects Booker Prize winners I was very interested to see how they faired. 
I hope this becomes an annual event and you widen the circle of authors to other field, non fiction for example.
 
Regards.

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