Price for Frankenstein first edition stuns Christie’s auctioneer

Price for Frankenstein first edition stuns Christie’s auctioneer. The exceptionally rare book was one of only 500 printed in 1818.

Christie’s have sold a first edition copy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as part of a collection of books from Theodore B Baum. The American former telecoms tycoon died earlier this year. In total the books sold at auction for a staggering £7.1 million.

Frankenstein managed to sell for a record-breaking £856,000, something that stunned Christie’s auctioneers as they had only predicted that the book would sell for £219,000. £856,000 is said to be the highest price ever paid for a book written by a female author.

Other classics included in the auction were a second edition collection of plays by Shakespeare and a first edition of James Joyce’s Dubliners.

Christie’s Heather Weintraub, commented on the auction and said: ‘It was a privilege working with this exceptional library and we are delighted by the outstanding results.

‘The sale attracted bidders and buyers from around the world and showed that the market is strong for such fine examples of literary high spots.’

The auction consisted of two sales and bidders from 14 different countries fought it out over the books both online and in person.

A spokesperson for Christie’s said: ‘The first edition in its original boards is incredibly fragile and as a result very scarce, so a copy like this, particularly in fine condition, is highly desirable to collectors,’

‘Overall, it’s a very strong market and we are seeing increased demand for fine examples of literary high spots.’

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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