Collecting Ian Fleming novels is something that many find rewarding and these rare books are bound to find an appreciative home if you intend to give them as a gift.
But what do you need to know if you plan to start?
What to look out for
• It should say Jonathan Cape on the title page;
• It should say “first published…” with the correct year (and no other) on the back of the title page.
• To be truly collectable it should also be in its original dust jacket which should be in a good condition. You can tell is an original jacket as it won’t have any quotations from critics.
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Are some books more collectable than others?
When The Man with the Golden Gun was first published, a very small number of copies were decorated with a golden gun on the front of the book. Unfortunately, this was quickly abandoned for economic reasons so books with a golden gun on them are rare and will fetch more money.
Ian Fleming signed a limited edition of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service books which are also rare.
Scarcity plays a role in determining the value. Very few copies of the first three books were published (Casino Royale, Live & Let Die and Moonraker) whereas Octopussy, Ian Fleming’s last book, had a much larger print run and is therefore much more common, so fine copies start from just £65.
Apart from the above, the price of Ian Fleming collectibles depends on their condition. Perfect copies cost tens of thousands of pounds with an edition of Casino Royale fetching £50,000 in 2013, whilst nice ones are available from only a few hundred pounds.
Peter Harrington has two shops in London and they specialise in fine books dating from the 15th to the 20th century. For more information go to peterharrington.co.uk
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