For February’s review of worldwide eBay sales of Agatha Christie related items, we’re highlighting just a few items as we find ourselves somewhat behind due to a number of more detailed articles we are working on. Hopefully the few items we profile below will be of interest to you and provide some insights into the current market for Christie collectibles on eBay. It should be noted that a number of the books sold in February and so far in March appear to be from the collection of noted Christie historian Karl Pike which is why some unique items are appearing.
For every item we profile below, we show the price realized as stated by eBay and the currency based on where it was listed. Generally, to convert, £1 UK = €1.15 = $1.40 US = $1.90 AUST.
The Big Four, The Detective Story Club, Collins, London (March 1931).
Sold for £435.10 with 15 bids. Seller Comments: Small hardback, front hinge cracked & splitting. Pages browned. Some foxing. Loss to the edge of the title page (which is also the front endpaper). Quite good. The dust-jacket is a little frayed with internal repair.
CC Comments: There were a number of small format books with jackets issued in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Collins issued several in their 1/- (one shilling net) range. This imprint was known as the Collins Popular fiction line and included The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Big Four. There were other 1/- editions in the same size but not under this imprint, such as Partners In Crime. However, Collins also tried an imprint called “The Detective Club” (on the cover of the jacket and book) or “The Detective Story Club” as it was noted on the flaps. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Mystery of the Blue Train and The Big Four all appeared under this imprint. Arguably this is a precursor to the Collins Crime Club – a branding that finally resonated with readers. These small format books have become highly collectible and prices continue to rise. Last, but not least, when Collins Crime Club reissued this book in 2017 as part of the 90th anniversary of its first publication, Karl Pike wrote the introduction. Given that this original book likely came from his collection it makes it particularly unique.
The Passing of Mr Quinn, written by G. Roy McRae, The Novel Library, The London Book Company Ltd (circa 1929).
Sold for £382.79 with 11 bids. Seller Comments: Small hardback, original edition. The Book of the Film. Boards stained and a little worn. Pages browned. Quite good. The dust-jacket is very slightly edge worn. little frayed with internal repair. Some browning. Near vg.
CC Comments: Another small format book, based on her short story – The Coming of Mr. Quin - which was the basis of the 1928 film. The big question about this book is whether G. Roy McRae was a pseudonym or not, or whether Agatha Christie had any involvement in writing it. While the latter is unlikely, reader comments are most welcome on this – one of the few remaining Christie mysteries.
The Sittaford Mystery, Collins Crime Club, London (January 1935).
Sold for £387.77 with 6 bids. Seller Comments: Reprint hardback book in jacket. Heavy foxing to page edges. Some heavy foxing to endpapers and in the text. Cloth clean and bright. Page edges dusty. The dust-jacket is worn with some internal repair. Also staining. CC Comments: These full size 2/6 Library Edition jackets are surprisingly uncommon, but provide a very affordable way (for now) to obtain period jackets. This is the 6th printing and features some of the artwork from the first UK edition.
Montblanc Writer's Edition 3 pen set (1993).
Sold for $5,750 as a Buy-it-now. Seller Comments: Sealed new in the box. Fountain pen medium point, ballpoint pen and pencil. New in box as it left the factory.
CC Comments: Arguably a new high watermark for this set given the fountain pen is not the gold vermeil version. In our May 2020 update to our article on collecting these, we estimated a set of all three was valued as £2,500 UK / $3,150 US. These Christie writer's edition pens have a very robust market and continue to garner strong money. The full article on these pens can be read via this link.
Oddity of the Month: Murder on the Orient Express Porcelain figurine.
Sold for $299 as a Buy-it-now. Seller Comments: Sponsored by Agatha Christie Limited. Limited Edition, numbered M1003. Hand painted.
CC Comments: We’re hoping our readers can provide some insights into this. It isn’t something we are familiar with. Someone obviously knew what it was and loved it.
Every month eBay offers great opportunities to add to your collection whether its affordable paperbacks, DVDs, film posters, first editions, ephemera, or Christie related collectibles. Do your due diligence when buying on eBay and seek clarity from sellers on anything unclear or unsaid.
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