• David Morris

2022 May: Agatha Christie Items sold on eBay.

This month’s review of worldwide eBay sales of Agatha Christie related items again focuses on a few of the highlights. Over the months, these eBay reviews provide some insights into the current online market for Christie collectibles.


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 = €1.10 = $1.25 US = $1.75 AUST. Verification of products or descriptions are not done by Collecting Christie but are taken at face value. Buyers should always seek provenance or greater detail as needed when considering any high-priced item, especially signed items. Each item cited below begins with the seller’s description followed by our comments.


Two Books from 1930.

L'homme au Complet Marron (The Man in the Brown Suit), Le Masque, France (1930). Sold for a negotiated price. Listed for €850. Seller Comments: Original jacket, Tears, folds, moisture stains, writings. CC Comments: We love these French editions as they have wonderful vintage artwork. It would be great to know the agreed to price (did one of our readers buy this?), but the demand for these books is growing, and the article we wrote about them is one of our most viewed. Click here to access it.


Giants’ Bread, Doubleday Doran, New York, USA (1930). Sold for $375 with 21 bids. Seller Comments: Bright and complete dust jacket, which at some point was folded and therefore has two vertical creases down the front flap and the spine, with some general soiling and rubbing, a few tears, sunned spine, small chips. Black cloth boards with deco labels affixed to front panel and spine that show some flaking. CC Comments: While not as scarce as the UK edition, The Westmacott books are generally much more affordable than Christie titles from the same years. We recently wrote about all these books and collecting them as it still appears to be an area that has a lot of appreciation potential. Full story here.


Two Unjacketed Collins Crime Club Books from the 1930s.


Death on the Nile, Collins, The Crime Club, London, UK (1937). Sold for £700 with 1 bid. Seller Comments: 1st Edition / 1st Print. Orange Boards with black titles on Spine. Solid, square. No loose pages. Minimal foxing. Clean, almost cream page edges, hardly dusty at all. There is only one point to note between pages 64 - 65. The pages are firmly in place, not loose, but the inner binding is showing here. Small amount of shelf bumping on the spine ends. No inscriptions in ink and only the number 95 in pencil on FFEP. CC Comments: With the new film refocusing attention on this title, it is fair to say this title and Murder on the Orient Express are two of the most collected books from this decade. With a jacketed copy likely worth 20 times this price, this is a much more affordable way to add this book to one’s collection. With its better than most cloth, it was well bought. Came with a facsimile dust-jacket.


Appointment with Death, Collins, The Crime Club, London, UK (1938). Sold for £225 as a Buy-it-Now. Seller Comments: Orange boards, minor foxing to prelims and fore-edge, neat inscription to front end paper, contents clean, a better than VG copy. Increasingly tough to find in this condition. CC Comments: Books from this period are getting very hard to find with good cloth – even without a jacket. Another great novel and one of her travel books. Well bought.


A Selection of Collins books from the 1944-1950.

Many of the books below appear to have been from the collection of Karl Pike which was still be sold off on eBay.


Towards Zero, Collins, The Crime Club, London, UK (1944). Sold for £220 with 25 bids. Seller Comments: The book is in very good condition. Small gift inscription to the front endpaper. No marks or other inscriptions. Red boards are clean and bright. Minor stain around the lower spine edge. Spine ends are a little soft. Dust jacket has minor edge wear. Price-clipped. Spine is darkened/discoloured, with staining around the lower spine. VG book in G+ jacket. CC Comments: These thinner, smaller first editions from the 1940s that started with N or M? are getting hard to find in complete, collector quality jackets. This book, in particular due to its white paper jacket, is prone to soiling as was the case here. Sometimes you must buy what you can and then try to upgrade later should the opportunity arise.


Sparkling Cyanide, Collins, The Crime Club, London, UK (1945). Sold for £197.98 with 33 bids. Seller Comments: The book is in very good condition. Contents are complete, clean and tight. No marks or inscriptions. Red boards are exceptionally clean and bright. Spine ends are a little worn. Dust jacket has chipping and edge wear. Price-clipped. VG+ book in VG- jacket. CC Comments: Price clipped jackets are about 10% or so less valuable as many books from this period did issue a 2nd state jacket with a 4/- price. While the rest of the jacket would be identical, fastidious collectors really seek the jackets from this decade with the original 7/6 price showing (or 8/6 price on the late 1940s books).


The Labours of Hercules, Collins, The Crime Club, London, UK (1947). Sold for £240.10 with 20 bids. Seller Comments: Page edges dusty. The top of the text block looks rubbed. Spine a little grubby and dull. Cloth a little stained. Edges rubbed. Pages slightly browned. No inscriptions not ex-library. Quite good. The dust-jacket is edge worn with some internal repair. White paper strengthening inside to front fold and rear edge of spine. A little creased and grubby. Not price-clipped at 8s 6d net. Overall good plus. CC Comments: While Collins may have learned their lesson about using white dust jackets with Towards Zero, the black jacket for this book commonly is creased and worn – which shows poorly. It is a very hard book to find with a near fine jacket.


Crooked House, Collins, The Crime Club, London, UK (1949). Sold for £293 with 22 bids. Seller Comments: Top of text block rubbed. Page edges foxed. Some other foxing mainly to endpapers and pastedowns. Orange cloth very clean. Slightly bumped top of the spine. Near vg. The dust-jacket is very slightly edge worn. Tear to the bottom rear edge of the spine. CC Comments: This title is getting quite scarce to find in collector quality condition – but this one was – justifying its strong price.


A Murder is Announced, Collins, The Crime Club, London, UK (1950). Sold for £171 with 16 bids. Seller Comments: Page edges dusty, rubbed to the top & bottom of the text block. Some foxing and staining to page edges. And a little into the margins. Some foxing. Quite good. The dust-jacket has loss to top and bottom of the spine. A little edge wear. Some green felt-tip colouring in. Slight scratch to rear. Also grubby. Priced at 8s 6d net on the front flap which is foxed. Front edge of spine rubbed. CC Comments: Without the valuable promotional insert! Collectively, these five books show the growing prices and demand for books from this decade. Once ubiquitous they are now becoming uncommon.


Graphic Art Collectibles:


Murder on the Orient Express Screen Print Poster (2022). Sold for £129 as a Buy-it-Now. Seller Comments: 18” x 24” screen print, 300gsm Gmund Bauhaus Black paper, Hand numbered. Gallery stamp on the reverse, Printed by White Duck Editions, Limited edition of 200. CC Comments: Our recent article about the new crop of collectible screen prints discusses those created by both Johnny Dombowski and the WBYK collaborative. This one is part of the trilogy created by WBYK that also included Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun. Click here for the full article.


Group of 7 Graphic Novels, HarperCollins, (2002-2012). Sold for $125 with 1 bid. Seller Comments: A selection of seven hardcover graphic novels adapted from the works of Agatha Christie in very fine condition. CC Comments: Included Dead Man’s Folly which has an introduction by Mathew Prichard (2012). Originally issued in French, 24 novels were converted to a graphic (cartoon) format. Of these 21 were translated into English – so this collection represents a third of those books. Our full article on the 24 books converted to graphic novels can be found here.


First Day Covers:


[Stamps: FDC] Agatha Christie first day cover (1991). Sold for £49.99 as a Buy It Now. Seller Comments: With four Original Signatures of David Suchet, Pauline Moran (Miss Lemon), Philip Jackson (Japp) & Hugh Fraser (Hastings). CC Comments: A market correct price, and signed FDCs with these signatures seem fairly common.


[Stamps: FDC] Agatha Christie’s Poirot FDC (2016). Sold for £95 as a Buy It Now. Seller Comments: signed by Olivia Colman, Pauline Moran, Philip Jackson and Hugh Fraser. CC Comments: A rather odd collection of signatures – as Olivia Colman starred in the Kenneth Branagh production of Murder on the Orient Express, while the rest of these are from the television show – Poirot. While Olivia Coleman’s signature is fairly common, its unusual to see on a Christie FDC thus the stronger price. Of note - these are arguably the best stamps ever created by the Post Office. If you aren't aware of all the secret clues, thermographic ink, etc... hidden in them, then you must read our full article about them (here). You'll immediately want to buy them!


A Couple of Fun Items:


Matchbox, Burgh Island Hotel, Bigbury, Devon (circa ?). Sold for £6.95 as a Buy-it-Now. Seller Comments: Rare – matches complete. CC Comments: When I was last at the hotel, there were no matches! Too many places have stopped giving them out. While many no longer smoke, we all have candles!


[Model Trains] Poirot OO Gauge Hand Painted Figure (new). Sold for £14.99 as a Buy-it-Now. Seller Comments: Hercule Poirot figure, immaculately Dressed, bowtie handkerchief & spats, Homburg & moustache, walking cane. For OO Scale Model Railway Layouts & 1:76 Diecast Dioramas. CC Comments: If I had a train set, I would now definitely need to integrate an Agatha Christie themed diorama… hmm… a Murder on the Orient Express themed model railway set up would be great fun. Anyone have one? Send pictures to us at: collectchristie@gmail.com


Summary:

As we’ve said before, eBay offers great opportunities to add to your collection. Do your due diligence when buying on eBay and seek clarity from sellers on anything unclear or unsaid.


Happy hunting!


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