• David Morris

CHRISTIE BOOK AUCTION: 9-10 June 2021: Heritage Auctions

Below is our preview of the Heritage Auction "Rare Books Signature Auction #6232" to be held on 9-10 June 2021 online in the USA. Interested bidders should register well in advance to ensure bidder rights are granted in time and can either bid live or online in advance.


There are seven lots for sale that containing Agatha Christie books – most with multiple books per lot. All auctions have no reserve with no estimate. Prices listed below are the current bid price as of the time this article is published but do not include the 25% buyer’s premium. Most books in this auction are well used, fair or better copies. None appear fine and several are ex-library. This makes the pricing likely to be on the lower end creating opportunities for collectors who value price over quality to expand their collections significantly. While we've always said buy the best quality you can afford, many of our readers have contacted us to say they wish they could find affordable copies of the early first editions. This auction is for you - a perfect way to rapidly build a collection at an affordable price.


Lot #45588:

Group of Four First American Editions. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1922-1937. Two titles are in dust jacket. The Secret Adversary. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1922. First American edition in original orange cloth and black lettering. Spine sunned, soiled, and edge-worn. Boards rubbed, soiled. Front hinge a bit over-opened, ownership signature on front free endpaper. End-leaves and text toned, with occasional thumb soiling. Some gutters over-opened. Skewed. Fair. [Together with:] The Mysterious Mr. Quin. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1930. First American edition in original pink cloth with black lettering, & dust jacket. Cloth spine and board-edges sunned, soiled, and worn. Previous owner's ink initials on front free endpaper. End-leaves toned. Jacket spine heavily toned, worn, soiled, with chipping at edges. Jacket panels edge-worn, soiled, chipped, with some creased tears. Good. [And:] Murder in the Calais Coach. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1934. First American edition in original beige cloth, with black lettering. Spine sunned, soiled, and rubbed. Boards rubbed and somewhat soiled. Corners bumped. Good. [And:] Cards on the Table. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1937. First American edition in original orange cloth, black lettering & dust jacket. Cloth spine a bit toned, rubbed, soiled. Cloth boards rubbed, soiled, and lightly bumped. End-leaves toned and offset. Jacket spine sunned, soiled, chipped. Jacket panels edge-worn, soiled, chipped, with several creased tears. Good.


CC Comments: The most valuable of this group is the jacketed Mr. Quin, though the US Cards is starting to be less common. Current bid for the lot: $200 US, which is well under market currently.


Lot #45589:

Group of Seven First American Editions. New York: Dodd, Mead, [1922-1961]. Four titles in dust jackets. The Secret Adversary. New York: Dodd, Mead, [1922]. First American edition of her second book. Publisher's full orange cloth, front board and spine stamped in black. Spine sunned and rubbed, boards rubbed and soiled. Front free endpaper partially torn at gutter. Good. [Together with:] The Tuesday Club Murders. New York: Dodd, Mead, [1933]. First American edition. Publisher's full light red cloth, front board and spine lettered in black. Spine sunned and edgeworn. Boards with mild edgewear, soiling. Slightly skewed. Good. [And:] The Regatta Mystery. New York: Dodd, Mead, [1939]. First American edition. Publisher's full orange cloth, front board and spine stamped in black. Spine and board edges sunned. Binding worn and soiled. Boards bowed outward. Endleaves foxed and soiled. Slightly skewed. Fair. [And:] Sad Cypress. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1940. First American edition. Publisher's full green cloth, front board and spine lettered in black, dust jacket. Some soiling, wear, to binding. Jacket is glued to binding at flaps, and so cannot be removed. Jacket spine sunned and worn. Jacket reinforced with tape at edges on verso. Jacket panels worn, soiled, chipped. Skewed. Fair. [And:] The Moving Finger. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1942. First American edition. Publisher's full red cloth, front board and spine stamped in black, dust jacket. Some wear to cloth spine. Some rubbing, soiling to cloth boards, endleaves toned, foxed. Jacket spine sunned, worn and chipped. Jacket panels edgeworn, soiled, chipped, with tears. Ink note on front jacket flap. Fair. [And:] Three Blind Mice. New York: Dodd, Mead, [1948]. First American edition. Publisher's full red cloth, front board and spine stamped in white, dust jacket. Cloth spine and corners rubbed. Jacket spine sunned, chipped, and worn. Jacket panels toned, foxed, soiled, edgeworn, chipped with tears. Good. [And:] Double Sin... New York: Dodd, Mead, [1961]. First American edition. Publisher's full cream cloth, front board and spine stamped in green, price-clipped dust jacket. Cloth binding mildly rubbed at edges, corners bumped, ink stamp on front free endpaper. Jacket spine sunned, damp stained, and worn, jacket panels toned, soiled, worn. Fair.


CC Comments: The Tuesday Club Murders is one of those very hard books to find in very good or better condition. With the image and the description provided, this is potentially one of those elusive copies to find and will likely be the main reason someone buys this lot. Current bid for the lot: $130 US.


Lot #45590:

Group of Five First Editions. London: John Lane [and:] W. Collins Sons, [1923-1928]. The Murder on the Links. London: John Lane, [1923]. First edition. Publisher's full orange cloth, front board and spine decoratively stamped in black. Spine sunned and worn with tears. Boards worn, soiled, sunned, joints with tears. Hinges starting. Text toned with some thumb soiling, a few gutters starting. Fair. [Together with:] Poirot Investigates. London: John Lane, [1924]. First edition. Publisher's full yellow cloth, front board and spine decoratively stamped in black. Spine quite sunned, soiled and worn. Boards worn, soiled. Gutter facing half-title cracked, Royal Naval War Libraries ink stamp on front pastedown, second-to-last rear gutter cracked. Possible repair to rear hinge. Text toned with some soiling, several gutters cracked. Fair. [And:] The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. London: W. Collins Sons, [1926]. First edition. Publisher's full blue cloth, front board and spine stamped in orange. Spine sunned, soiled, and worn. Boards worn, soiled. Front end-leaves with pencil markings and erased pencil markings, text toned with some soiling, a few gutters over-opened. Skewed. Fair. [And:] The Big Four. London: W. Collins Sons, [1927]. First edition. Publisher's full blue cloth, front board and spine stamped in orange. Spine sunned, soiled, and worn. Some wear, soiling to boards. Ownership signature on front free endpaper. Some occasional soiling in text. Good. [And:] The Mystery of the Blue Train. W. Collins Sons, [no date, ca. 1928]. First edition. Publisher's full blue cloth, front board and spine stamped in orange. Spine sunned, soiled, and worn. Some wear, soiling to boards. Ownership signature on front free endpaper. Some occasional soiling in text. Skewed. Fair.


CC Comments: The Bodley Head printing of Murder on the Links is incredibly rare in any condition. The overall lot contains some rare items, regardless of condition, but the Links book will drive the price realized. Current bid for the lot: $775 US which is significantly below market for this grouping.


Lot #45591:

A pair of Partners in Crime. London [and] New York: W. Collins [and] Dodd, Mead, 1929. First edition, and first American edition. American edition in original dust jacket. Partners in Crime. London: W. Collins, 1929. First edition. Publisher's full black cloth, front board and spine stamped in red. Binding worn and soiled, hinges starting. Two bookplates (one affixed over the other) on the front pastedown. Text toned, thumb soiled, several gutters over opened. Fair. [Together with:] Partners in Crime, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1929. First American edition. Publisher's full turquoise cloth, front board and spine stamped in red. In original dust jacket. Cloth spine creased, cloth binding soiled, edgeworn, sunned, endleaves creased, ink ownership name and bookseller's ticket on front free endpaper, text toned with occasional thumbsoiling. Jacket spine toned and chipped (with loss of text), jacket panels toned, edgeworn, with some chipping, small tears, soiling. Slightly skewed. Good. Housed in later cardboard slipcase, with label for a title by Sigrid Undset (worn).


CC Comments: One of the best jackets designed ever for a Christie book – the US version of Partners in Crime – with its wonderful art deco style. Needing minimal jacket restoration, a likely affordable set. It should also be noted that the true first edition is debatable here - many scholars now believe the US edition was published shortly before the UK edition. Current bid for the lot: $130 US. Well under market.


Lot #45592:

Thirteen First Editions. London: Crime Club, [1930-1942]. All in publisher's full orange cloth, spines lettered in black. Spines sunned, bindings worn and soiled. Text generally toned with some thumbsoiling, some ink stamps and markings. A few hinges, gutters starting. Several titles skewed. Generally fair. Titles include: The Murder at the Vicarage, Peril at End House, Lord Edgware Dies, The ABC Murders, Cards on the Table (with library plate & inkstamps), Murder in Mesopotamia, Evil Under the Sun, Three Act Tragedy, Death on the Nile, Appointment with Death, Dumb Witness, Murder in the Mews, The Body in the Library.


CC Comments: This will likely prove a very affordable way to quickly acquire most of Christie’s titles from the 1930s. Murder in the Mews is the rarest of the group but the condition of Peril at End House appears the best. Current bid for the lot: $575. A great opportunity for a bulk buy.


Lot #45593:

Murder on the Orient Express. London: The Crime Club, [1934]. First edition. Octavo. 254, [2, ads] pages. Publisher's full orange cloth, front board and spine lettered in black. Spine sunned and worn, binding worn and soiled. Ink name on front pastedown. Edges of text block foxed. Skewed. Fair.


CC Comments: True first editions of this book are very rare, especially non-library versions. See our detailed article on collecting this book for more details. The quality here seems better than ‘fair’ per its description, so will likely make someone very happy. Current price bid: $700, which is currently perhaps half to a third of its value (plus buyer's premium).


Lot #45594:

Twenty-Five First Editions. London: The Crime Club, 1939-1979. All in dust jacket. Publisher's full red or orange cloth, spines lettered in black or gilt. Each in dust jacket. Several titles are price-clipped. Some rubbing, soiling, sunning to bindings and jackets. Several have previous owner's markings (ink notations, stamps, etc.). Some jackets have tape repairs to verso or recto or chipping. Generally fair or better. Titles include: Hercule Poirot's Christmas, N or M?, A Caribbean Mystery, A Pocket Full of Rye, Five Little Pigs, Postern of Fate, At Bertram's Hotel, By the Pricking of My Thumbs, Mrs. McGinty's Dead, The Labours of Hercules, A Murder Is Announced, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, They Do It with Mirrors, Sleeping Murder, Nemesis, One Two Buckle My Shoe, Dead Man's Folly, The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, Taken at the Flood, The Hollow, Cat Among the Pigeons, After the Funeral, Hickory Dickory Dock, 4-50 from Paddington, Miss Marple's 6 Final Cases.


CC Comments: There are some books in this lot that are quite valuable, such as Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, N or M?, and One, Two, Buckle My Shoe. Likely to be a major bargain and private buyers will certainly be competing against resellers / dealers for this lot. Current price bid for the lot: $1,700 US and its worth multiple times more in retail.


Full auction details at Heritage Auctions can be found by clicking here.

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