2023 January: Agatha Christie eBay sales of note
The first month of 2023 saw plenty of trade on global eBay sites in ubiquitous collectibles such as common paperbacks, DVDs and reprints, such as the Bantam leatherette editions. There were also a fair amount of 1950s and 1960s first editions that traded hands, but January lacked a lot of unique or otherwise interesting items. Perhaps the holiday season emptied the stocks of many sellers. That said, there were a few items of note so while the list below is shorter than usual, hopefully something piques your interest.
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 = $1.20 US = $1.80 AUS Verification of products or descriptions are not done by Collecting Christie but are taken at face value. Each item cited below begins with the seller’s description followed by our comments.
The World’s Largest Book:
The Complete Miss Marple (single volume book), HarperCollins, London, UK (2009).
Sold for £771.13 with 11 bids.
Seller Comments: A beautiful limited leatherbound edition containing every Miss Marple novel and short story, in its own luxurious wooden box with a new full colour map of St Mary Mead. Limited to a worldwide print of 500 copies, this groundbreaking edition of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books has the distinction of being the biggest book in the world, the novels and short stories presented in the order in which they were written. Strictly limited to 500 numbered copies worldwide, it is hand-bound in real red leather and includes a unique flexible spine that allows for this remarkable book to be read from cover to cover. Including forewords by Agatha Christie’s grandson Mathew Prichard and the award-winning bestselling author Kate Mosse, the one foot-thick book comes housed in its own wooden case adorned with brass fittings and with a leather handle.
CC Comments: For Miss Marple fans - this book is one and done. A truly unique collectible. It is the spine that makes this the world’s largest book as it is over a foot wide. The volume has 4,032 pages (252 16-page hand-sewn sections) and contains all 12 novels and 20 short stories. The book was bound by Cedric & Chivers Period Bookbinding, cased in Winters Wintan leather, blocked in gold on the front and spine, with head and tail bands and four silk ribbon markers. The original retail price was £1,000 pounds. It really did obtain an award from the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest book.
Two Early Printings of The Mysterious Affair at Styles:
The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Dodd Mead & Co., New York, USA (1927).
Sold for $149.95 as a Buy It Now.
Seller Comments: VG. Small tear at top spine; boards are solid with some speckling to front side edge. Name on flyleaf; else lightly toned text with only a couple spots.
CC Comments: This 4th printing [sic] from March 1927 is the 3rd printing by Dodd Mead, and actually the 5th US printing. Dodd Mead & Co. did not print The Mysterious Affair at Styles until 1926 as the original printing was by John Lane, NY. The 2nd printing was the National Book Company (US). The first Dodd Mead printing was in 1926 and is thus quite collectible in its own right. This printing (Dodd’s 3rd) sold here had the same cloth and embossed cover as that first and second Dodd edition. However, the first Grosset & Dunlap edition (who handled the cheaper reprints) was in red cloth and also stated ‘Fourth Printing, March, 1927’ on the copyright page though the flip side of that page states Grosset & Dunlap as the publisher. It confirms the widely accepted position that Grosset often used the same plates as Dodd Mead and often didn’t update the printing sequence, affirming that Grosset’s edition citations are questionable. More details at: Link.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles, John Lane, London, UK (1932).
Sold for £160.10 with 2 Bids.
Seller Comments: First [paperback] edition published by John Lane in the Ninepenny Novel series in June 1932. This is the first paperback publication in the UK of this novel.
CC Comments: Well bought. The two early Christie paperbacks published by John Lane (this title and The Murder on the Links) rarely show for sale but really are a must in any paperback collection. For more insights into this book, see our article on the early paperbacks: Link.
Other Items of Note:
[Belgium Printing] Dix Petits Negres, Le Masque, Bruxelles, Belgique (c.1946).
Sold for €190 as a Buy It Now.
Seller Comments: Complete jacket, rare in this condition.
CC Comments: Effectively the last of the early collectible Le Masque editions – most of which were printed in France. However, this title was produced for the Belgian market. Its cover art is different from the French edition (c.1940) and the overall paper quality of both the book and jacket are poorer likely due to ongoing war related shortages. This copy appeared particularly well preserved and the jacket was bright. Well bought. More details on the Le Masque editions: Link.
[Autograph] Typed Letter Signed, Agatha Christie (1968).
Sold for £890 as a Buy It Now.
Seller Comments: Original Signed Letter from Winterbook House - typed and signed. Condition is remarkable. No staining or toning at all and the corners of the paper are good and sharp.
CC Comments: Of note is the pencilled “C” where Christie was to sign. This implies someone typed the letter for her (unknown if from a Dictaphone or at the discretion of the secretary), so whether she actually did or didn’t remember her first Miss Marple story is questionable given this. Grade: B-. For our grading system on signatures see our article: Link.
[Box Set] Hercule Poirot Novels, The Folio Society, London, UK (2014).
Sold for £500 as a Buy It Now.
Seller Comments: Unread and in 'as new' condition. Check photos for condition. Great books, with wonderful illustrations.
CC Comments: Pricing for these Folio edition books remains strong – as we think it should. They are beautiful editions to own and are a quality product. Our favourite reprint editions. Other sets were also sold this month for similar pricing. If you are not familiar with these editions, please review our detailed article on them: Link.
[Theatre] The Mousetrap 70th Anniversary Souvenir Bundle, London, UK (2022).
Sold for £175 as a Buy It Now.
Seller Comments: Tea towel, typewriter pin, mouse keyring, mouse diary, mouse cup and saucer, stamped program, & fabulous 70th anniversary poster London original theatre.
CC Comments: Who doesn’t love these sorts of collectibles. The mouse design on the cup and saucer is particularly appealing. I shall need to find a set!
Do your due diligence when buying on eBay and seek clarity from sellers on anything unclear or unsaid. You can even write to us at email@example.com and we’ll try to give feedback as quickly as we can. Collecting Christie items should be fun and rewarding so make sure you are paying the right price for the right item.
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