AbeBooks’ 50 Most Expensive Sales of 2014 included five books from the sf and fantasy genres — two of them copies of the same edition of Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali.
However, the highest price paid in 2014 was $43,450 for a collection of books containing posters from Les Maîtres de L’Affiche, a French art magazine that reproduced the finest posters at the height of the Art Nouveau movement, with work by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, William Nicholson and Maxfield Parrish.
And in second place was the $40,000 pricetag on an 1867 edition of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital.
The top genre works on the list are:
8. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll & illustrated by Salvador Dali – $20,000 The 1969 Maecenas Press/Random House edition, signed by the artist. The seller described the book ‘as new’ and its leather Solander box as ‘fine’. Only 2,500 copies were produced, containing 12 memorable illustrations from the surrealist.
12. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling – $15,956 An uncorrected proof in white with a yellow stripe, 224 pages long. It lists Joanne Rowling on the copyright page and J A Rowling on the title page.
13. Dune by Frank Herbert – $15,000 A 1965 signed first edition of this famous science fiction novel complete with its dust jacket. One of 4,000 first edition copies.
27. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and illustrated by Salvador Dali – $11,500 The 1969 Random House edition signed by Dali, who provided 12 color plates. This is number 533 of 2,500 copies. Similar copies sold for $20,000 in January 2014 and $7,650 in November 2013.
30. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – $11,000 A second edition and 11th overall impression. Signed by Tolkien on the title page. The book and its jacket are in near fine condition.
Also in the top 50 was this space exploration collectable:
33. Apollo 11 Large Color Photo – Signed – $10,031 Color photo of Buzz Aldrin standing next to a seismic experiment on the moon with the Lunar Module Eagle and U.S. flag prominent in the background. It is mounted to a 20″ x 16″ board signed by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, and inscribed, “To His Royal Highness/ Prince Bernhard/ of the Netherlands/ From The Apollo 11 Crew”.
[Thanks to Michael J. Walsh for the story.]