First editions are usually valuable, particularly when they are in pristine condition with their original dust jacket intact. In a recent Sotheby’s auction of Gordon Waldorf’s collection of modern literary high spots, Fitzgerald F Scott’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ went under the hammer for $377,000. The 1925 publication was the top seller in the auction. Wholly unrestored, with a few tears along the edges, this original dust-jacket with Cugat illustration is said to have retained much of its original gloss.
Fitzgerald’s ‘This Side of Paradise’ coveted the second spot too, raking in $161,000. Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Sun Also Rises’ shared the second place, fetching $161,000. JRR Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ went under the hammer for $100,000. ‘The Hobbit’ 1937 publication was the first edition, and was imprinted with a stylised misty mountains scene in deep blue ink along the top. All the art work was done by Tolkien himself.