George Orwell's first edition book sells for £86K at auction

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London, Mar 26 (ANI): A rare signed first edition of late English novelist and journalist George Orwell's first full-length work, which auctioneers say is in mint condition, has been sold for 86,000 pounds at auction.

The copy of 'Down And Out In Paris And London', which is complete with a dust jacket, had a pre-sale guide price of 2,500-3,500 pounds, and it was bought by a private client at Gorringes Auction House in Lewes, East Sussex.

"I would be shocked if it isn't a record," the BBC quoted Aaron Dean, book specialist at the auction house, as saying.

Orwell had written inside the book to his agent Leonard Moore: "With the author's kind regards, to Mr LP Moore without whose kind assistance this book would never have been published. Eric Blair, 24.12.32."

Including the buyers premium, the book sold for a total of 101,050 pounds.

"The two things that were rare about this were that it was personally inscribed by the author with a nice little ditty," Dean said.

"Secondly, it had its dust jacket. No first editions of this book with dust jackets have been seen for 27 years.

"To put the significance of that in perspective, last year a copy which was not in great condition and didn't have a dust jacket sold for 13,200 pounds.

"This one was an absolutely brilliant copy. The dust jacket had a little bit of wear and tear but, when you took it off, the book was in mint condition," he revealed.

Dean said there was strong bidding, with 10 people on the telephone, and it was bought by a man in the room.

"I opened the bidding at 5,000 pounds and someone immediately jumped in to take it to 15,000 pounds and from there it bounced up to 86,000 pounds.

"I knew it would do well, I had a lot people who were hugely interested in it and the consensus was that it would reach somewhere between 30,000 pounds and 40,000 pounds.

"But I wasn't expecting that price. I was absolutely stunned, the room was absolutely stunned and the vendors, who were in the room, were thoroughly happy," he added.

'Down And Out In Paris And London' is an autobiographical work by Orwell, whose real name was Eric Blair, split into two parts, on the theme of poverty in the two capital cities.

It was published in January 1933 by Victor Gollancz, after being rejected by two other major publishers.

Orwell, who died in 1950, went on to write two of the 20th century's most famous novels, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. (ANI)

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