Records & Results: 19th & 20th Century Literature Feat. The Lawrence M. Solomon Collection

This two-part November sale began with The Lawrence M. Solomon Collection of Mystery, Detective and Science-Fiction Literature, and concluded with 19th & 20th Century Literature, which brought strong results for titles in the hard-boiled school of detective fiction and rare first editions of genre forerunners. 


Left, Lot 160: Dashiell Hammett, The Dain Curse, first edition, in dust jacket, New York, 1929. Sold November 10, 2015 for $40,000.
Right, Lot 165: Hammett, Red Harvest, first edition, first issue dust jacket, New York, 1929. Sold November 10, 2015 for $65,000.

In the past decade, no other copies of Dashiell Hammett’s The Dain Curse have appeared at auction in their original dust jacket. The first edition sold for an auction record of $40,000, doubling its high estimate. Hammett’s first novel Red Harvest, in its first issue dust jacket, realized $65,000. 
 Lot 212: Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera, first American edition, first printing, in original dust jacket, New York, 1911. Sold November 10, 2015 for $35,000.


This first American edition of Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera is the first jacketed variant of its kind to appear at auction, and is one of only two known copies to retain the original jacket. The horror and science-fiction mainstay sold for an auction record of $35,000. 

Left, Lot 36: John Dickson Carr, It Walks By Night, first edition, New York, 1930. Sold November 10, 2015 for $5,500.
Right, Lot 284: Mary Roberts Rinehart, The Man in the Lower Ten, first edition, in dust jacket, Indianapolis, (1909). Sold November 10, 2015 for $5,500. 
First editions John Dickson Carr’s It Walks By Night, and Mary Roberts Rinehart’s The Man in the Lower Ten, each made auction records of $5,500. 
Lot 313: Rex Stout, The League of Frightened Men, advance review copy, New York, (1935). Sold November 10, 2015 for $42,500.
An advance review copy of the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout came to auction for the first time and realized an $42,500, nearly five times its estimate. The wrappers on this edition were improperly sized during production, and as a result not many survived, the small print run was likely deemed unfit for sale and pulped or otherwise put away, making this edition exceedingly rare. 
Lot 344: Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon, first edition, Newark, 1869. Sold November 10, 2015 for $22,500.
Also making its auction debut was a first edition of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon. With only periodical appearances predating the publication, this was Verne’s first book to be published in America. “The black tulip” of first editions by Verne, one of four known copies, realized $22,500. 
Lot 450: Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte-Cristo, first English edition in book-form, with a tipped-in ALS in front of each volume, London, 1846. Sold November 10, 2015 for $47,500.
A two-volume set of the first English edition of Alexander Dumas’s classic The Count of Monte Cristo to appear in book-form sold for $47,500, setting an auction record.
Swann 19th & 20th Century Literature specialist John D. Larson said, “The strong prices and records ensure that Dr. Solomon’s important collection will be remembered along with other market-defining auctions, including the Goldstone, Ackerman, Neville and Lackritz sales.”

View the full results here.