COLLINS (WILKIE) DICKENS (CHARLES) The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, first edition in book form, WILKIE COLLINS'S COPY, Chapman & Hall, 1837
Lot 22
[COLLINS (WILKIE)]
DICKENS (CHARLES) The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, first edition in book form, WILKIE COLLINS'S COPY, Chapman & Hall, 1837
Sold for £4,750 (US$ 6,349) inc. premium

Lot Details
COLLINS (WILKIE) DICKENS (CHARLES) The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, first edition in book form, WILKIE COLLINS'S COPY, Chapman & Hall, 1837 COLLINS (WILKIE) DICKENS (CHARLES) The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, first edition in book form, WILKIE COLLINS'S COPY, Chapman & Hall, 1837
[COLLINS (WILKIE)]
DICKENS (CHARLES) The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, first edition in book form, WILKIE COLLINS'S COPY, with the ownership inscription "W. Wilkie Collins" (possibly autograph) on fly-leaf, additional etched title and plates by Buss (2), Seymour and Phiz, issue with 'Veller' on etched title, plates with usual oxidisation and some stains, lacking half-title, c1 repaired affecting text, contemporary roan gilt, neatly rebacked [Smith 3; Eckel p.23-50], 8vo, Chapman & Hall, 1837

Footnotes

  • WILKIE COLLINS'S COPY OF 'PICKWICK PAPERS': A RECENTLY REDISCOVERED BOOK FROM HIS LIBRARY. Collins would have been about 13 years old when Pickwick Papers was published, and the form of signature on the fly-leaf ("W. Wilkie Collins") is found in other books from his library sold after the author's death. His juvenile signatures do vary and have been the subject of some discussion, so although the signature seems likely to be autograph, it is possible, for example, that the young writer's father, the painter William Collins, wrote his son's name in the book when he gave it to him. Be that as it may, the book was undoubtedly owned by Collins, and as far as we can see no other works by Dickens from his library have appeared on the auction market.

    Provenance: Wilkie Collins, ownership inscription on fly-leaf; "Catalogue of the Interesting Library of Modern Books of the late Wilkie Collins, Esq. Which will be Sold by Auction by Puttick and Simpson Jan. 20th, 1890", lot 57 (pencilled number on front free endpaper); Sotheby's, 16 February 1931, lot 481 ("Wilkie Collins' copy with his autograph signature on fly-leaf"), sold for £6.10 to "Masters"; reputedly from the library of E.M. Forster, acquired following the author's death by the present owner's father, a Senior Librarian in Weybridge from about 1953 to 1975, when Forster's executor "invited a number of friends to select objects from his rooms in his memory" (A.N.L. Munby, Introduction to This book belongs to E.M. Forster, 'Heffer Catalogue Seven', 1971).

    The book is included in William Baker, Wilkie Collins's Library. A Reconstruction, Greenwood Press, 2002, item 156. Baker identifies the 1890 buyer as "Stirling" (who also bought a presentation copy of Dickens's Works and another book with the signature of "W. Wilkie Collins"), but makes no mention of the 1931 sale or any subsequent ownership.

Saleroom notices

  • We are grateful to Professor William Baker, distinguished scholar, author of Wilkie Collins's Library. A Reconstruction and editor of The Letters of Wilkie Collins, for confirmation that in his view the ownership inscription is in the hand of Wilkie Collins.
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