FLEMING (IAN) Typed letter signed ("Ian Fleming"), to Dr G.R.C.D. Gibson, of Wisbech, sending, for his confidential information, the bulletin recently placed on the notice board of the headquarters of the Secret Service near Regent's Park, regarding the recovery of James Bond from fugu poisoning, London, 26 September 1957

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 97
FLEMING (IAN)
Typed letter signed ("Ian Fleming"), to Dr G.R.C.D. Gibson, of Wisbech, sending, for his confidential information, the bulletin recently placed on the notice board of the headquarters of the Secret Service near Regent's Park regarding the recovery of James Bond from fugu poisoning, London, 26 September 1957

Sold for £ 3,500 (US$ 4,814) inc. premium
FLEMING (IAN)
Typed letter signed ("Ian Fleming"), to Dr G.R.C.D. Gibson, of Wisbech, sending, for his confidential information, the bulletin recently placed on the notice board of the headquarters of the Secret Service near Regent's Park, namely that: "After a period of anxiety the condition of No. 007 shows definitive improvement. It has been confirmed that 007 was suffering from severe Fugu poisoning (a particularly virulent member of the curare group obtained from the sex glands of the Japanese Globe fish). This diagnosis, for which the Research Department of the School of Tropical Medicine was responsible, has determined a course of treatment which is proving successful", the bulletin issued by Sir James Molony of the Department of Neurology, St Mary's Hospital; Fleming adding that, in view of the above, it can be taken that James Bond will in due course be reporting fit for duty; adding: "As to James Bond's motor car, he is in fact in the process of being re-equipped, and the body-builders are now at work on the chassis. For security reasons I'm sure you will appreciate that neither the make of the car nor its speed can at this date be revealed", Kemsley House, 1 page, printed heading, 4to, London, 26 September 1957

Footnotes

  • ʻ007 WAS SUFFERING FROM SEVERE FUGU POISONING' – FLEMING RESURRECTS JAMES BOND AFTER HIS FATAL POISONING BY ROSA KLEBB IN FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Published in the spring of 1957, From Russia with Love ends with Bond's being stabbed by the poisoned knife famously secreted in Rosa Klebb's boot and with his subsequent collapse into unconsciousness. As when Moriarty and Holmes plunged off the Reichenbach Falls, this gave Fleming the opportunity to kill off his hero: ʻ"Au revoir, Rosa,' said Bond. The yellow eyes blazed briefly. "Farewell, Mister Bond." The boot, with its tiny steel tongue, flashed out. Bond felt a sharp pain in his right calf. It was only the sort of pain you would get from a kick. He flinched and stepped back... Mathis laughed. "My poor James," he said. "Count on SMERSH to have the last word."... Numbness was creeping up Bond's body. He felt very cold. He lifted his hands to brush the comma of hair over his right eyebrow. There was no feeling in his fingers. They felt as big as cucumbers. His hand fell heavily to his side. Breathing became difficult... Bond felt his knees begin to buckle... Bond pivoted slowly on his heel and crushed headlong to the wine-red floor'.

    It was only with publication of Dr. No on 31 March 1958 that the public learned of Bond's miraculous survival. In the book, it falls to Sir James Molony of St Mary's Hospital to inform a very grumpy M. of the good news: ʻGot the message yesterday... Taken us three months, It was a bright chap at the School of Tropical Medicine who came up with it. The drug was fugu poison. The Japanese use it for committing suicide. It comes from the sex organs of the Japanese globe-fish. Trust the Russians to use something no one's ever heard of. They might as well have used curare. It has much the same effect – paralysis of the central nervous system. Fugu's scientific name is Tetrodotoxin. It's terrible stuff and very quick. One shot of it like your man got and in a matter of seconds the motor and respiratory muscles are paralysed. At first the chap sees double and then can't keep his eyes open. Next he can't swallow. His head falls and he can't raise it. Dies of respiratory paralysis'. Although Sir James gets the symptoms more-or-less right (it takes longer than described, and the victim remains conscious throughout), the specified cure – treating Bond as if for curare poisoning – would not have been of much use. For, even to this day, there is no known antidote to fugu poisoning.

Saleroom notices

  • Online catalogue should read: professionally removed from board, with slight thinning.
Contacts
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine, Whisky and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £10,000 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £10,000 up to and including £450,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £450,000 up to and including £4,500,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £4,500,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

App