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Modern First Editions

Modern First Edition books represents one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of book collecting at Shapero Rare Books currently, attracting collectors of literature across a range of ages and catering to a very broad church of tastes and enthusiasms.

Modern First Editions at Shapero Rare BooksThe relatively contemporary nature of the authors that tend to be encompassed by the term Modern First Editions (the exact definition of which varies remarkably depending on with whom you speak) means they resonate with many current book collectors. Collecting modern first editions appeals equally to those with established book collections and those just beginning to start building their own collections, and the vast variety of price-points allows for collectors at all levels a point of entry.

Literature, particularly that of the 19th & 20th centuries, has branched out into a wealth of sub-genres, notably, perhaps science fiction, detective fiction, horror & gothic, weird & supernatural literature, and this is mirrored by collecting habits. Collectors of modern first editions can range from those seeking perceived high-spots of 20th & 21st-century fiction to those who are thrilled by dust-jacketed genre titles, runs of prize-winning books (such as the Booker Prize), solely inscribed books and individual author collections.

For similar reasons modern fiction can also make for very good gifts, particularly signed and inscribed books by popular (or even highly specialised) authors.

Modern First Editions to Collect

Collecting first editions can be fun and challenging, but if you would like to find out more please contact our specialists Adam Blakeney and Angus Robb. They will be more than happy to advise you further, and their knowledge of issue points, condition factors and relative scarcity should help those both looking to start collecting or further develop upon existing rare books collections.

If you're in possession of a first edition to sell, please contact us for more information.

See below to buy first edition books, available at Shapero

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  1. First edition; 8vo; vignettes and illustrations by A.H. Watson, some light spotting; publisher's pictorial cloth, colour pictorial dust-jacket by Watson, some chipping and fraying, a little light marking, but overall a very good copy.

  2. First edition of the author's first book; 8vo; title printed in red & black, Christmas gift inscription and sticker to half-title; publisher's red & black cloth, an excellent copy, in the original dust-jacket minor wear to a few corners, but overall fine.

  3. number 2 of 10 special copies in vellum, from an overall limitation of 500; folio; specimen leaf loosely inserted; original vellum gilt by Zaehnsdorf, top edge gilt, others uncut, publisher's cloth solander box, which is rubbed and little soiled but preserving the book in a fine state.

  4. First edition, first issue with text-block printed on heavier stock, but in unrecorded variant binding without the blind rule; 8vo; vorticistic title vignette and tail-piece, internally fine; publisher's light red cloth, a very good copy, printed dust-jacket price-clipped and with slight fraying and minor marking to spine, overall a very good example, presented in a black cloth chemise and matching black morocco-backed cloth box.

  5. First edition. 8vo, top edge stained red. Publisher's blue cloth, spine and upper board lettered and decorated in gilt,upper board faded and mottled, fore-edge a little spotted, pictorial dust jacket, edgeworn with creasing, a few closed tears and chipping to extremities but no loss of lettering, still a collectible copy of the author's scarce first novel.

  6. First edition. 8vo, (22 x 14 cms), 200pp, dark blue cloth, spine gilt lettered, pictorial blue and white dust-jacket.

  7. First British edition, 8vo, original pictorial wrappers with design by Peter Snow, spine slightly sunned and rubbed with small split, but overall a very good copy.

  8. First edition, 8vo, original cloth, dust-jacket, price-clipped otherwise a fine copy.

  9. First edition, 8vo, neat contemporary ink name to front free endpaper, internally fine, publisher's cloth, dust-jacket with still of Laurence Olivier in character, usual slight toning to spine but overall a fine example.

  10. First edition; 8vo; internally fine; publisher's cloth, a sharp, tight copy, first state dust-jacket correctly priced at 7/6, browning to spine with central stain, chipped at spine ends fore-corners, upper panel chipped and creased at top edge with slight loss, but overall a good plus example.

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