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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., map to front endpapers, a little minor spotting, original cloth, very minor rolling to spine, otherwise a sharp, bright copy, dust-jacket by Hugh Chesterman, very slight creasing to head of spine with a few tiny closed tears, overall a very good example with the original publisher's printed wrap-around.

  2. First edition, 8vo, frontispiece, 4pp. advertisements, original cloth, dust-jacket, chipped and frayed at spine ends and corners, some other edge wear and occasional rubbing.

  3. First edition, 8vo., [i-ii,] iii-iv, 1-218, [219], [220, blank]pp., pictorial frontispiece and endpapers by Rob Beebe, publisher's orange cloth lettered in black, pictorial dust-jacket, also by Beebe, closed tears to base of upper panel and corner of rear one, rubbed at extremities, spine-ends chipped, otherwise good to very good.

  4. First edition, 8vo., 286, [2 (blank)]pp., publisher's advertisement and postcard loosely inserted, publisher's red cloth, spine lettered directly in gilt, colour-printed dust-jacket, top-edge a little dust-stained, very slight nicks to head-cap of dust-jacket, minimal discolouration at joints, otherwise a fine copy.

  5. First U.K. MGM edition, small 8vo., eight full-page photographic stills from the film, tone but clean, publisher's red cloth boards gilt, pictorial dust-jacket, illustrated on both panels, small chips to spine extremities and corners, otherwise very good and bright.

  6. First edition, 8vo, mild foxing mostly to extremities of text block, gift inscription to front free endpaper dated November 1922, original pictorial cloth, an excellent copy, dust-jacket by Gordon Robinson, wear to corners and near head of spine, with section of loss to upper panel affecting the 'TR' in 'TRIUMPH', 2 light vertical creases to upper panel, some minor marking.

  7. First edition, 8vo, a little light spotting, publisher's cloth, very good, dust-jacket, chipped with minor loss to some corners, otherwise very good.

  8. First edition, 8vo, title vignette, photographic plate, original boards, dust-jacket, price-clipped, 2 closed tears, some minor chipping.

  9. Special facsimile edition, number 258 of 500 copies, small 8vo, 169, [blank]pp., + 15pp advertisements (as originally published), 'perfect' bound in white card with facsimile of original cover design, red card dust-jacket gilt, a fine copy.

  10. First edition, number 98 of 165 copies, 8vo, illustrations by Elspeth Sojka, original marbled wrappers, printed label to spine, a fine copy.



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Contact us for more information about Modern First Editions

+44 (0)20 7493 0876