Yesterday the internet was thick with the news that Alice Liddell’s own copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass were be sold at auction. What few sites mentioned was that alongside these books, the auction house catalog is advertising a veritable who’s who, or what’s what, list of early Alice printed collectibles:
- not one, but two editions of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, one of which is a first edition, presentation copy inscribed by the author to the mother of Edith Blakemore.
- a first edition of The Nursery “Alice”, one of twelve specially bound as samples for the American market
- a first edition of the Wonderland Postage Stamp Case, inscribed to “Miss Wordsworth [great niece of William Wordsworth], from the Inventor. May, 1891.” (A potential steal, listed at $1,000 -$1,500. Don’t you wish you had bought one for a shilling when you had the chance?)
- An Easter Greeting to Every Child Who Loves “Alice”, inscribed to Edith Blakemore from Lewis Carroll. “Four-page pamphlet written on the celebration of Easter for young readers of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
- and of course lot 28: “Through the Looking-Glass, First Edition, the Dedication Copy, presented to the original Alice by Lewis Carroll and signed by her …with misprint “wade” for “wabe” on page 21.”
- an original ink drawing of Edith Blakemore by Dodgson, “in a bathing costume, holding a bucket and spade, leaning against the wheel of a bathing machine.”
- a letter from Dodgson sending a specimen of his stamp case “…Would you kindly furnish me with the addresses of any Stationers (doing a good amount of business) to whom it would be worth my while to send a specimen-copy of my new Stamp-Case…?”
- another first edition of Through the Looking-Glass, this one with two original pencil drawings by Tenniel on the half-title signed “Ever yours, JT”.
- #743 of 1,500 copies of the 1932 Limited Editions Club print of Wonderland and Looking-Glass, signed “Alice Hargreaves”
- Eight or Nine Wise Words about Letter-Writing, inscribed by Lewis Carroll to Alice Blakemore, the mother of one of his child-friends.
- and finally, an original John Tenniel drawing of the sleeping Gryphon (list price $60,000-$80,000!)
The items are being auctioned by Profiles in History on December 16th, the same Hollywood memorabilia dealer selected to auction Michael Jackson’s be-gemed and illuminated glove. Full descriptions and images of all the Alice items can be viewed in a pdf of the catalog, available on their website.