Alice in Wonderland could become the most expensive children’s book. The legendary book of Lewis Caroll or Charles Dodgson’s in real life is for sale. On June 16, Christie’s is going to auction the book at 12 pm. As per the auction house estimate, the book could sell for $2.9 million. If things go as expected, the book will be the most expensive ever sold.
The first edition of Alice in Wonderland focuses on Alice’s adventure. The Oxford University Press first printed the book in 1865. At the time the book was printed, Dodgson rejected the copies due to poor quality and there are only 50 copies printed at that time. The author rejected the 50 copies because the pictures were not perfect. When the author rejected the copies, none of it went on sale and only 22 copies said to have survived. Out of the 22 copies that have survived, six are in the hands of private collectors. The rest of the copies are in museums or at libraries.
To date, there are only 10 copies still in its original red cloth. Only a few people possessed the books and one of them is Jon Lindseth who bought it in 1997. Lindseth is a book collector, bibliographer and published scholar of L. Caroll who is now 80 years old. He is donating his book collection to the British Library. And one of the book he will be donating is this rare first edition of Alice in Wonderland.
Before Lindseth picked up the book in 1997, George William Kitchin originally owned it. The story goes, Lewis Caroll rejected the books but give some of the copies to a few family and friends. One of the copies is given to his colleague at Oxford, George William Kitchin. At that time, Kitchin was also the secretary of the School Book Committee for the University Press.
Christie’s in New York is auctioning one of the copies of the 1865 first edition of Alice in Wonderland at a stand-alone sale. This rare book owned by Lindseth is auctioned because the British Library already has an 1865 copy. The book is 150 years old, but still in remarkable condition. In fact, it still has the original binding, binder’s ticket and title page.
Alice in Wonderland is a well-known book, a phenomenon. So, it is not surprising that it was translated into 174 languages. Since the first copy was sold, this amazing book has never been out of print.