• Fine Printed Books and Manuscr auction at Christies

    Sale 2227

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    4 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 149

    WILDE, Oscar. The Ballad of Reading Gaol. London: Leonard Smithers, 1898.

    Price Realised  

    WILDE, Oscar. The Ballad of Reading Gaol. London: Leonard Smithers, 1898.

    8o. Original two-toned cloth, gilt-lettered on spine, uncut, unopened (some light spotting to covers); purple quarter morocco slipcase.

    FIRST EDITION, LIMITED ISSUE, one of 800 copies from a total edition of 830. The book was published anonymously using the name "C.3.3.," the number Wilde was identified by at Reading prison. Despite the lack of advertisement and fear of negative associations with his name, word leaked out of the author's true identity and sales were successful. A second edition was issued within 11 days to satisfy demand for copies. Mason 371.


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    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Estate of H. Richard Dietrich, Jr.