Rare Brideshead Revisited first edition sold at auction

Published: Wednesday 2nd March 2016 by The News Editor

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A rare first edition of Brideshead Revisited, given to Deborah Mitford by its author and her good friend Evelyn Waugh, has fetched more than £50,000 at auction.

The popular novel, published in 1945, was sold for £52,500 at an all-day auction of the Duchess of Devonshire’s personal collection at Sotheby’s.

Set in the period between the First and Second World Wars, t he book is one 50 early copies distributed to the author’s inner circle prior to general publication – inviting their suggestions and revisions.

It is one of the rare few signed by Waugh, with the message inside reading: ” Debo & Andrew | with love from | Evelyn | A very old fashioned story”.

Predicted to fetch between £15,000 and £20,000, the novel ended up selling for more than double.

Hundreds of collectors gathered to watch 450 items go under the hammer at the auction house, which said more than one thousand bidders had registered.

Most of the items up for auction hail from The Old Vicarage, the 19th century house on the Chatford Estate where the Duchess spent the last 10 years of her life.

The most expensive item was a late 19th century gilt-decorated statue from Japan, which was brought to England by the Duchess’s grandfather, Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, and sold for £62,500.

Other notable sells include the Duchess’s Elvis Presley memorabilia collection, containing a novelty singing and dancing Elvis telephone, and which fetched more than £4,000.

A photograph of Lucien Freud, grandson of Sigmund Freud, painting Queen Elizabeth in his studio in 2001 was auctioned off for £10,000 – more than 10 times what Sotheby’s expected it to fetch.

The auction has raised more than £1.2 million so far, with 120 lots to go, Sotheby’s said.

Published: Wednesday 2nd March 2016 by The News Editor

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