An auction house in London was surprised today when a copy of the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, failed to sell at auction.
The book, penned by a then-unknown author named Ian Fleming, was a first-edition and was published by Jonathan Cape in 1953. Although the copy on offer was damaged, the Bloomsbury Auction folks believed the success of the recent film starring Daniel Craig had boosted the profile of that novel so high that they set an auction estimate of £8,000 to £10,000 (about $20,000 U.S. dollars). At close of bidding, however, the reserve on the book — an undisclosed amount — had not been met.
Bloomsbury Auction spokesperson Richard Caton said, “It’s very disappointing. But the fact that it’s an auction means you never know what’s going to happen.”
According to BBC News, “Other Bond memorabilia which did sell at the auction included a first edition of The Spy Who Loved Me which sold for £1,200.”