March 2016 | Rebecca Rego Barry

"Brideshead Revisited" Leads Successful Sale of the Duchess of Devonshire's Books

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.30.39 AM.pngIn London today, Sotheby's offered a collection of art and books that belonged to Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire. All eyes were on the Waugh--that is, an inscribed pre-publication edition of his Brideshead Revisited, and it did not disappoint, selling for £52,500 ($78,362), more than double its estimate. Indeed all of the books, even those pre-packed in themed lots, exceeded their estimates. Another high point was a collection of books owned by the duchess (signed or with her bookplate) that included a first edition of Agatha Christie's Cat Among the Pigeons (1959), two Anthony Powell firsts, and a Bruce Chatwin first. Together the four were estimated at a mere £300-500; instead they were bid up to £5,625 ($7,889). Her Grace's treasured Elvis ephemera also sold high at £4,375 ($6,530).

                                                                                                                                                                                              Image via Sotheby's.