First Edition of "Alice in Wonderland" Fails to Sell at Auction


One of the images Tenniel declared entirely dissatistactory, leading to the recall of the entire first edition. This edition of Alice, in remarkable condition, did not sell on Thursday. Credit: Christie's Images LTD.


At high noon on Thursday, June 16 at Christie's auction house in Rockefeller Plaza, a rare first edition copy of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland went to the auction block in a stand-alone sale.

Pre-sale estimates for the 1865 red-cloth bound volume were between two to three million dollars. Sometimes referred to as the "suppressed Alice" because Carroll withdrew the edition from the market days after publication, only twenty-two volumes remain in existence, and of those six are held in private collections.

This particular volume, in outstanding condition and with remarkable provenance, failed to meet its reserve and did not sell.

Christie's public relations representative Jennifer Cuminale said that "though the book did not sell, there was much global bidding and spirited interest. Unfortunately, the Alice did not meet its reserve." The volume is still available to post-auction inquiry.

Interested parties may inquire directly with Christie's books and manuscripts department for further information.