November 2013 | Nate Pedersen

Swann Galleries Offers Rex Stout Collection at Auction

fer-de-lance.jpgA special collection of early detective fiction by Rex Stout, creator of the legendary armchair detective Nero Wolfe, will be offered for auction at Swann Galleries on November 21st as part of a 19th and 20th century literature sale.

The Rex Stout collection offers ten rare first editions with dust jackets, including the first edition of Stout's first detective novel, Fer-de-Lance, from 1934. Estimated at $15,000 - $25,000, a first edition of Fer-de-Lance in dust jacket has not surfaced at auction since 2002 at Christie's. 

The collection also includes first editions with dust jackets of the following:

  • Forest Fire (1933, est. $1,500 - $2,500)
  • How Like a God (1929, est. $2,000 - $3,000, Stout's first published book)
  • The League of Frightened Men (1935, est. $7,000 - $10,000, second Nero Wolfe mystery)
  • The President Vanishes (1934, est. $800 - $1200, written anonymously by Stout)
  • The Red Box (1937, est. $3,000 - $4,000)
  • The Rubber Band (1936, es. $4,000 - $6,000, third Nero Wolfe mystery)
  • Seed on the Wind (1930, est. $2,500 - $3,500, Stout's second published book)
  • Some Buried Caesar (1939, est. $3,500 - $5,000, a copy of the sixth Nero Wolfe mystery with a laid-in signature)
  • Too Many Cooks (1938, est. $4,000 - $6,000, fifth Nero Wolfe mystery)

the rubber band stout.jpgEven if you don't collect mysteries, the lots are worth browsing to see the rare and attractive dust jackets issued by Farrar & Rinehart.

If you are a mystery collector, this sale also includes several Raymond Chandler titles as well as The Benson Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine.