Lot 287
  • 287

Poe, Edgar Allan 

70,000 - 100,000 USD
81,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • 'Tales'. New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845
  • paper, ink, leather
8vo (7 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.; 186 x 122mm). Black morocco extra gilt by the Club Bindery in 1899 (gilt-stamp signed and dated on front turn-in) preserving half-title and wrappers (except wrapper spine), top edge gilt, spine with six ruled compartments, red morocco gilt doublures, red watered silk rectos of endpapers with marbled versos and rectos of following blanks, original tan printed front and rear wrappers bound in; very minor crease to front wrapper outer margin not affecting rule, old repair to 30mm closed tear to outer margin of rear wrapper; joints very slightly rubbed, old morocco and card slipcase.


Susan Tane (bookplate laid in; Christie's New York, 11 December 1990, lot 110) — Sotheby's New York, 14 December 2012, lot 76 


BAL 16146; Grolier/American 55; Heartman & Canny 90-97; NYPL/Gordon 485; Queen's Quorum; Yale/Gimbel 61; 'Nevermore The Edgar Allan Poe Collecton of Susan Tane' 53-54 (this copy)

Catalogue Note

First edition, first printing, first issue with Ludwig's imprint on the copyright page, the New York imprint, with the wrappers and advertisements matching those on First Printing copies listed in BAL

"... the first important book of detective stories, the first and greatest, the cornerstone of cornerstones...the highest of all high spots...contains for the first time in book form all three Dupin stories" (Queen's Quorum 1).

While the tales herein were not selected by Poe (and he expressed reservations about the editor "whose taste does not coincide with my own") they are in the end perhaps the single best representation of his broad range and lasting influence. The 1845 Tales contains not only the invention of modern detective fiction, but also his supreme handling of psychological horror, and contributions to both science fiction and the adventure story.

With the rare wrappers preserved in remarkable condition. A mere 6 copies of 'Tales' in the full, complete wrappers are known (in various states of defect and repair). Only two of these remain in private hand and one (the Behrman copy, sold Christie's New York, 12 June, 2008, $134,500) showed significant loss,chipping and repair. (The other, the Litchfield-Martin-Tane copy, sold Sotheby's New York, 20 October 2011, $314,500 has no major loss or repair.)

With 1500 copies issued, 'Tales' is occasionally obtainable rebound, but most often without the half-title and advertisements present here. We know of no other  bound copies of the first edition, first printing containing the wrappers and it is unlikely another will appear, especially with them in such a remarkably fresh state.