Lot 21
  • 21

Fitzgerald, F. Scott

250,000 - 350,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • ink and paper
The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925

8vo. Publisher's green cloth, upper cover lettered in blind, spine gilt. Original dust-jacket with Cugat illustration, the J corrected by hand; wholly unrestored and scarce thus, some very light rubbing along upper fold, a little at head of spine panel  and a few very short closed tears along edges of front panel, with one tiny chip at bottom of  spine fold, but with the blue of jacket field and white lettering unfaded even on the spine and the jacket remains crisp, unusually retaining much of the original gloss.


Bruccoli  A11.1.a; Connolly 48

Catalogue Note

First edition, first issue, in a near fine jacket and very scarce thus.  A prime candidate for the Great American Novel, Gatsby is widely regarded as Fitzgerald's masterpiece, though the original sales were very disappointing in comparison to his earlier bestsellers. The work barely paid back his advance from Scribner's.

Fitzgerald himself was clear on his feelings of its merits, "I think my novel is about the best American novel ever written" (Letters p. 166). Certainly few since have disputed Cyril Connolly's estimation of it as "one of the half-dozen best American novels... it remains a prose poem of delight and sadness which has by now introduced two generations to the romance of America..."

The dust jacket for Gatsby has achieved a near legendary status as well, not only for the image but for the great difficulty in obtaining an unworn or unrestored example. Gatsby's design by Xavier Cugat's brother, Francis, has become inextricably linked to the novel's tone with a depth that few if any other wrapper designs have managed.  Fitzgerald's comment to his editor Maxwell Perkins ("For Christ's sake don't give anyone that jacket you're saving for me. I've written it into the book") has long intrigued readers as a reference to one of the novels most evocative images, that of a "girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs." The slightly taller size of the jacket than the book in first edition has led to most surviving jacketed copies having significant chipping and loss and usually at least some (and usually heavy) restoration, but the present is truly a lovely, untouched example and extremely scarce thus.