STOP PRESS: Rare Ian Fleming 1st Editions at ABA Book Fair

The annual ABA Book Fair this year promises to be a remarkable affair, not least because one of the UK’s (indeed world-wide’s) leading specialists in Ian Fleming, James M. Pickard, will be there with some show-stopping items.

For those of you who do not know him, James has been collecting Ian Fleming first editions and associated artwork since the mid 1980’s. Since 1997 he has been a full-time bookseller and dealer in rare books where one of his key specialities is building fine sets of Ian Fleming first editions for his clients around the World. He specialises in inscribed copies of the Bond novels especially where the identity of the recipient is known (such as The Live and Let Die described below). He was the co-author of an early bibliography of the James Bond novels published in Firsts Magazine in November 1998 (and update in 2008). He is a full member of the ABA, ILAB and the PBFA.

Highlights from James’ collection at the ABA Rare Book Fair in London include:


CASINO ROYALE (FINE COPY) available from James M. Pickard

Fleming, Ian: Casino Royale (London: Cape 1953).  First UK Edition.  A fine copy in a very nearly fine dust wrapper with a hint of fading to the spine and a small brown spot to the rear panel.

Being highly critical there is a small pale line to the left hand corner of the front flap.  No Sunday Times review to the front flap, denoting the correct first impression dust wrapper, published by Jonathan Cape in 1953.

An outstanding copy.  £52,500.

CASINO ROYALE (FINE COPY) available from James M. Pickard

CASINO ROYALE (FINE COPY) available from James M. Pickard


Fleming, Ian: Casino Royale (London: Cape 1953).  FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BOND NOVEL INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR.  A very good book that has light foxing to the first and last couple of leaves, the rest of the inner text is clean. The black boards are clean, as is the spine with no fading to the red lettering or to the heart on the front board.  No bumping or indentations to the corners of the book. Internally there is an inscription by the author on the front free end-paper.

The inscription reads: “JACKIE / TO READ ON THE TRAIN / FROM / THE AUTHOR”. The dust wrapper is also a very good example, with minor, shallow chipping to the spine tips and also to the corners of the front and rear flap folds. There was a very small strip of tape un-necessarily applied by a former owner to the verso of the wrapper at the spine’s crown. This has been professionally removed by a specialist paper archivist leaving just a touch of very minor ruffling to the spine tip. Lightly soiled to the rear panel, with the publisher’s printed price of 10s. 6d. net present to both the front and rear flaps, as called for.

CASINO ROYALE (FINE COPY) available from James M. Pickard

CASINO ROYALE (FINE COPY) available from James M. Pickard

No SundayTimes review to the front flap, denoting the correct first impression dust wrapper, published by Jonathan Cape in 1953. In our experience, the use of the rather formal words “The Author” by Fleming as opposed to the jocular “Ian” or “Ian Fleming” is a fairly common occurrence with the first three Fleming titles.



Fleming, Ian: Live and Let Die (London: Cape 1954).  First UK Edition. First Impression, First Issue, First State. Gilbert A2a 1.1. INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR. A lovely near fine (or better) copy with the gilt spine lettering and coin device to front board bright (often found dull). The dust wrapper has undergone some highly skilled archival restoration to a few chips and tears to the wrapper’s extremities (although no lettering has needed to be replaced) and now shows as an attractive example that shows well. Correctly priced at 10s.6d. net to both the front and rear flaps. The dust wrapper has the scarce printing SSKILL errata to the rear panel. The dust wrapper is the correct first state issue, with no mention of Kenneth Lewis to the front flap.

LIVE AND LET DIE (NEAR FINE COPY) available from James M. Pickard

Inscribed by the Author on the front free end-paper: “To/ MW/ The faithful &/ true!/ from/ The Author”.

With an additional ownership inscription and date (1954) of M J Williams on the front paste-down. Muriel Williams (often referred to as MJW or MW) was Fleming’s Assistant at Kemsley Newspapers when he was the Foreign Manager. She was responsible for the day-to-day running of the Department in particular liaison with the “stringers” who, from far-flung parts of the World, submitted stories for inclusion in the Kemsley Publications (including the Sunday Times).

Inscribed to Ian Fleming’s faithful deputy – Muriel Williams – in the Foreign Department at Kemsley Newspapers.

Kenneth Lewis (who worked in the Art Department at Kemsley) remembers her well commenting on her flat-chested appearance, strong and forceful personality, her use of bright red lipstick and that Fleming deferred to her. Fleming inscribed several of his other early novels to her, including Casino Royale and Moonraker.

This book has been in private hands for many years.  £43,500.

Incidental Intelligence

James welcomes direct contact with clients interested in purchasing first editions of the Bond novels (and associated Bondiana). He can be contacted by E-mail on or via his website: James is a close friend and supporter of Artistic Licence Renewed.

More details of James’ stand at the upcoming ABA Battersea Book Fair (May 24-26).
The ABA Rare Book Fair – 24th-26th May 2018; Battersea Evolution, London SW8 4NW

James M Pickard (Rare Books)
Stand: Q04

Your Indispensable Guide to Collecting James Bond First Editions

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