Christiaan Jonkers, of the Henley-on-Thames firm, told The Times: “We specialise in Fleming first editions and we think this is a record for an auction. It really is in immaculate condition.”
Bidding for the 1953 spy thriller was fiercer than a Faberge egg at Sothebys. Only 4,700 first edition copies had been printed. An estimated 5,000 pounds was placed on the novel by the auctioneers Dominic Winter, of Swindon, Wiltshire. But the antiquarian book dealers Bromlea and Jonkers, fending off 12 rival bidders, were happy to more than double that.