A collection of first edition James Bond novels by Ian Fleming sold today for £31,000 ($58,000) at an auction.
As earlier reported by CommanderBond.net, the collection had belonged to Sir Fitzroy Maclean, a lifelong friend of Fleming, and some say a real-life inspiration for the character of 007.
The sale price of the entire collection far surpassed the estimate of £20,000.
Maclean’s passport, invitations from a French ambassador to cocktail parties, visas and photographs of the diplomat with Tito in Yugoslavia were among the items sold.
The early editions of the Bond novels, including Casino Royale, were bought by the London book dealer Adrian Harrington, a Bond specialist.
Purchaser John Gilbert said: ‘The books will be used as background material for a bibliography I am writing on Fleming. They will prove invaluable to my research. I have the full support of the Fleming family and the book will be published in the next 18 months.’
Maclean was a founder member of the SAS and trusted friend of Sir Winston Churchill. A friend of Fleming’s since their days at Eton, his wartime exploits included working inside the Soviet Union in the 1930s.
Maclean, who died in 1996, was also suspected at times of being a British spy (which he denied) and was also an associate of the double-agent Kim Philby and is said to have suspected him.
His son Sir Charles Maclean stated that the family decided to sell the Bond novels that had been in his father’s colection so that they could be treasured by Fleming collectors.
‘They gave my father much pleasure,’ he said, ‘and I hope they will bring someone else the same.’
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