1. Queen Anne Press Ian Fleming Collection Now On Display

    By Matt Weston on 2008-10-15

    If you’re a James Bond fan so hardcore that you’ve successfully masterminded the hijack of two nuclear missiles and held the world’s superpowers to ransom for millions, or you’ve detonated a nuclear bomb within Fort Knox and thus caused the value of your own immense gold supply to skyrocket, then this news is for you: the mouth-watering, but exclusively-priced Queen Anne Press collection is now available.

    Yes, the ultimate Ian Fleming Centenary collection is here – four tiers of sets ranging from £18,000 to £2,000 in value, containing the complete works of James Bond’s creator, including Talk of the Devil, a brand new book containing rarely seen and previously unpublished material. The title is taken from a list drawn up by Fleming himself.

    The official Ian Fleming Centenary website has the full details…

    A limited edition of Ian Fleming’s works, specially bound to the highest specification, are available for order.

    These are only sold as a set – a collector’s item. No such edition has been published before. A set consists of 18 volumes. These are as follows:

    The Bond books
    Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever, From Russia With Love, Dr No, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man With The Golden Gun and Octopussy.

    Ian Fleming’s two works of non-fiction
    Thrilling Cities, a book of travel journalism, and The Diamond Smugglers, an account of the diamond trade.

    Ian Fleming’s children’s book
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    And a new volume of some of Fleming’s journalism and other writings
    Talk of the Devil.

    There are four different categories of binding. All are bound by Shepherds, Sangorski and Sutcliffe.

    Fine Bindings
    1. There are 26 sets, lettered A-Z, fully bound in vegetable-tanned goatskin with designs in multi-coloured leather onlays. Some designs incorporate a diamond, crystal or silver piece of eight. All specifications are of the highest order. M & Q £18,000, otherwise PRICE: £14,000.

    2. A further 30 sets bound as above, but lettered according to the Russian alphabet. M to be auctioned for charity, otherwise PRICE: £14,000.

    Vellum Set
    3. 100 sets, numbered 001 – 100, bound with quarter vellum over black cloth. This binding is copied from a limited edition of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that Ian Fleming had made in 1961. 007 to be auctioned for charity, otherwise PRICE: £6,000.

    Cloth Set
    4. 250 sets, numbered in Roman numerals, I – CCL, bound in dark blue cloth with a polished green leather plaque on the spine. The front board may be stamped in gold with the customer’s initials. PRICE £2,000.

    'Diamonds Are Forever' 'From Russia With Love' 'For Your Eyes Only'

    Artwork for the Queen Anne Press editions of Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia With Love and For Your Eyes Only

    Examples of the books in these sets are on display from today in London’s Sotherans of Sackville Street. The display also incorporates some of the books from Ian Fleming’s own assortment of first editions. His renowned collection of novels has its home in the Lilly Library at Indiana University; this marks the first time anything from his collection has returned to the UK since the collection was acquired by the library.

    The Financial Times ran a fantastic story this week about the Sotherans display, which is well worth a read for those of us whose savings are limited by a moral objection to evil, money-raising plots.

    “When the idea was first mooted and Fergus [Fleming, Ian’s nephew] and Kate [Grimond, Ian’s niece] came to me for advice I thought the price-tag – £14,000 – was pretty big,” says Andrew McGeachin, Sotherans’ managing director. “But then I saw the work that had gone into each of them…”

    Graphic designers Webb & Webb were responsible for designing the cover art for the books; the wraparound images featured on the covers images were inlaid with extraordinary delicacy into the goatskin.

    Fleming’s relatives also had a hand in the design of the books. Fergus Fleming told the Financial Times, “I was walking towards [London coin dealership] Spinks when I thought of the pieces of eight. I went in and enquired and was told: ‘Yes, sir, we have a pirate hoard fresh in.'” The coins – actually pieces of four, as the eight was too thick to fit comfortably in the cover – adorn Queen Anne Press edition of Live and Let Die; Fergus was also the brains behind the diamonds featured on the cover of Diamonds are Forever.

    Grimond says that the goat crest on which the endpapers of the cloth-bound editions are printed are the same that Ian Fleming had stamped on the black fleece-lined boxes he commissioned to contain each of his first editions. “It comes from a book plate given to the Fleming family in the 1930s. Ian had it and so did my father and Fergus’s.”

    Queen Anne Press was established in 1951 by Lord Kemsley for the purpose of publishing the works of notable contemporary authors. As a wedding gift to his then Foreign Editor, Lord Kemsley made Ian Fleming its managing director in 1952, a position he remained in until his death in 1964.

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