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    Description

    A[rthur] Conan Doyle. The Sign of Four; or, The Problem of the Sholtos. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, [1889]. The true first appearance, extracted from Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. Octavo (9 x 5.75 inches; 228 x 146 mm.). 147-223 [sic] pages. With frontispiece and Lippincott's separate title-page inserted at front. Bound in modern half blue levant morocco over blue cloth boards, spine lettered and ruled in gilt in compartments, three raised bands, modern cream endleaves. Scattered thumbsoiling, offsetting, and edgewear to text; title-page with minor chipping to upper margin; occasional minor creasing in text. The final leaf is mounted onto a binder's blank on the verso (not affecting text of The Sign of Four). Fine. The rare true first appearance of the second Sherlock Holmes novel.

    "Conan Doyle provides a vivid record of a dinner that brought him for the first time in [Oscar] Wilde's company on 30 August [1889]... [Doyle's] reputation seemed to be on the rise when [Lippincott editor Joseph] Stoddart asked him for his company at supper... his companions were the Irish MP Charles Gill and Oscar Wilde... '[T]he result of the evening," [Doyle recalled in Memories and Adventures], 'was that both Wilde and I promised to write books for Lippincott's Magazine--Wilde's contribution was 'The Picture of Dorian Grey' [sic], while I wrote 'The Sign of Four', in which Holmes made a second appearance'" (Ian Small, The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, Oxford: [2005], p. xxxii).


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2020
    4th Wednesday
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