Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 14:51 UK

Oxfam Holmes book fetches 15,500

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859

A book handed into an Oxfam shop which contains the first Sherlock Holmes stories has sold for 15,500.

Study in Scarlet, which features Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first two Holmes tales, was donated to a Harrogate, North Yorkshire, branch of the charity.

It beat a guide price of 9,000 during an auction of books given to Oxfam stores at Bonhams in Oxford on Tuesday.

A first edition Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets sold for 360. The 97 lots sold for more than 30,000.

A copy of JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings went for 950 but a first edition of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling failed to attract a buyer.

The money raised from the sale will go to fund Oxfam's work around the world.

An Oxfam spokesman said: "There was a bidding war going on between bidders in the US and bidders in the UK for the Sherlock Holmes. It has smashed its reserves.

"This is the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes in any book anywhere. It is not only the first edition but the first printing."

Simon Roberts, of Bonhams books, said: "It is extraordinary what emerges from these Oxfam shops.

"It is a snapshot of what people have read and collected over the past century."

Oxfam's first editions to be sold
19 May 08 |  Oxfordshire
Rare Holmes manuscript to be sold
16 Apr 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Library to get rare Holmes story
29 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Holmes 'was 19th Century Potter'
10 Jun 06 |  Hampshire
Unseen Conan Doyle work unveiled
01 Dec 04 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific