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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 21:29 GMT
Rare book editions fetch 100,000
The Trumpet Major (courtesy Duke's auctions)
A first edition set of The Trumpet Major sold for 3,600
Rare works by Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope have fetched about 100,000 at auction.

The first edition books by 19th and 20th century authors - part of a sale of 3,000 books in Dorset - were snapped up by buyers from around the UK.

Auctioneer Garry Batt said the three private collections sold in Dorchester had never been on the market before.

He said they included an edition of Hardy's The Trumpet Major, which sold for 3,600 to a Dorset collector.

Mr Batt said: "People like Hardy and there's a good market for his first editions. There were two other untouched libraries and that's a recipe for a good auction."

Another private collector and dealer from Dorset snapped up a rare first edition of Hardy's Under The Greenwood Tree, published in 1872, for 550, a first edition of Hardy's Wessex Tales, published in two volumes, for 900, and a 16-volume set of The Wessex Novels in original green cloth bindings for 500.

Thomas Hardy
Hardy's home was close to the auction house

A volume of Hardy's own copy of Virgil's Opera Omnia with a very early Hardy signature dated 1859 sold for 900 to a London dealer.

"Hardy was 19 when he signed it so it was very early for Hardy collectables," said Mr Batt.

A Charles Dickens business card, advertising his services as a shorthand writer of 10 Norfolk Street, Fitzroy Square, fetched 1,800.

Mr Batt said: "Before he started to write his novels, Dickens was a clerk in a London city office which is where he got a lot of his insight into solicitors and office clerks which he wrote about in his novels quite a lot."

'Hardy's Casterbridge'

Thomas Hardy was born in the Dorset hamlet of Higher Bockhampton, near Dorchester, in 1840 and based a number of his works on his home county.

Four years ago, a set of first editions by Hardy raised 30,000 at the auction house near the author's home.

Mr Batt said: "Because we're in Hardy's Casterbridge we were asked to sell a collection of Hardy's books by an Australian.

"They sold for about 30,000."

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