I say Jeeves, jolly prices, what?
A COLLECTION of first editions of PG Wodehouse books, which an enthusiast bought at auctions and in secondhand shops for a few pounds each, fetched almost £67,000 yesterday.
Their rarity and the affection in which the author of the Jeeves and Wooster novels and other books is held brought buyers flocking to Christie's South Kensington in London. Prices soared above the pre-sale estimates as bidders competed for the books which Michael Carter had kept carefully preserved in boxes and tissue paper.
The highest price for a single book was £2,990 for Love Among The Chickens, Wodehouse's first novel without a schoolboy theme, while Mike, A Public School Story, which had been expected to fetch up to £800, sold for £1,955. All the lots sold, including the 1933 Heavy Weather.
My Man Jeeves sold for £552, Carry On Jeeves fetched £747 while a lot consisting of Very Good Jeeves and Right Ho, Jeeves reached £1,725, three times the estimate. Mr Carter, 49, an engineering consultant from Southport, Lancs, became a fan of Wodehouse's upper-class Bertie Wooster and his urbane butler Jeeves while at school.
He started his collection in 1975 when he bought a dozen Wodehouse first editions for £1.50 and over the next 25 years added scores more. Mr Carter said: "It is sad to see them go but the time has come to give someone else the chance to enjoy them."