Lot #493
F. Scott Fitzgerald Signed Book

Fitzgerald's second novel, inscribed for a noted NYC bookman
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Estimate: $35000+


Fitzgerald's second novel, inscribed for a noted NYC bookman

Signed book: The Beautiful and Damned. First edition, second printing, first state (Bruccoli A8.1.b). NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922. Hardcover bound in dark bluish green cloth, lettered in gilt and blind, with dust jacket, 5.5 x 7.75, 449 pages. Signed and inscribed on a free end page in fountain pen, "For George W. Stair, from F. Scott Fitzgerald, New York City."

George W. Stair was a noted bookman who originally owned and operated a rare bookstore near Rockefeller Center. Stair had already retired from the business when Brentano’s asked him to manage their Rare Book Room in New York, at 586 Fifth Avenue. In early March 1922, Zelda and F. Scott were in New York, staying at the Plaza Hotel (768 Fifth Avenue). They were there for two reasons: 1) Scribner’s publication promotions for The Beautiful and the Damned, including book signings; and, 2) the abortion of Zelda’s second child. Despite disappointing reviews, rare book dealers like George Stair recognized Scott Fitzgerald’s potential and considered acquiring his signature on a first edition a significant association.

The following are the only variations from the first edition, first printing of this Fitzgerald title: Scribner's colophon on copyright page (missing on first printing); dust jacket title lettering in solid black (instead of white in black outline, as in first printing). There are no textual variants noted between first and second printings.

Dust jacket in very good plus to near fine condition: shallow chipping on head and toe of spine, also some on upper edge of front panel and corners; otherwise, front panel is remarkably clean and bright, as is back panel. Dust jacket spine only slightly tanned (unusual for this white background dust jacket). Both inner flaps of dust jacket are near fine.

Book itself is in very good plus to near fine condition: cloth covers clean and fresh; gold print on spine only lightly dulled. Interior pages show some tanning, but only a shade. Binding and hinges strong. Book overall clean and attractive.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Art and Literature
  • Dates: #610 - Ended June 16, 2021

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