Dr Seuss rare books and memorabilia

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:55:13

Dr Seuss rare books and memorabilia are collectible items relating to American children’s author and cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991).

 

Brief History/biography

Under the pen name Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel published 46 children’s books. These stories were usually set out in rhyme and trisyllabic meter, contained imaginative characters, and a slight edge of bizarre humour and nonsense. Favourites among his works are How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), Green Eggs and Ham (1960), Horton Hears a Who (1954), The Sneetches (1961) and The Cat in the Hat (1957).

Types of rare books and memorabilia

Books

Bloomsbury Auctions

  • If I Ran the Circus (1955) and The King’s Stilts (1939), both inscribed. Sold for $6,500 in December 2007.
  • And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street (1937) first edition, signed, sold for $4,200 in December 2007.
  • The Cat in the Hat (1957) first edition, sold for £1,200 in October 2008.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957) first edition, sold for $1,100 in April 2010.

Christie’s

  • And to Think That i Saw it on Mulberry Street (1937), first edition, dedication copy to his editor’s wife. Sold for $19,120 in May 2002.
  • The Cat in the Hat (1957) first edition, sold for $10,575 in April 2001.
  • The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (1938), first edition, sold for $9,560 in May 2002.

Sothebys

  • Horton Hatches the Egg (1940) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), both inscribed, with original watercolour drawing. Sold for £3,125 in July 2011.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), first edition, sold for $3,300 in December 2006.

Illustrations

Bonhams

  • 3 pen and ink drawings by Geisel, designs for a Dr Seuss lunchbox in 1970. Sold for $24,000 in October 2008.
  • Original illustration of snitches holding eggs, sold for $15,000 in December 2011.
  • Signed original sketch of the cat in the hat, sold for $10,157 in December 2006.
  • Drawing of a strange creature playing a horn, signed, sold for $7,200 in December 2007.
  • Signed original drawing of an Ostrich, sold for $2,745 in October 2010.

Christie’s

  • Original watercolour signed of Thoober, sold for $33,460 in May 2002.
  • 11 original ink drawings for WW2 booklet, sold for $20,700 in December 1999.
  • Original ink and wash drawing of a skier and walrus, sold for $9,775 in May 1995.
  • Original sketch of the Grinch signed by Dr. Seuss and Jim Carrey who played the Grinch in the 2000 film, sold for £5,625 in December 2008.

Nate D. Sanders Auctions

  • Unpublished, unfinished Dr. Seuss manuscript, All Sorts of Sports (1969), sold for $34,004 in October 2010.

Sothebys

  • Original illustration That Llama Fancier, inscribed, sold for £6,000 in December 2009.
  • Original illustration of the Grinch, signed, sold for $6,600 in December 2003.

Guide for collectors

First editions of Dr Seuss works are very collectible, particularly if signed. However, signed original illustrations can be worth a lot more than the books themselves.

This website on children’s picture book collecting has some useful information on Dr Seuss works and how to identify first editions, to be found here: http://1stedition.net/drseuss.html

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