Licence to Bid: Rare Bond Novel Expected to Command £50,000 at Auction

Licence to Bid: Rare Bond Novel Expected to Command £50,000 at Auction

As the shadow of James Bond lingers ever large in the world of film, certain relics from the annals of his history are set to command a price befitting a villain’s ransom.

An uncorrected proof of Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale, rumoured to be one of fewer than 25 in existence, is expected to raise a cool £50,000 at an upcoming Sotheby’s auction.

But, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Sotheby’s is gearing up for a Bond extravaganza this month, boasting nearly 200 items from the annals of Britain’s most famous spy. And among these?


A film poster from 1962’s Dr. No, which might prompt avid collectors to part with £20,000 to £30,000 of their hard-earned pounds. Wow!

Yet, for those who yearn for a serious tangible piece of cinematic history, there is a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 on the docket, hinting at a price tag of £550,000, reminiscent of a car chase through Monaco’s gilded streets.

Over 200 Fleming Originals up for Auction

Over half of the collectibles up for auction are from Bond biographer and antique book dealer, John Gilbert.

Another interesting collectible up for auction is an annotated Thunderball screenplay. The story goes that in 1960, Fleming collaborated with Keven McClory to craft the film narrative. That partnership, however, soured, leading Fleming to adapt the screenplay into a book.

McClory wasn’t one to let matters rest, and a fierce High Court litigation ensued. Tragically, the stress bore down on Fleming, causing a heart attack, and the tussle concluded out of court.

Because of the hot topic, there was a reshuffle in the Bond film lineup, and the disputed screenplay was shelved, ushering in Dr. No as the inaugural Bond film.

To crown this cinematic fiesta, this year marks the 70th anniversary of Bond’s literary debut, and the auction will see the largest treasure trove of Fleming artefacts ever seen before.