Antiques Column: Choose a book for a nice change 

Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland

What better present could your young child or grandchild possibly wish for this Christmas than a book. There is nothing in the world better than a book. Forget tablets, mobile phones and gaming apps, give a book.

Children’s book publishing is holding its own in a market where many other sectors of the book trade are suffering.

The world of television, film and IT has changed the face of entertainment in the minds of many, but children’s books continue to hold their place in our hearts.

Timeless classics like Winnie-the-Pooh, Beatrix Potter or Roald Dahl remain strong sellers, both in their modern reprints in bookshops today and in their original form in auction houses across the country.

It is worth remembering though that being in possession of a first edition alone will not always equal a high cash payout. Other factors affect a books value, such as the particular title, the print run, publication date and of course the illustrator.

Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was first published by MacMillan in 1865 with illustrations from Punch cartoonist John Tenniel. Carroll’s classic is constantly inspiring illustrators to rework the story.

Many collectors collect for the illustrators and will follow the same story through its many different versions. Roald Dahl’s books are illustrated by the very talented Quentin Blake whose originals fetch high prices in the art market today.

Children’s books are popular in the salerooms today both for their timeless appeal but also because collectors can indulge in the nostalgia of their own childhoods.

Go on, indulge yourself  this Christmas. 
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