Early Sherlock Holmes book found in Bedford Oxfam shop sold at auction

It fetched £200 at Peacock auction house

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 4:58 pm

Since reopening after the latest lockdown, Oxfam Books and Music in Bedford has been lucky enough to have had some amazing books donated to the charity.

First up was a copy of Sherlock Holmes' A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle which dated back to 1891 - not long after it was first published in 1887.

The book - which was the first of four novels and 56 short stories about Holmes and Dr Watson by Doyle - has just sold for £200 at Bedford's Peacock Auction

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan-Doyle

Debbie Taylor, shop manager of the shop in St Paul's Square, said: "One of the volunteers was excited when they discovered this book, as they knew it was an early edition.

"We started to research it on the internet and discovered it was quite valuable, so we contacted Peacocks who sold it for us."

And if that that wasn't enough, eagle-eyed staff came across another book which was published in 1650 - nearly 400 years ago.

Debbie added: "What makes it really special is that it is an old travel guide to Italy, complete with street maps, beautifully drawn and in really good condition.

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan-Doyle

"It is in Italian but has somehow made its way to the UK, possibly from the Italian community in Bedford, we have no idea as the donation was anonymous."

The book will be part of a specialist sale at Peacocks in October.

The Italian travel book from 1650