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Own a first edition of 'Dracula' signed by Bram Stoker

Dear Reader,

I often write to you about items of extraordinary and coveted rarity, making them not just highly desirable trophies but smart investment assets.

At Stanley Gibbons we have the expertise and the facility to source such material for you and have made it our business for 155 years.

But I've never written to you about something so rare that it hasn't even been given a name.

Stamp collecting? That's philately. Coins and medals? Numismatics. Autographs? Philography. Books? Bibliomania.

It seems everything has a name. Everything except this.

You probably know about the passion collectors have for first edition books. These are the copies of a publication taken from the first print run.

Certain first editions sell for staggering amounts of money. A list produced by the Guardian at the start of 2006 valued the top 10 first edition books at over £500,000.

However, there is no list for the opportunity I have for you today. It's taking first edition books a step further, making them even rarer, more desirable and more valuable.

Signed first editions

You can own a first edition signed by the author. They are the absolute pinnacle and passion for the global book collecting market (liquidity is simply not an issue here!).

Of course, most books never go beyond a first edition. Titles that do are popular enough to warrant at least a second print run. Some even go on to sell around the world and achieve iconic status.

The signed first edition I have for you today certainly matches that description. It is actually one of the most famous books ever printed.

It's Bram Stoker's Dracula, printed on 26 May 1897 and this particular first edition has the added cachet of being signed by the author.

It is currently worth £125,000 and can be purchased (in four equal payments if necessary) by calling 0845 026 7170 or emailing my team at

The story grows

"Dracula" is a book that spawned countless movies and basically shaped how the world imagines vampires for well over a century now.

Even the current global 'Twilight' phenomenon owes much of its success to the 'popularisation' of vampires by Stoker.

The titular character has now been portrayed by more actors in more film and television adaptations than any other horror character and Transylvania in Romania still plays on its unique tourist status.

Not bad considering that Stoker's novel was not an instant bestseller. Despite positive review from critics, Dracula didn't attain legendary status until after the author's death in 1912.

Abraham (Bram) Stoker was born November 8, 1847 in Dublin, Ireland. Growing up his mother regaled him with a lot of horror stories, which may have influenced his later writings.

Stoker actually wrote eighteen books, but his name will always be associated with Dracula.

That's why you should be excited by this opportunity. This is a first edition of Dracula signed by Bram Stoker.

This attractive author's presentation copy was inscribed to Mrs W. S. Gilbert, the wife of William Schwenck Gilbert, of Gilbert & Sullivan fame.

Gilbert was often seen in the company of Stoker's wife Florence, but it seems that Stoker was equally close to Gilbert's wife with this gift.

It is signed and inscribed on the front free endpaper "To Mrs W. S. Gilbert with Bram Stoker's very warm regards, 12/7/97".

The book, printed on thicker stock with uncut page edges and with no adverts at rear, is in fine condition, which is a rare find in itself.

The pairing of the superb condition of the book and the fact it was inscribed on publication makes this very special. It will undoubtedly hold its value and is in fact, likely to show healthy price appreciation; buying it now, before the anniversary of Stoker's death is potentially also a smart move.

Only one comparable book has been sold in the last 35 years and that was the copy from the great Dick Manney collection which was offered at auction in 1990 and sold for $46,000.

In general, most great copies of important rare books have gone up five fold since 1990.

Available to you for £125,000, this is a very worthwhile investment piece and a spectacular trophy.

Bluntly, you won't get another opportunity to own a first edition of Dracula signed by Bram Stoker any time soon.

Call my team on 0845 026 7170 or email them on

All the best,

Best wishes,

Keith Heddle
Investment Director

Stanley Gibbons Group Plc

PS. The most famous and memorable interpretation of Dracula on screen was by Bela Lugosi in 1931's 'Dracula'. Whilst we don't have a picture of him as Dracula for you, we couldn't write an email about Dracula without featuring Lugosi. You could also own this very rare signed photo of him for £2,950.

PPS - At Stanley Gibbons, we are in the fortunate position of having key contacts in the right places, allowing us to purchase rare and valuable pieces for you.

So, if the prospect of owning a Bram Stocker's Dracula is not appealing, but an extremely rare, signed 1st edition by James Joyce, John Steinbeck, Lewis Carroll, TS Elliot or Oscar Wilde is more your thing just email us back



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