Jul 15, 2021 - Sale 2576

Sale 2576 - Lot 96

Price Realized: $ 1,625
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 300 - $ 500
Christie, Agatha (1890-1976)
Black Coffee, Proof with MS. Pencil Corrections & Publisher's Autograph Letter Signed.

London: Alfred Ashley & Son, 1934.

First uncorrected proof of the acting edition with pencil corrections in Alfred Ashley's hand throughout, first sixteen leaves stapled, leaves 17 through 75 stitched with a bit of thread in the upper left corner; [together with] a letter on Alfred Ashley & Son Publishers' letterhead, signed by Ashley to a Mr. Berman, dated 18 July 1934, discussing the proof it accompanies (and originally accompanied), mentioning that he has changed the subtitle of the work, "it seemed to me that the word 'play' was more non-committal and perhaps better than 'comedy' which seems a trifle misleading"; mentioning how he plans to title the finished book down the spine, and enclosing a playbill for the Mereleigh Players performance of Black Coffee on 14 February 1934 (also present and printed by Ashley) for a sample of the titling typeface he intends to use; [and] the original mailing envelope that contained all three documents; all pieces show signs of use and age without great defects, except for the envelope, which is open along two and a half edges, overall 9 x 6 in.

The first edition acting script of Black Coffee, Christie's first play, is much sought after by collectors. It is also the only Christie play published by Ashley. The plot features the beloved Hercule Poirot and his friend Hastings. After being summoned to meet Sir Claud Amory, famous physicist to help solve the mystery of a stolen secret formula, the two arrive to find that Sir Claud has just met an untimely death. Christie is still the best-selling novelist of all time.