Charlie Watts' book collection has set two world auction records.

Charlie Watts' book collection has broken world records

Charlie Watts' book collection has broken world records

The late Rolling Stones drummer's extensive collection of first edition books went under the hammer at Christie's in London on Thursday (28.09.23) with two prized possessions making history.

Watts' copy of 'The Thirteen Problems' set an auction record for any book by Agatha Christie, while his edition of 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' did likewise for 'Sherlock Holmes' author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The latter is a rare copy of the 'Sherlock Holmes' story that is inscribed with a personal message from the author on the title page, the first such item to come on the market in 32 years. It sold for £214,000, beating the previous record for a work by Conan Doyle that was set last year.

'The Thirteen Problems' was also a first edition from 1932 and is the first book to feature Christie's famous sleuth Miss Marple. The character first appeared in a short story for The Royal Magazine in 1927 that was then republished in this collection.

It was sold for £60,480 – a lot more than the previous Christie benchmark of £47,880 for a copy of 'The ABC Murders' in 2021.

The collection amassed by Watts – who died at the age of 80 in 2021 – also featured rare copies of works by famed writers such as George Orwell, C.S. Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

A 1925 first edition of Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' received the highest bid at £226,800.

The auction is titled 'Charlie Watts: Gentleman, Collector, Rolling Stone – Literature and Jazz' and is being held in two parts. The second part, an online sale, closed on Friday (29.09.23).

In a statement to Christie's ahead of the sale, Watts' surviving Rolling Stones bandmates Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood said: "Charlie was the heartbeat of the Rolling Stones for nearly 60 years, he was totally unique and devoted to jazz and literature from boyhood.

"He was the quintessential English gentleman and his absence is a great loss for us all. We miss him hugely."