Non-Africana – Ian Fleming – Goldfinger, 1st edn

Ian Fleming (1908 – 1964)


 SOLD FOR $450
(December 2012)

London, Jonathan Cape 1959; 1st edn, 1st imp, 1st state

The Book

1st Edition, 1st impression

The copyright page reads ‘First published 1959 / © 1959 by Glidrose Productions Ltd’

1st state, ie, with the small indent in the top left section of the skull

The photo from the Baumann Rare Books’ link below depicts a copy of the 2nd state, ‘without small indent in the top left of the skull’

Acknowledgements: Bauman Rare Books


The Dust Jacket

Original 1st edn 1st imp dj, as issued with the book

Goldfinger was published on 23 March 1959.

The inscription Bridget Hills, April 18th 1959, En route for Rome confirms this to be one of the earliest copies purchased of the 1st edn 1st imp.

This copy of Goldfinger belongs to a South African author and Bridget Hills was the cousin of the author’s agent. In an email of 26 September 2018 to Books Etc South Africa, the owner writes:

’… Bridget Hills … gave me the book (knowing I liked Ian Fleming’s stuff) when I rented her cottage in Shropshire, in the early 90s.’

Estimated condition

The condition of the book is based on photos supplied by the owner.

The Book

The exterior binding: fine

The cloth binding is clean and bright and retains an original gloss

The interior binding: very good

Were it not for the tape marks to the front and rear pastedowns, the interior binding would be fine. It is a moot point that had the jacket not been taped down in the first place, it may not have survived and the condition of the exterior cloth binding might have been much worse.

The Dust Jacket

External: very good

The exterior / exposed portion of the dj appears to be very good. The wood grain details are clear and were it not for the very small closed tear at the top, rear, the condition would be fine.

Internal: very good

The interior / ordinarily covered portion of the dj appears to be very good. The front and rear flaps appears crisp and were it not for the tape marks the condition of the dj would be fine.

Estimated overall condition

The estimated overall condition of the book and dj (factoring in the neat inscription) is very good. Were there no tape marks and small tear, the estimated overall condition would be fine.














Acknowledgements to Meier and Sons Rare Books for their particularly helpful guide to collecting James Bond 1st editions:



Publication Date: 1959
Publisher: Jonathan Cape, London
Print Run: 24,000 copies

The book: Black cloth with embossed skull to front with gilt ‘coin’ eyes, and gilt titles to spine. The copyright page should state: First published in 1959 with no other editions stated. White end papers. This book was issued in a two states. The first state of Goldfinger has an additional very small embossed line along the forehead of the skull, while in the other states that additional mark is not present.

The jacket: Artist Richard Chopping. Matte jacket paper. Skull and rose to front. Front flap has a blurb about book and a Dr. No review. Rear flap has reviews for The Diamond Smugglers. Rear panel has 5 reviews. Price on jacket flap of 15s net.



This book, like the other Fleming titles can tend to have dried cloth so the cloth may split, and the book titles can either fade or rub. Premiums are also paid for books with unsplit cloth, bright unfaded titles to the spine and front of the boards, sharp corners and no edgewear.

The Goldfinger dust jacket has many of the same issues and concerns that follow the other light toned James Bond dust jackets. Once again, this light toned jacket tends to turn brown, with the spine most affected (sunning). The appearance of the wood ‘grain’ can virtually disappear as the color tones darken and blend in. The rear white panel is often found dingy. Premiums are paid for overall bright, vibrant jackets with bright spines without any darkening or sunning. Paper brittleness and excessive spine chipping seems to be less apparent with this title relative to From Russia With Love. Premiums are also paid for clean and bright rear panels.’