Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts’s first class book collection is going up for auction this fall.
This fall, hundreds of books owned by Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts will go up for auction at legendary London auction house Christie’s. In case you didn’t know (I didn’t), Watts, who died in 2021 at the age of 80, was a devoted bibliophile and collector; Christie’s describes the cache, which includes rare editions of books by George Orwell, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Graham Greene, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, among others, as “an unparalleled library of modern first edition books, the finest and highest value collection of its kind to come to auction in over twenty years.”
The marquee item is a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which was inscribed by the author to screenwriter Harold Goldman, as the “original ‘Gatsby’ of this story, with thanks for letting me reveal these secrets of his past.”
The auction will also include an inscribed first edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as Dylan Thomas’s own copy of his first book, 18 Poems, Mark Wiltshire, a books and manuscripts specialist at Christie’s, told The Guardian. The volume is inscribed three times—once as Thomas’s own, “once when he’s presenting it to his first serious girlfriend, and he crosses that out and then he presents it another time to a next girlfriend,” Wiltshire explained. The collection as a whole, he added, reveals Watts’s “incredibly sensitive curiosity about the very best of literature.”