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A Study in Sherlock, Part II realizes $217K at Potter & Potter

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CHICAGO — Collectors of Arthur Conan Doyle and anything Sherlock Holmes-related got their second chance to purchase rarities from the combined collections of Robert Hess and Roy Pilot February 15 at Potter & Potter. The 336-lot sale brought the consignors $217,000 in a ringing endorsement of the collection’s quality. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

Potter & Potter president Gabe Fajuri quipped, “It was all but elementary here on auction day — we saw strong bidding on many unusual and elusive items from the Arthur Conan Doyle cannon, and are looking forward to — perhaps — yet another installment in this series of auctions in 2025.”

The sale’s top lot was Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1896 autograph manuscript of the novel Uncle Bernac. Estimated at $30,000-$40,000, it traded hands at $34,000 ($42,500 with buyer’s premium). The lot included the complete manuscript as published in the original serialization and is also known by its provisional title Boulogne. A Memory of the Empire.

Also on offer was a copy of Doyle’s The Lost World, complete with its virtually unobtainable original dust jacket. Originally published in London by Hodder and Stoughton on October 15th, 1912, this example was the first English trade edition, featuring the iconic image of Arthur Conan Doyle disguised as Professor Challenger on its dust jacket. This exact copy was the only one to ever appear at auction in the past; it was previously sold through Swann Galleries on June 20, 2013 and via Sotheby’s London on October 20, 2016. Estimated at $8,000-$10,000, the book hammered for $10,000 ($12,000 with buyer’s premium).

Demand for Jeremy Brett-related memorabilia continues to be strong. Brett (1933-1995) is best remembered for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on British television. Coming directly from his estate was a pair of photo albums featuring Brett as Holmes and in other roles, including 80 behind-the-scenes shots from the TV series. Estimated at just $150-$250, it hammered for $5,500 ($6,600 with buyer’s premium).

In addition, an archive of 40 audio cassettes of Jeremy Brett’s performances, commercials, interviews, and more was estimated at $100-$200 and scored $3,000 ($3,600 with buyer’s premium), Made in England in the 1980s and 1990s, they were primarily 90-minute cassettes with hand-written captions in an unknown hand on inserts.
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Arthur Conan Doyle’s autograph manuscript of the novel ‘Uncle Bernac,’ which sold for $42,500 at Potter & Potter.
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Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’ with its virtually unobtainable original dust jacket, which sold for $12,000 at Potter & Potter.
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Pair of photo albums featuring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes and other roles, which sold for $6,600 at Potter & Potter.
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Archive of 40 audio cassettes of Jeremy Brett’s performances, commercials, and interviews, which sold for $3,600 at Potter & Potter.
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