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2008 Penguin Centenary Editions

Dr No 2008 centenary edition

2008 saw the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming.  To commemorate this, Penguin Books in the UK published a limited edition set of “Centenary Edition” hardbacks. 

Despite being only published a few years ago they are already highly collectable and prices are rising.  This is due no doubt in part to the appeal of the artwork, but also due to the limited print run.  When Casino Royale was first published by Jonathan Cape 1953 there were 4750 copies of the first edition.  For the Centenary edition only 4000 copies were printed.  In another parallel with the 1953 printing many of the Centenary Editions went to libraries so many copies that come on to the market are ex-library.

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Pan Thunderball with Domino Letter

Pan Thunderball with Domino Letter

Chapter 15 of Thunderball (“Cardboard Hero”) is set in the Nassau Casino.  Bond is enjoying caviar and champagne with Domino when she explains how the sailor depicted on the front of a packet of Players cigarettes was her first true love. Someone in the marketing department of Imperial Tobacco must have been a fan of the books and knew about the section on Player’s Cigarettes.  In a clever piece of marketing a promotional “letter” from Domino to James Bond was inserted within copies of the 14th edition of the paperback.


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The Man With The Golden Gun (with embossed gun)

The Man With The Golden Gun with the gun stamped on the cover

A first edition of The Man With The Golden Gun (TMWTGG) is worth perhaps £100 ($155) unless its one of the first few copies that has an embossed gun on the front board.  Such copies are worth around 100 times more (£10000 / $15500).  The high price of these editions unfortunately means there are a few fake copies on the market.

After around 1% of the first edition print run was produced it was realised the cost of adding the large area of gilt to the front was too expensive.  The solution chosen was to remove the gun and have plain boards.  The 1% with the gun represent the first copies printed so are very much in demand by collectors who want a complete set of first edition / first state books.

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Casino Royale with Quad Mark Variant

Casino Royale 1st edition with quad mark variant

Keen collectors of Ian Fleming books may have heard of or own the “quad mark” variant of The Spy Who Loved Me (Cape hardback).  Before digital printing took over metal spacers between words were known as quads if a spacer dropped down and touched the paper it was referred to as a quad mark error. On The Spy Who Loved Me the error is between the E and the M of Fleming on the title page.  Such copies are quite rare and carry a price premium with collectors.  The Cape edition of Colonel Sun has a similar quad mark issue.

Whilst photographing copies of the 1st paperback edition of Casino Royale for this web site I discovered a previously unknown quad mark issue.

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Useful Links

Useful links

Click through for a list of web sites that will be of use to collectors of James Bond / Ian Fleming books.  Feel free to get in touch to suggest sites to add to the list.



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Pan model / white series

Casino Royale from the Pan model series

This striking series of covers was first released in 1969.  Some collectors refer to them as the white series and others as the model series (both for obvious reasons).

11 of the 14 James Bond titles were released in this series, the missing titles being:

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Pan Movie Tie In (MTI) series

Coming soon(ish)!

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Pan still life series

Pan still life series of Ian Fleming James Bond Books

Coming soonish

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Site Updates

The Man With The Golden Gun advanced binding

We have added a page to list recent changes to the site.  This is the best place to keep track of newly added books to the gallery and see if any articles have been added since your last visit.

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Ian Fleming, Queen Elizabeth and Errol Flynn

Signed by Errol Flynn and Ian Fleming

A mystery from 1955. A while back I purchased at auction a Cunard line program of events signed by Ian Fleming. This is dated Oct 21st 1955. Along with this came a signed note on Cunard paper from Errol Flynn and a postcard of the Cunard liner, The Mauritania.
Initially I put 2 + 2 together and came up with 5. Both Errol Flynn and Fleming had nearby houses on the North Shore of Jamaica and knew each other. The Mauritania stopped at Jamaica so its easy to imagine the 2 of them on the same trip.  Closer examination however proved things were not so simple.

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