What the Dickens? Rare Christmas classic up for grabs

Andrew Lindsay-Bullock with the rare early edition of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'

Keys head of books Andrew Lindsay-Bullock with the rare early edition of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'. - Credit: Keys Auctioneers

An early hand-coloured illustrated edition of Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol is set to go under the hammer in an auction of rare editions ranging from Frankenstein to James Bond.

The tiny volume of the classic seasonal tale is to be offered at a book sale at Keys Auctioneers in Aylsham on December 9 and 10.

The title page of an early edition of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'.

The title page of an early edition of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'. - Credit: Keys Auctioneers

Issued in 1843 - the same year the story was first published - the book is expected to fetch more than £1,000.

Andrew Lindsay-Bullock, head of books at Keys, said the volume was "extremely rare and beautiful".

"It's likely that one lucky book-lover is going to have a particularly nice present in their stocking this year," he said.

A first edition of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' dating from 1831.

A first edition of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' dating from 1831. - Credit: Keys Auctioneers

Also being sold are a first edition of Ian Fleming's Bond novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service, dating from 1963 and signed by the author, and a first illustrated edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein from 1831.

A signed edition of Ian Fleming 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' dating from 1963.

A signed edition of Ian Fleming 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' dating from 1963. - Credit: Keys Auctioneers