The Financial Times has published a report of an index which tracks the prices of rare first editions. Among the 35 titles included is Waugh’s Decline and Fall which is listed at £9,364. Waugh’s friends Graham Greene, Ian Fleming and George Orwell are among the six writers who have two books listed. The highest listing is that for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby at £246,636. The index was created by Stanley Gibbons, a stamp and coin dealer based in London, which explains:
This is not an index people can trade or own, explained Stanley Gibbons’ group investment director Keith Heddle. Instead, he said, it could help collectors “compile a portfolio” based on the books and authors they believed had seen the best growth. It would also aid people who are valuing their estates and planning their legacies, he explained…The best-performing book in the index is Animal Farm, which in the past 10 years has grown in price from £200 up to £5,100. This price applies for a limited edition from the first ever print run, in excellent condition and with its original dust jacket intact.