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4 weeks ago

Rare First Edition of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ to be Sold in New York

The diamond-studded custom binding is valued at a cool $1.5m.

By Irenie Forshaw

Few things in the world are as extravagant as a diamond-studded first edition of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This spring, you could get your hands on the ultra-rare custom binding – if you’re willing to part with $1.5m.

The precious book is set to go on sale at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair from April 4–7, 2024. Returning for its 64th edition, the prestigious event will once again be held at the historic Park Avenue Armory – a sprawling drill hall in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Almost 200 exhibitors from across the globe will attend this year’s fair, showcasing an array of rare books, maps, illuminated manuscripts, fine bindings, historical documents, photographs and prints.

[See also: Christie’s Elton John Auction in New York]

kate holland working on breakfast at tiffany's book
Kate Holland bound the book in black goatskin with a design of a 1950s New York street map / © New York International Antiquarian Book Fair

Among the treasures is a truly one-of-a-kind first edition of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Set to go on display at the Lux Mentis booth, the exceptionally rare book is currently valued at a cool $1.5m.

What makes it so special? The custom binding was created to celebrate the centenary of Capote’s birth and has been signed by the revered American writer himself. Award-winning artist Kate Holland bound the book in black goatskin with a design of a 1950s New York street map. The main streets are platinum pavé set with over 1,000 glittering white diamonds by London jewelers Bentley & Skinner.

The side streets have been blind-tooled and the location of Tiffany’s flagship at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street is fittingly marked with a single one-carat emerald-cut sapphire.

breakfast at tiffany's first edition in bird cage
The precious book is presented in an ebonized birdcage designed by master cabinetmaker Dom Parish / ©New York International Antiquarian Book Fair

“Paul at Dragon Rebound had the initial idea to rebind a copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and set it with diamonds. And I just ran with it,” said Holland. “It was really exciting to have this opportunity to push the boundaries of contemporary bookbinding, to make something that might be noteworthy outside our small world, and to raise the profile of our craft in the luxury market.”

Master cabinetmaker at Wardour Workshops, Dom Parish, designed an ebonized birdcage to display the first edition (a recurring motif from the book). It is presented on a beautiful cast glass plinth made by glassmaker Jade Pinnell.

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The first-edition custom binding of Breakfast at Tiffany’s will be displayed and on sale at the Lux Mentis Booth from April 4–7 at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair. Tickets cost $32.

nyantiquarianbookfair.com

[See also: UK’s Largest Yoko Ono Exhibition Opens at the Tate Modern]

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