Agatha Christie’s missing notebook in Hong Kong fair

With the global release of Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express, a fascinating notebook that belonged to the story’s creator, Agatha Christie, is set to attract much interest at Hong Kong’s China in Print Fair later this month.

British dealer Lucius Books from York is offering the extraordinary ‘lost’ notebook from the ‘Queen of Crime’ with an estimated price of HK$ 465,000 (£45,500). The rare item, the only notebook to exist outside the late author’s estate, contains in-depth notes relating to her 1950 novel, A Murder is Announced (originally entitled, A Murder has been Arranged) and her 1954 play, Spider’s Web. It also includes many other jottings, a room sketch to illustrate the layout for a murder and much more. The book has been in a private collection for more than half a century.

Agatha Christie notebook

Other highlights of the rare printed works on offer at the event include:

  • 14th century Chinese paper-money, with an estimated price of €13,000 (£11,500)
  • A collection of 114 delicately coloured, fine drawings of traditional Japanese desserts by the celebrated artist Eisen Kato, whose portrait works hang in the Kyoto National Museum, dating back to the 1950s with an estimated price of US$ 12,500 (£9,500)
One book sold for more than $1m (£760,000) at last year’s fair and the market is buoyant. Director of China in Print, Andrea Mazzocchi, said, “In an increasingly digital age there is something magical about objects which are conduits of the past.”
The world’s leading specialists in rare books, manuscripts, maps and photographs will convene at Hong Kong’s Maritime Museum from November 17 to 19.

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