En juillet 2010, Sotheby's proposera aux enchères la première édition de Une étude en rouge signée (avec une petite note) par la main même de Conan Doyle.
Inscribed copy of Sherlock Holmes' debut book for sale
« This is the very first independant book of mine which ever was published, Arthur Conan Doyle, 9 Jan 1914 »
An ''extremely rare'' inscribed copy of the book in which supersleuth Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance is expected to fetch up to £400,000 when it goes under the hammer.
The copy of A Study In Scarlet, the debut novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of only two inscribed examples known to exist.
Sotheby's will auction the work, which it described as ''one of the rarest books of modern times'', in London this summer.
The book was published in 1887 and took fewer than three weeks to write.
Describing its significance, Sotheby's said: ''Undoubtedly the most important book Conan Doyle ever wrote, A Study In Scarlet gave birth to Sherlock Holmes, explained how he and Dr Watson came to be together and set in motion one of the most highly successful characters - and indeed the first major serial character - in English literature, a forerunner of everyone from Hercule Poirot to James Bond.''
Holmes recently captured the public's imagination once more when Guy Ritchie made a blockbuster movie of his adventures, starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.
The novel will be up for grabs on July 15 as part of an English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations sale. It is estimated to realise £250,000 to £400,000.
Despite being a hit on publication, the work was initially rejected by a succession of publishers. It finally made it into print in November 1887, in Beeton's Christmas Annual.
The issue sold out in 14 days and was later republished, but Conan Doyle never received a penny more for the work, having given up all the rights to his publisher for the sum of £25.
A Study In Scarlet features Holmes's first remark uttered on meeting Dr Watson: ''How are you? You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.''
It also contains Watson's description of Holmes on their first meeting: ''His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer.
''In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller.
''His eyes were sharp and piercing, save during those intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin, hawk-like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision.''
The author's inscription reads: ''This is the first independent book of mine which ever was published, Arthur Conan Doyle.''
Sixty Holmes tales appeared over 40 years after the publication of A Study In Scarlet, gripping readers around the world.
Peter Selley, senior specialist in Sotheby's books and manuscripts department, said: ''Holmes is a character so compelling and complex that many were to believe that he was a real person. Even as late as the 1950s the English Post Office was still receiving many letters personally addressed to the detective. No such fictional character had ever become so widely known in such a short space of time.''
He said a copy made more than 150,000 dollars at Sotheby's in New York in 2007 - but no signed or inscribed copy has ever been offered for sale at auction since the work was published in 1887.
Mr Selley continued: ''It is highly unlikely that such a copy will ever become available again.
''The sale represents an opportunity to acquire the finest copy of the most important cornerstone of any collection of detective literature in the world.''
source : www.telegraph.co.uk