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Signed copy of The Importance of Being Earnest fetches $362,500 at Sotheby's

A signed first edition of Oscar Wilde’s play was bought for several times the estimate at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.

An undated picture of author Oscar Wilde.
An undated picture of author Oscar Wilde.
Image: AP/AP/Press Association Images

A SIGNED FIRST edition of Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest has sold at auction in New York for $360,00.

The calfskin-covered book, which was produced in 1899, contained a handwritten note to Robert Ross – Wilde’s patron, one-time lover and lifelong friend.

Inside the cover, Wilde wrote the words:

To the Mirror of Perfect Friendship.
Robbie: whose name I have written on the portal of this little play. Oscar. Feb ’99.

The book was auctioned alongside a library of literary treasures of Jacques Levy, a collector of rare books, and sold to New York bookseller James Cummins.

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