Yesterday, the original electrotype blocks used for printing the illustrations of the first editions of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass and what Alice found there” were sold at auction house Christie’s.
To be able to print the illustrations, Tenniel drew on wooden blocks, which were subsequently cut by the Dalziel Brothers. From these wooden blocks, copper-plated lead printing blocks were electrotyped.
In this auction, 49 of the original printing blocks were sold (38 that were used for the first editions of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” – both the recalled and official first edition, and several later editions, and 11 used for the first edition of “Through the Looking Glass”).
It was estimated that the electrotype blocks would sell for about $20,000-$30,000, but eventually the sum of $81,250 was fetched!
More details about the auction can be found on the website of Christie’s.