A RARE signed first edition of James Joyce's 'Ulysses' – one of only 100 first edition copies signed by its Dublin-born author – has been sold in America for more than €130,000.
The slightly battered book (pictured) had been expected to sell for between €77,000 to €116,000 when it went under the hammer at auction at Christie's in New York.
But it exceeded expectations and eventually was bought by a UK trader for €131,285. The copy originally belonged to Annie Winifred Ellerman (1894-1983), who befriended Joyce in Paris in 1921 and helped finance the publication of 'Ulysses'.
Ms Ellerman was the daughter of financier and shipping magnate Sir John Ellerman, who, when he died in July 1933, was Britain's richest man.
Auctioneers Christie's confirmed Ms Ellerman and her husband at the time, Robert McAlmon, befriended Joyce in Paris in 1921 and helped finance publication of 'Ulysses'. Mr McAlmon also served as Joyce's typist for sections of the manuscript.
Meanwhile, Dublin's historic James Joyce tower and museum – one of the world's most famous literary landmarks – is set to reopen following a €500,000 development plan.
The tower closed during the summer due to an escalating cash crisis, but Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has now agreed to take full control of the museum, based in the Sandycove Martello tower, after negotiating a €300,000 grant from Failte Ireland.