Could YOUR old Roald Dahl books be worth a fortune?

Could YOUR old Roald Dahl books be worth a fortune? Early editions of children’s classics like The Gremlins and The Witches can fetch up to £12,500

  • LoveAntiques analysed value of well known books, from The BFG to The Witches 
  • List compiled for the 50th anniversary of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  • First UK edition copy of The Gremlins (pub. 1944) could fetch up to £12,500 

If you were a big reader as a child you may have an secret goldmine sitting on your bookshelf, thanks to the skyrocketing value of early editions of popular kids books. 

Online antiques marketplace LoveAntiques analysed the value of a selection of Roald Dahl books, including the likes of The BFG and The Witches, and found a first UK edition copy of The Gremlins (published in 1944) could fetch £12,500.

Meanwhile while a first edition of Fantastic Mr Fox (1970) might bag you £2,950.   

The Cardiff-born author, whose books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide, passed away in 1990 aged 74.

Many of his stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda have been adapted into hit movies, with his books still making it onto bestsellers lists to this day.

Think your old copies could be worth a small fortune? Read on to see what they could fetch… 

The Gremlins: up to £12,500 

Estimated as the most valuable of all the author’s works, if you find one of these lying around it could fetch you £12,500 

Roald Dahl’s first children’s book was written for Walt Disney Productions in 1943. 

The UK first edition from 1944 and US first edition from 1943 are sought after by collectors of both Dahl and Disney.  The book tells the story of the mischievous creatures, part of Royal Air Force folklore, who use them as an explanation of mechanical mishaps.

Their motivation for sabotaging British aircraft is revenge for the destruction of their forest home, which was destroyed to build an aircraft factory. Estimated as the most valuable of all the author’s works, if you find one of these lying around it could fetch you £12,500.  

The Witches: Up to £6,750

A 1983 first edition presentation copy of The Witches illustrated by Quentin Blake could be worth a whopping £6,750

The dark fantasy novel The Witches shares the experiences of a young boy who lives in a world where child-hating societies of witches exist.

Leading the witches is the Grand High Witch, who plans to turn all the children into mice. The story has remained popular among children and has seen many adaptations, including a 2020 movie.

A first edition presentation copy, illustrated by Quentin Blake, from 1983 could be worth a whopping £6,750.

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator: up to £4,250

A first US edition, from 1972, which has been signed and inscribed by the author could fetch £4,250

The lesser-known sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory continues to follow the popular story of Charlie Bucket and chocolatier Willy Wonka. 

Although the first book has seen many TV and film adaptations, the second has never been depicted on screen.

The movies remain popular, and memorabilia from the franchise is still in demand, like Wonka’s top hat which was signed by Gene Wilder.

This is on the market for £1,173, as well as the Golden Ticket announcement from the 2005 version of the film, currently on sale for £300.  

A first US edition, from 1972, which has been signed and inscribed by the author could fetch £4,250. 

The BFG: up to £3,250 

For a 1982 first edition and first impression copy of the book, collectors are willing to splash £3,250

One of Dahl’s most popular novels, many millennials read the story of The Big Friendly Giant during childhood. 

The plot is an extension of an earlier book – Danny, Champion of the World – and follows an orphan named Sophie as she goes on an adventure with the BFG. 

As of 2009, the novel has sold 37 million copies of its UK editions alone, with more than 1 million copies sold around the world every year. 

For a 1982 first edition and first impression copy of the book, collectors are willing to splash £3,250. 

Fantastic Mr Fox: up to £3,000

A first edition of Fantastic Mr Fox, which is from the first round of printing in 1974, may cost around £2,950

Although still worth nearly £3,000, Fantastic Mr Fox novels are ranked tenth on the most valuable Roald Dahl books.

The book was adapted into a film, directed by Wes Anderson in 2009, and has also been performed on stage and as an opera. 

A first edition book, which is from the first round of printing in 1974, may be worth around £2,950. 

James and The Giant Peach: up to £3,000

First editions and first printings of these books, which have the five-line colophon, the publisher’s imprint on the last page, could fetch £3,000

The plot centres on a young orphan boy who enters a gigantic, magical peach and has an adventure with the garden insects he meets along the way.  

While many of us are familiar with the story, it might not be common knowledge that these books can fetch a huge amount of money. 

First editions and first printings of these books, which have the five-line colophon – the publisher’s imprint – on the last page could fetch £3,000. 

The Magic Finger: up to £3,750

This fantasy story was written in 1962, and first UK editions, as well as first impressions which are inscribed could bag £3,750

This fantasy story was written in 1962 about an unnamed eight-year-old girl growing up on an English farm.

Her Magic Finger gets activated when she is angry, and it shoots out beams of energy, but the outcomes are not always predictable.  

The first UK editions, as well as first impressions which are inscribed, could bag £3,750. 

Someone Like You: up to £3,750

A first printing from the first edition of the collection, which has been inscribed by the author, could be worth £3,750

Dahl first wrote this collection of short stories, including works like Dip Into The Pool and Poison, in 1953. 

A first printing from the first edition of the collection, which has been inscribed by the author, could be worth £3,750. 

Boy: up to £3,000

A first impression, first edition presentation copy is the eighth most expensive book on the list, and could get £3,000

The autobiographical book by the famous author describes his life from birth until leaving school, focusing on living conditions in Britain in the 1920s and 1930s.

He speaks of his upbringing and how his father Harald Dahl and mother Sofie Hesselberg were Norwegians who emigrated to Cardiff, Wales, before World War I.  

A first impression, first edition presentation copy is the eighth most expensive book on the list, and could fetch £3,000.   

The Twits: up to £3,000

First editions of the book, as well as first impressions inscribed by the author, are on the market for £3,000

Popular children’s novel The Twits was written in 1979 and first published in 1980, and focuses on a couple who play tricks on each other. 

First editions of the book, as well as first impressions inscribed by the author, are on the market for £3,000.  

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