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This Diamond-Encrusted First Edition of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ Can Be Yours for $1.5 Million

This one-of-a-kind copy of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s will add a touch of sparkle any library.

The coveted first edition, which will be up for grabs at the upcoming New York International Antiquarian Book Fair for $1.5 million, has been adorned with nearly 30 carats of diamonds and one dazzling sapphire. It was created to celebrate the centenary of Capote’s birth and has been signed by the literary great himself.

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Bound by award-winning artist Kate Holland, the stylish tome features a black goatskin cover that shows a 1950s map of the Big Apple. Created by Bentley & Skinner, the “main streets” are platinum pavé set more than 1,000 white diamonds, the “side streets” are blind tooled, and Tiffany’s flagship at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street is marked by a one-carat, emerald-cut sapphire, naturally. The title runs down the spine in platinum, while the doublures are black goatskin with platinum tooling.

A close-up of the first edition's spine and diamond settings (left); diamonds being hand placed (right).
A close-up of the first edition’s spine and diamond settings (left); diamonds being hand placed (right).

The packaging showcases impeccable craftsmanship, too. The tome comes housed in an ebonized birdcage designed by master cabinetmaker Dom Parish of Wardour Workshops. (The birdcage is a recurring motif in the book that symbolizes Holly Golightly’s fear of captivation and pursuit of sexual freedom.) The delicate structure sits atop a cast glass plinth created by glassmaker Jade Pinnell. All rarified elements are presented in a custom trunk that was made by Parish and based on a classic Louis Vuitton Trianon trunk.

“Paul at Dragon Rebound had the initial idea to rebind a copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and set it with diamonds. And I just ran with it,” Holland said in a statement. “The design had to be as stylish and iconic as Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress. I also wanted to resolve the predicament of how to display a book as an art object rather than as a spine on a shelf.”

Elaborate packaging for the book includes a birdcage and custom trunk.
Elaborate packaging for the book includes a birdcage and custom trunk.

In addition, the book comes with a portfolio of the full set of photomontages by David Attie. The photographer was commissioned to illustrate Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Harper’s Bazaar, but the novel was deemed too risky and was subsequently sold to Esquire. Only one of Attie’s original images was published in print—until now, that is. Also included are facsimiles of original letters by Capote saying he would only let Esquire print his story if it used Attie’s images.

A prototype of the book will be displayed at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair from April 4 to 7, with the real deal available for purchase there too at the Lux Mentis booth.

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