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Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

Subject: Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question
by Khamûl on 2008/12/12 4:28:14

There are a couple of points to made here I think (...and I don't have either of these fine editions!)

The copy David Miller has listed on Abebooks was bought on eBay this year for £741. Although the pound has moved a lot recently against the dollar, this is roughly £1600 i.e. more than double the purchase price. How representative is this price, and how long will he have it listed there I wonder?

You say there were so many of those printed (the first edition of The Silmarillion); but, there can only be 1000 copies of the 'first thousand' sheets! I don't personally believe (like you) that this particularly makes a quality edition, or justifies the prices.

But consider (in reality) what your comparing it to (text/literature aside): A new edition of The Hobbit, 50 years after it was first published. How many hardback copies of The Hobbit do you reckon had been produced in that time? What exactly is so special about this edition; other than its limited number?

The 1982 Silmarillion on the other hand, was produced only five years after its publication; using the first sheets of the press. The binding and production (by all accounts) is of the finest quality; perhaps the finest edition GA&U brought out of Tolkien's work.

If you were to compare it to some imagained 1940/50's Hobbit, which had used the first sheets of the very first Hobbit printing; bound into some fabulous edition; limited in number etc etc -then perhaps the comparison would be on equal grounds.

Put it this way, look at the new CoH Super Deluxe (which I paid £350 for). It this worth more than the 1987 Hobbit? Top this up with another £350, and you could almost have bought that #117 Silmarillion...

I think the reasonably low prices for the 1987 Hobbit (in comparison) suggest the edition just does not have the same appeal as the 1982 Silmarillion. Would love to have them both in front of me to pass comment tho'...

BH