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Re: A new collection

Subject: Re: A new collection
by Deagol on 2008/1/2 15:23:47

Hello Tom,

Welcome to Tolkien collecting!

I think everybody has missed out on something they really wanted on eBay. I missed out on one of the first 500 boxed LOTR sets ever issued (from 1957) before Christmas – I am still very sore about it even now…!

Rowns is the man to ask about U.S. paperback prices, but $20 for a good condition boxed set sounds ok to me.

The advice from Khamul and Parmastahir on collecting is very sound, have a good look around before really get going. I started out by trying to get a copy of every book he wrote, and just went on from there.

These three pages should help you with identifying first editions:

firsteditionpoints.com

booksellerworld.com

booklibris.com

TolkienBooks.net is my baby - I am glad that you like it!

For the most part it only covers British editions, so Ace Books, Ballantine Books and Houghton Mifflin editions do not appear. The best online source for information on American editions is probably the U.S. Tolkien Guide.

[That said, I am researching the whole Ace Books ‘Pirate Edition’ episode at the moment, so there will be an article at TolkienBooks.net at some stage that will give lots of information about the Ace and Ballantine editions.]

Much of the information known about the Ace and Ballantine editions comes from Wayne Hammond’s Tolkien Bibliography. It is an expensive book, but very useful. Your local library might be able to order it for you to have out on loan for a while - have a look through it before you buy.

Ace Books - There were 150,000 copies of each of the 3 volumes of LOTR printed and there were no reprints.

Ballantine – The number of copies of the first printing is unknown, but 125,000 copies of each volume were printed in the U.S. and another 10,000 in Canada by 17 January 1966. There had been 40 printings by 1973.

Houghton Mifflin – Print quantities for early printings of the HM LOTR can be found at TolkienBooks.net.

If you want to know more about print quantities for U.S. editions of Tolkien's other books, then Hammond’s bibliography is a must.