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Re: UK First Edition Silmarillion Dust Wrapper Colours

Subject: Re: UK First Edition Silmarillion Dust Wrapper Colours
by Elwë on 2008/3/28 10:56:23

I think that the topic of Silmarillion variants, though subtle and somewhat subjective, is an important and under-discussed topic. So many copies of the first impression were printed that collectors will ultimatley favor the true first state (Clowes Variant 1). I personally have 3 Clowes and 2 Billings copies of the first edition / first printing. I have one copy of the first variant Clowes and two copies of the second variant. My copy of the first variant (containing headband, blue topstain, and cloth boards) has a very dark blue dustwrapper, nearly black. The two copies of the second variant have a noticably lighter, but still navy blue wrapper. My copies of the domestic (Billings) edition are very close to the second variant Clowes wrapper. It is much easier for me to see the difference between the two Clowes variants, than between the Clowes second variant and the Billings copies. The subtle differences might be very important to those who are trying to acquire all possible variants. However, for the purpose of valuation, I think that the Clowes first variant is most important, and fortunately, most easily distinguishable.

My real reason for this post, however, is to see if anyone knows of textual variation between the first and second variant Clowes editions. On Tolkienbooks.net, it is stated,

"Minor textual differences indicate that Variant 1 was printed before Variant 2."

I have no idea what these differences may be, but would be very interested in knowing. This could come into play if ever trying to identify re-bound copies that might have been stripped of the headband, topstain, and cloth boards. Any help would be greatly appreciated!