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Re: Tolkien Signatures on eBay???
Shirrif
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I am going to post the text from the seller here so that it does not vanish in a few months time when eBay removes the item. If anybody can contact Christopher then I think he should see what has been posted about him by this seller.

"Included in this auction is one of only 200 Hand-Signed, Special and Limited Edition The Silmarillion bookplates which was signed by J. R. R. Tolkien's youngest son, Christopher, at the premier release of J. R. R. Tolkien's final book. Tolkien passed away before the completion of The Silmarillion and Christopher completed his father’s final book. Scholars have debated for many years the historical significance of this book and the comparison to Tolkien's other works including The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The circumstances surrounding and evolving from Tolkien's work and Tolkien's personal affairs has been examined as well. Tolkien was not known to have had a good relationship with his son Christopher but, during that generation (The Greatest Generation it is called) fathers were not typically known to be the warm and fuzzy or even talkative person that fathers are better known for today. This stress, like the stress between J.R.R. Tolkien's early works versus his last, the relationship between the two Tolkien's was stressed to the point that Christopher publicly discussed, a kind word to use, his father and the fact that The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit took the time which could of been spent with him.

All of this, the ending of two generations of literary work and the stress of the family relationship that came with it, came to both a conclusion and to a head upon the death of the older Tolkien. The great and agonizing irony was that Christopher then completed his father's last work, thereby becoming and playing the role that he had become so bitter about during his youth and teen aged years. Now he was the author. But not the author of "his" book but his father's book. Then to add a final touch of a cherry on top of it all, the younger Tolkien was there on the night of the world-release of The Silmarillion but rather than signing the book itself, he and the publisher compromised by having the young Tolkien sign a limited, 200 special bookplates which themselves were specially designed and printed with the title of the new book on them. This IS one of those 200 special bookplates and is the ONLY ONE this writer has ever seen. This is a piece of history; especially a part of Tolkien history and thereby a part of the history of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The bookplate comes with a copy of a provenance letter from the publisher to a previous owner.

Details on the included copy of The Silmarillion : first U.K. domestic trade issue hardcover in an original dust jacket and a two-piece custom protective slipcase. "First published in 1977" is stated on the copyright page and no subsequent printings are mentioned. £4.95 price is intact on the jacket's front flap. Slipcase is in FINE condition. The outer piece features brown leather spine binding with gilt spine lettering. Jacket is in FINE condition aside from some very light bumping on the top and bottom edges of the spine and some faint toning throughout. Book is in NEAR FINE condition and is tightly bound with clean, crisp pages inside. Navy blue cloth-bound boards with gold spine lettering, some very faint wear to extremities, back board fans out very slightly. Pages have navy blue topstain and are clean with no stray marks or inscriptions from previous owners. Original fold-out map is present and intact.

This book with this very rare signed bookplate is valued at $2,000 - has any person seen another one of these bookplates for sale in the past 5-10 years? Here is your chance to make this amazing piece a part of your personal collection!"

Posted on: 2010/3/26 13:26


Re: Tolkien Signatures on eBay???
Shirrif
Joined:
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From Scotland
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Not sure, the seller just got back & said they'll put all my questions to the owner. I think they would have just said if it has been sold.

BH

Posted on: 2010/3/26 13:02
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: Tolkien Signatures on eBay???
Shirrif
Joined:
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From Essex, England
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by Khamul on 2010/3/26 20:10:36 The listing has, literally, just been pulled! (Didn't think my questioning was that bad...) BH


That usually means that the item has been sold outside of eBay.

Did not read the blurb when I first posted this, just looked at the pictures, having read it what a lot of made up nonsense about Christopher and his father.

Posted on: 2010/3/26 13:01


Re: Tolkien Signatures on eBay???
Shirrif
Joined:
2007/8/16 4:56
From Scotland
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Shirrif
Posts: 1537
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The listing has, literally, just been pulled! (Didn't think my questioning was that bad...)

BH

Posted on: 2010/3/26 12:10
_________________
You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: Tolkien Signatures on eBay???
Shirrif
Joined:
2007/8/16 4:56
From Scotland
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Shirrif
Posts: 1537
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This whole auction listing really annoys me.

If the seller would spend more time talking about the book in question (this information is buried away at the bottom of the listing), and less time waffling a whole load of garbage about how, apparently, J. R. R. and Christopher never got on; along with much other peripheral rubbish about the books genesis --then the auction would have more success & would be viewed with less suspicion by this collector.

There are a number of oddities, biographical detail aside --none of them raising any particular doubts as to authenticity.

Firstly garm --nice story. You have one. Neil Holford (I'm sure he won't mind me saying) has a copy with similar pasted in bookplate. So these aren't unheard of. But the '1 of 200' limitation: I have asked the seller to confirm where this piece of information has come from. I doubt, like laurel, that 200 of these were ever signed, as they simply do not come up enough to suggest there are that many copies kicking around. I think this is a number plucked from the known facts regarding the CoH and Metheun Silmarillion releases. The seller would have been better not stating this.

The other statements suggesting Christopher attended the launch, but didn't flat sign --has anyone here ever heard any of this before? I have asked around a few times about when & where any launch was, and whether anyone can confirm if Christopher did, or did not, attend.

Nigel Sustins, of Church House Books, had some sort of Silmarillion launch back at publication time: Priscilla, Carpenter, and Rayner Unwin all attended --they signed his copy. I'm pretty sure this was right at publication time, or thereabouts --but Christopher did not attend. Not that this means much, but I always guessed he never attended any (public) launch.

Either way, if he was there (as this seller claims) why on earth would he not flat sign books, and only sign these bookplates? Also, Christopher did flat sign some copies for GA&U staff --someone else, besides me, has a copy (as it has been discussed on this forum); the providence was good --it was accompanied by an original typed note to the ex-GA&U employee stating that she would have to pay £2.48 for her signed copy. (Bargain!)

And, to one last point, why does the book (like some other items we've seen lately) only have a copy of the letter? Why on earth would someone sell this book and keep the old letter. I struggle to see why/how these became separated. (Understandable if the original letter was from Christopher or something; and was an item of worth in its own right.)

BH

Posted on: 2010/3/26 11:59
_________________
You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...



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