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Re: A new collection
Home away from home
2006/6/4 16:49
From The Green Hill Country
Posts: 196
Hi Tom -

You know not the peril of asking a collector about her/his collection! It is akin to asking a Hobbit about genealogy! I will simply say that I collect Tolkien calendars. You can find my catalog/collection at:


I started the Tolkien Calendar Collecting thread in these forums under Calendars, Posters, and Other Artwork. If you wish to know more about me and the book collectors who frequent this forum, check out the collector profiles at:


Pieter's site is about the best on the web for information on the (hardcover) books. You should also read his page about collecting in general.

I can tell that you have the collector gene from your third post. As Pieter stated, the question is "What to collect?" I think it is somewhat like choosing one's major in college. You may start out with one thing and wind up with another. Unless you are René van Rossenberg of Tolkienwinkel, you can not collect everything. But you will probably try a number of different things and then realize what it is that gives you the most satisfaction.

And that is what collecting is all about. It is not about the monetary value of one's collection. It is about the enjoyment that you get from it, and I can state (and many times have) that the best part of collecting is the people that one meets (if only virtually, for the most part) in one's quest. The paperbacks may be a good place to start. It is still possible to collect them in quite good condition and at a reasonable prices.

The next question is where to find them. eBay is an obvious site. There are also many on-line booksellers (including Rown's Books [hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink ], Amazon.com, etc) where you can find current and older items.

Which brings me to prices: I have obtained a lot of items on eBay. It is VERY easy to overpay for an item. My best advice (through hard won experience) is to watch a number of auctions for items of interest to you and get a feel for the market (what are things selling for? how rare is an item?) before buying a lot of items. Unless an item is truly rare (post questions here about items for advice on this), it WILL appear again (trust me on this!) So set a limit and try to stick to it. You will undoubtedly find the best "treasures" are those that you "get for a song".

Which brings me to condition: Condition affects (or certainly should) the value of an item. Ask the seller LOTS of questions about the condition of the books: Edition/impression/publisher/printer? Any markings or inscriptions? Stains or foxing? Creases? Dustjacket condition (same questions)?

Take some time (as you are doing now) to learn the terminology of the items. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS! At worst, you'll get no answer. That is not my experience in these forums. However, these are message boards NOT IM. So you will have to be patient and wait for responses. (With the holidays, I am not certain that the regulars have been visiting.)

Re the green boxed set: The books all have the Barbara Remington covers; they are not green. When put side-by-side, they form a triptych (which was sold as a very large poster in the late 60s/early 70s and is now very hard to find and therefore very collectible). Sorry, I'm not willing to part with it. I discovered it on eBay earlier this year and found that the seller was located in the town next to me. It is in almost perfect condition and the books are all second printings. But such an item is entirely possible to collect.

Two points to make: (1) "The answer is always 'no' if you don't ask." So, you should always ask someone if they are willing to part with an item. (2) "The thrill is in the hunt." Once you have decided upon what to collect (or you suddenly realize after looking at your collection that you are a .... collector [fill in the blank]), there is the excitement of discovering a new item. For instance, I have been collecting the calendars for years. Still, I added 51 new or previously undiscovered calendars to my catalog last year and was fortunate to collect 47 of them. Thus, I added four more to my "To Get" list!

Like college, I think my best advice is to collect a number of different things initially. You will eventually figure out what you enjoy the most and concentrate on that. I am OCD about the calendars, but had a fascination with the Ace and early Ballantine paperback issues (and they were entirely affordable!) It would be fun to find each of the Ace volumes in excellent condition and assemble a set.

And I know EXACTLY what you mean by "something of REAL significance". That is what drives my quest. The title of my website is that quest. I wish to make it a complete collection and obtain at least one copy of every calendar that I can discover. Within that collection, "my precious" is the 1974 A&U calendar that JRRT inscribed for a colleague.

The "impression" of a book is the same as the "printing". It may be a difference in terms between British and American English. For the earlist impressions/printings, there is a number line on the page following the title page. If it shows "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1", then it is a first impression. However, that does NOT make it a first edition. JRRT edited the LotR to correct some errors and inconsistencies in the story. So what you are reading today is the second edition. Christopher Tolkien's HoME series is all about (in VERY GREAT detail) how the books evolved. And yes, for the paperbacks that you are talking about, the printing is very clearly stated on that page.

Hope this helps. Ask all the questions that you wish. As others have helped (and continue to help) me, I will help you as I can.

Happy New Year and Good Luck!

Away from The Green Hill Country,


Posted on: 2008/1/1 8:28
Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise can not see all ends.

Not too shy to talk
2007/12/30 17:44
From Tulsa Oklahoma USA
Posts: 26
Wow that sounds like a great collection!

I only found out a couple of weeks ago that there were literally dozens of them all going so far back!



Posted on: 2008/1/1 7:58
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

Re: June Giveaway!
Not too shy to talk
2007/12/30 17:44
From Tulsa Oklahoma USA
Posts: 26
Unfortunately I don't know any vintage collectors (or any for that matter)

I would like to start compiling a list of buttons/pins/badges for my own personal use or for others. If anyone would PM or e-mail me at tom.bombadilo@gmail.com I would be very indebted.

Thank you for your reply!
(I am just extra excited, so it seems like it is taking ages to get a reply)


Posted on: 2008/1/1 7:54
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

R Hunt
Re: Unusual Items
Guest_R Hunt
I'm not a Tolkien fan per se.

I picked up a book for $4AUS at an antique shop in Rockingham, Western Australia where I live.

The book is 'Nova et Vetera' by ex-communicated, former Jesuit preist, George Tyrrell and was first published in 1897.

I am a practising Catholic and was quite excited about such a find however, further discovery has led me to post this message .

In the inside cover of the book is a coat of arms with several words that are unfamiliar to me (in Latin).

'Franciscus Morgan et Osborne' and 'Edgbaston' were easy enough to decipher as proper nouns that I could look up on Google.

On the next page, in faded fountain pen, 'Francis Morgan 1907' is written and then a word which looks like "theoratoby".

So I looked up 'Edgbaston' and one of the sites I found was the home page of The Birmingham Oratory. I looked up "Francis Morgan" and found the following page:


It might seem like a very slight thing but to me, it is fascinating to think that the book sitting next to me on my desk was once read by a) Fr Francis Morgan of the Birmingham Oratory (of John Henry Newman fame) and b) by the legal guardian of J R R Tolkien.

As a consequence of my petty research detailed above, I have come to read a lot more about Tolkien than I ever expected to in my lifetime and have been fascinated with his personal history.

Indeed, a fortunate find!

Posted on: 2008/1/1 7:20

Re: an eBay auction that made me laugh...
Home away from home
2006/6/2 14:15
Posts: 344
You sometimes read crazy things, especially on the internet, yet it is also true that a lot of myths have been created in the past by some authors and while most of us now know they are myths, it seems hard to destroy them. That is how things go...

Posted on: 2008/1/1 4:28

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