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Re: Dye Colour 1978 1st Impression 4th Edition UK Hobbit
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Christina and I have looked at our two copies of the first printing of this edition and at my working papers for the Descriptive Bibliography. My description of the top edge staining as "dark green" came originally from Douglas Anderson, based on his copy of the book, but when looking at other copies, including Christina's and the one at the British Library, I evidently found them to match.

Color descriptions of course are subjective, based on one's eyes, lighting, and condition of the item, which is why it's good to have a number of copies to physically compare. One of our copies, which has stood on a shelf for many years among other single copies of The Hobbit, has a top edge which is clearly blue, but also clearly faded. This may be due to light (room lighting, at least), or to dust which can cause chemical change; also, some dyes are more prone to fading than others.

The other copy we have, however, is part of the boxed set The Tolkien Library, has never been read, and has been protected all these years from both light and dust within a heavy slipcase. On this copy, the top edge is stained dark green - with a distinct blue element, to be sure, evident as one turns the book in the light, but then green = blue + yellow so this is to be expected.

I also compared these copies with copies of The Silmarillion, and to me the blue (or apparent blue) stains are of different values. Again, this could be subjective.

It's possible, of course, that some copies of the 1978 first impression were stained dark green, which would make sense, given its green cloth binding, while others were stained a dark blue. In any case, it's an interesting point.

Wayne

Posted on: 3/13 4:59:53


Re: Mystery Page in 50th Anniv Hobbit I Bought
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Christina and I have a copy of this too, which I document in the Descriptive Bibliography, p. 63, as "another, presumably later impression [of the Houghton Mifflin 50th anniversary edition] (but simultaneous publication?)". The "H" at the foot of the copyright page, absent from other copies, suggests a later or subsequent printing, and I suppose (at this great distance of time) that I had some evidence that this copy came out at the same time as the others we owned, probably from knowing then when we acquired them. Houghton Mifflin may well have needed multiple printings before publication to meet demand. In our copy, the original title-leaf was similarly removed a little roughly, as shown by the tear at the bottom, but the cancel leaf has been pasted in better, so that the rough stub isn't obvious unless one looks closely.

Wayne

Posted on: 2/24 5:11:19


Re: What was the first copy of the Hobbit, LOTR and the Sil that you owned?
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For The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: the Ballantine paperbacks with Barbara Remington covers. This was in 1970.

For The Silmarillion, the Houghton Mifflin first edition, bought on publication in 1977.

Wayne

Posted on: 1/6 15:51:20


New secondhand listings
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A friend of mine has just gone formally into business as Carpe Librum books, and has a few Tolkien items: a set of the Ace Books Lord of the Rings, near fine, $250; a first American Smith of Wootton Major, fine in dust-jacket with a chip at the bottom of the spine, $50; Marion Zimmer Bradley's Men, Halflings, and Hero Worship, very good or better condition, $150; and a first of Lin Carter's Tolkien: A Look behind "The Lord of the Rings", very good-plus, $5.00.

I might also mention that another bookseller I know, Second Life Books, has copies of Tolkien works in translation.

Wayne

Posted on: 1/2 9:24:28


Re: Tolkien Letter
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This letter sold in October for $1,500 at Heritage Auctions, Beverly Hills, and is now being offered by University Archives in Westport, Connecticut for $3,500.

Wayne

Posted on: 1/2 9:00:50



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