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Re: The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1
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This one gets even more confusing, even for the experienced collector. Here is a link to a thread started back in February regarding first edition variants of the Silmarillion:

http://www.tolkienguide.com/modules/n ... ost_id=3290#forumpost3290

As you can see, there are actually two variants of the true first printing (Clowes and Sons, export edition). The main features of these two variants are (taken from the aforementioned thread):

Variant 1) Dark blue cloth binding, with blue and white striped headband and dyed blue top edge. Also, on Page 352, 6th line from the bottom reads, "Ulmo A Vala, one of the Aratar, called Lord of Waters and King of the Sea."

Variant 2) Dark blue textured paper binding, no headband and no dye to top edge. Page 352, 6th line from the bottom reads, "Ulmo A Vala, one of the Aratar, called Lord of Waters and King of the Sea. (Because the 'and' should not be in Italics and was corrected, the second variant must have been printed after the first.)

All this said, even if you had the first variant of the first printing, the true value is difficult to determine. There may be certain pricelists that show high values for this book, however, the book is really not that rare from what I have seen. Many copies were printed during the first run making it fairly easy to obtain. I purchased a copy within the last year on ebay for less than $50.00USD. I am really no expert, but I would tend to think that $200.00USD might be a decent price. If you had the means to properly advertise your book (through various collectible book venues) and don't mind waiting a while, you might eventually get more out of it, but it could take a while. The value of anything is exactly the price that someone else is willing to pay at a given time. With the current state of the economy, and the fact that the Silmarillion is not collected quite like the 'Hobbit' or 'Lord of the Rings,' $200 seems quite reasonable and maybe even very good.

Again, I am certainly not an expert in collectible book pricing. This is just my gut feeling about this book. Take a look on ebay and other sites like abebooks.com to get a feel for the market. Also, I would love to hear other's opinions on this matter, as I know a lot of you are much more knowledgeable than I on this subject.

Posted on: 2008/9/22 10:55


Re: Collector burnout discussion
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I also have experienced the "spousal" form of burnout. For me, though, it has come in the form of,

"You spent how much on those books?!?!"

The resulting guilt has led to things like,

"Don't worry, honey, I'll sell some other books to make up for the new ones."

So goes my collecting experience. The collection grows and grows until it hits a (usually financial) breaking point, then it retracts. After a while it continues to grow again. It's almost like a living thing, hopefully improving with age. It isn't altogether a bad system. My collection stays relatively modest in size, but I feel it has become higher quality.

You are right, Rowns, you will never get everything, but that is part of the beauty of it. There is always room for improvement and growth, which is what keeps a collector going. Now, help me come up with an excuse/explanation for that 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion I need to buy!

Posted on: 2008/4/24 18:01


Re: UK First Edition Silmarillion Dust Wrapper Colours
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Thanks, Trotter. That's great info. Crazy that such a small difference ever is even noticed. I guess that's the job of good editors. It so happens that I have one of the first and two of the second. Thanks again!

Posted on: 2008/3/29 6:04


Re: UK First Edition Silmarillion Dust Wrapper Colours
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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!

Posted on: 2008/3/28 10:56


Re: Tolkien signature from 1982
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I noticed these books yesterday. I can't believe that they actually are trying to sell two of them! It is really a pathetic forgery too. I agree that it is sad to see people actually bidding on these. Funny, though, to read things like:

"THIS BOOK WAS FOUND AT A BOOK SALE AND WAS I EVER SURPRISED TO SEE THE AUTHOR'S SIGNATURE INSIDE!"

Posted on: 2008/2/11 7:44



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