Collector's Guide Table of Contents
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|April 15, 2013 — Urulöké (Views: 10550)|
RR Auction has a typed letter signed by J. R. R. Tolkien up for auction, going to sudden death bidding on April 17th.
RR Auction item #689, Tolkien TLS [Update - completed items have a different URL, the link to the left will no longer work] RR Auction completed item #689, Tolkien TLS
The current accepted bid is $2040 (17 bids so far) with two days remaining.
UPDATE: The letter sold for a final bid of $3,259.20. With the 20% buyer's premium, this means someone paid $3911.04 for this letter.
Previously, this letter was offered for sale by University Archives for $3,900 back in 2008 (see this TolkienGuide post from Findegil, though the item link there is no longer valid.)
TLS, one page, 5.25 x 7, blindstamped personal letterhead, January 12, 1966. Letter to an admirer. In full: “Thank you very much for your birthday greetings. I am, in fact, writing more about the world of The Lord of the Rings, though the time I have to spare, which is not much, is much cut into by my correspondence. I am herewith sending back to you the pictures you kindly let me see. Some of them interested me; none of them enraged me.” In fine condition, with a few light creases. Tolkien’s stories grew to be extremely popular by the 1960s, leading him to be inundated with fan mail. However, he continued to write, publishing The Tolkien Reader and The Road Goes On in the years following this letter. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
|October 25, 2012 — Trotter (Views: 56761)|
Update: Mr Formhal's got 10 months in prison. He got off very lightly.
"Southampton Crown Court heard that Formhals, of Keyhaven Road, Milford-on-Sea, was in poor health and suffering from high blood pressure and arthritis.
Imposing the jail term, Judge Peter Henry said the fraud was widespread, planned and significant profit was made from it, but he took into account Formhals's bad health and reduced the sentence.
''It's always sad to see a person of 66 years of age convicted by a jury of a serious fraud particularly as you have no previous convictions,'' he said.
''It must be made perfectly clear that those who are tempted to indulge in this type of fraud, particularly over the internet, must understand the consequences.''
An antiques dealer accused of selling books signed with fake signatures of famous figures on eBay has been found guilty of some of the charges he faced.
Allan Formhals, 66, of Milford on Sea in Hampshire, was found guilty of eight counts of fraud and two of possessing articles for the use in fraud but was cleared of two counts of fraud.
The jury at Southampton Crown Court are still deliberating on three counts.
The charges related to signatures from the likes of Churchill and Picasso.
Mr Formhals was too ill to appear at court earlier.
The 66-year-old was found guilty of two charges of being in possession of articles for the use in fraud which included forged autographs of JRR Tolkien.
|October 9, 2012 — Trotter (Views: 60765)|
|September 25, 2012 — Urulöké (Views: 63404)|
The last few months of news articles were modified to spam content, and I am currently not able to replace them from backup. I am in the process of making sure that the site is locked down a little better, but there have been instances of valid user accounts posting spam so
Change your password for your account if it is something simple to guess.
Change your password on other sites if you use the same password here.
Hopefully we can keep TCG up against this current onslaught! I may have to disable new account creation for a little while, if I see a need for that. Please email me if you see anything strange on the site, and I will be emailing some of you if I think your account has been compromised.
UPDATE: all articles have been replaced (by hand, from the RSS feed cache) and backed up again. Fingers crossed, [this] hole is plugged!
|August 9, 2012 — Trotter (Views: 26579)|
ADC Books are staging a new book launch on Saturday 11th August 2012 from 10am till 5pm at the Redesdale Hall Moreton in Marsh Gloucestershire GL56 0AW, Elizabeth Stephen will be signing copies on the day of her book "Hobbit to Hero: the Making of Tolkien's King". Stalls covering Tolkien and other books on sale, Tolkien art by Ted Nasmith, Jewellery and Memorabilia.
|July 20, 2012 — Urulöké (Views: 29079)|
"Beyond Bree" 2013 Calendar: "Evil in Middle-earth"
"Beyond Bree" is delighted to announce its new calendar for 2013.
It is time to shine a light on the dark creatures of Tolkien’s world with this breathtaking collection of international art featuring:
Anke Eissmann, Sylvia Hunnewell, Tim Kirk, Octo Kwan, Nancy Martsch, Jef Murray, Ted Nasmith, Colin Williams, Maciej Wygnanski, Patrick H. Wynne and more!
The colour and black & white calendar will have both Middle-earth dates and real world holidays. It will be 11 x 8 1/2 inches, opening to 11 x 17 inches.
Pricing: $20 plus shipping - USA $2.00, the rest of the world $5.00.
For PayPal orders please add $1.00.
|June 12, 2012 — Morgan (Views: 37003)|
|May 31, 2012 — Urulöké (Views: 25422)|
The world of book collecting has evolved over the last decade or so as the Internet has had ever greater impact on supply and demand. Various websites and services have emerged that help the dealer and the collector in various ways, and in the process have upended markets and destroyed the "value" of most books, or rather, exposed the fact that there are many more copies of certain books than there are readers+collectors+dealers combined.
For these common editions, prices have effectively gone to zero - a penny on Amazon, the minimum $1 (US) for listings on ABEBooks.com. I can only assume that sellers hope to make a sliver of profit on the shipping.
But what about the more scarce titles that are not in abundant supply? Titles and editions that a collector may have run across once a decade in a dealer catalog or at a book fair in years past, will sometimes show up every few months online, as dealers list their stock - often not even knowing what they have or why collectors might be interested. For most titles that fall into this "scarce" category, it is merely a matter of having a price limit and knowing where to look. Even for a title as rare as Songs For The Philologists, of which only fourteen copies are speculated to survive, there is one available for sale right now if you have the money.
As a collector myself, paying top dollar for something that clearly no-one else is willing to pay (that Songs has been available online for over a year now, and I am sure most online Tolkien collectors have run across it at least once and obviously not bought it) is not a wise use of my money, and frankly not fun. Finding that scarce title within my budget and beating all the other collectors to it is a part of the thrill of the hunt!
We recently had a particular scarce title show up on ABEBooks, and multiple members here all tried to buy it. How the actual sale went down is a different story (and as incomplete, as far as I know - we still don't know who ended up with the book) but regardless, the frenzy itself sparked my interest in figuring out how the system works and how to take advantage of it - in this case, ABEBooks want notifications.
As a hyper-collector myself (for the definition of which, I leave this website as evidence), it is important for me to stay on top of the marketplace I am interested in. ABEBooks offers a useful tool, where any account holder can register a "want" - I can define any number of parameters such as author, title, description keywords, date ranges, condition, presence of dustjacket, etc. Then, whenever a seller uploads a book that matches my criteria, I receive an email telling me that the book is available and giving me a link to go purchase the book immediately if I am so inclined.
Sounds great! On April 16th at 7:48 PM, I received a want notification from ABEBooks telling me that a copy of A Spring Harvest was available and at a great price. I immediately (as in, within seconds) tried to purchase the book, but was disappointed to see that it was already sold according to ABEBooks.com. These things happen, and sometimes I win the race. It wasn't until other people started posting here in the TCG forums about also missing out and a conversation started, that it became clear that some of us had received our notifications almost two hours earlier (corrected for timezone differences, yes). What was going on?!
With many thanks to the community here and the data they provided along with answers from ABEBooks technical staff and a few weeks of research myself, I have been able to draw the following conclusions about the behavior of ABEBooks wants and give hints for bettering your odds to those of you for whom an hour or two difference is critical.
When you create a want at ABEBooks, it assigns that want a number identifier. I just created a want today (May 31st) and it was assigned the Want ID of A505070632. All wants start with the letter A, and then a large number (in this case slightly over 505 million). These Want ID numbers are created sequentially as new wants are submitted to the system. One would think that this means that there are over 505 million wants in their database, but there is a large gap in the number sequence (unconfirmed by ABEBooks but obvious from external analysis). From the original numbering scheme (apparently starting at A1) the largest want I have in my personal list is somewhere just over 20 million. Then the numbering jumps to 500 million and goes up from there. From this, I estimate that there are somewhere less than 30 million wants currently in their system - including deleted wants since numbers are not re-used, so the actual active want count is probably much less than that.
Looking at the chart above, you can see that for this particular book that matched wants, there were three different batches of emails sent out - one at approximately 6 PM, one around 6:45, and the third at 7:48 PM. I was one of those in the third batch. Clearly, having a lower Want ID is better if you are competing with other collectors.
I ran multiple tests with identical search criteria, one with a Want ID around 20 million, one with a Want ID around 504 million. In every case, there was at least 45 minutes difference, and sometimes over an hour difference in when the two email notifications showed up. With the help of the TCG community, I was able to confirm that the exact criteria in a want does not matter (some matched by author name, some by title, some with dates, some not, etc.), just the Want ID.
Note that ABEBooks does allow you to create and/or change your Want ID to anything you like. However, this does not modify the A# assigned by ABEBooks, and has no effect on when your notification may be sent. If you have changed the default Want ID and want to know what your A# is, go to abebooks.com, click on "My Account" then find the "My Wants" link (which is http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/WantMaintList?ph=2 ) then look in the "Update this Want" or "Delete this Want" links below the want you are interested in - the link will look like .../WantMaintUpdatePL?wantId=50xxxxxxx&searchType=...
The main lesson I have learned from this analysis, that can hopefully help out you fellow collectors the most is this - you can modify a want at any time, and not lose your A# priority. Never delete an old want! Save that low A# for a future book you are looking for, and jump closer to the head of the email queue for notifications. I have done this multiple times now in the process of testing out the system and investigating various theories and have had no issues at all.
For those of you just getting started on ABEBooks, perhaps you can bribe a fellow collector to set up an email filter and forward you emails for one of their low A# wants they are not using - I can just imagine a secondary economy of renting Want IDs to those of us crazy enough to want to get into that first batch of emails!
Many thanks to those of you who provided data for me in this analysis, it was much appreciated! May you all get copies of A Spring Harvest at a great price sometime soon!
|May 29, 2012 — Urulöké (Views: 16799)|
Thanks to Morgan for pointing this one out - Bonhams has a handwritten, signed postcard from 1938 (the auction entry originally said 1926 but has been corrected) up for auction. It is quite densely written and is a nice sampling of his handwriting.
Autograph postcard signed ("JRR Tolkien"), to Miss [Katherine or Kitty] Kilbride, giving news of the travails suffered that year and of his family, and complaining abut the state of Oxford in the age of Morris Motors; the card reproducing in colours Josef Madlener's Heilige Familie (published in series of six by F.A. Ackermann), one page, closely written in a minute hand, minor creasing to corners and discoloration but overall in fine and attractive condition, 8vo, [Oxford]
"Oxford is changing very fast and mostly (not wholly) for the worse. It is no longer a University town. The old dialect is driven off the streets, and the old shops are fast being replaced by the dreary semi-municipal architecture of a London suburb; the field for miles are covered with mass produced 'dormitories'. All to house an inessential (and indeed pernicious) industry [Morris Motors]. But people have done that sort of thing since the world began!"
The recipient is K.M. (Katherine or Kitty) Kilbride, who had met Tolkien when studying in Oxford, it is believed at a summer school, and is thought to have been teacher living at Bradford. Her copy of the The Hobbit was sold at Sotheby's New York, 13 December 2002, lot 152, for $75,000.
||£1,000 - 1,500
||€1,200 - 1,900
||US$ 1,600 - 2,400
|May 23, 2012 — Urulöké (Views: 5953)|
A nice video from people who clearly love books.
Tolkien Collecting News Archive