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Re: lucky finds

Subject: Re: lucky finds
by Findegil on 2010/11/28 12:26:39

Christina and I have had a number of lucky finds over the years. A few that come to mind (with prices as best I can remember): a first American Hobbit, with the bowing hobbit on the title-page, but without dust-jacket, for $45; two copies of the Puffin Hobbit, in mint condition, for $1 and $6; the issue of Redbook magazine with Smith of Wootton Major for $2.50 on eBay, not long after another copy went for $75; Oxford Poetry 1915 (wrappers issue) for $25, half the original asking price after I pointed out to the seller that the pencil signature "J.R.R. Tolkein", so spelled, was hardly genuine; a first edition Adventures of Tom Bombadil, in jacket, autographed by Tolkien, for £27; a first edition of the Clark Hall Beowulf, in jacket, for £3.

Then there was the time, long ago, that a large lot of Tolkien books failed to sell in an auction at Sotheby's London, and the bookseller Anthony Rota arranged for me to buy it privately for £100 and shipping: this included a run of Tree and Leaf in different printings, the Reader's Union Lord of the Rings, and much else that arrived in an enormous box - Christmas in July.

Even better was my first set of the Allen & Unwin Lord of the Rings, 2nd/1st/1st printings, in the jackets, which was given to me by a local British expatriate who knew of my interest.

Of course, the longer one collects, the greater the chances of good luck. Part of this, for Christina and me, has come from the fact that in many cases we've bought things as they've been published, many of them before Tolkien became quite so collectible. Now that our collection is so large, we're at a point of diminishing opportunities for lucky finds - though we did recently pick up a long run of Medium Aevum, including one part of Sigelwara Land, for a very low sum indeed (if not as low as that garm achieved - good luck being relative).

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