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Re: New Book Releases
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Our copy was like that too, but the box is not damaged. We were annoyed that the sheet was creased, as we've always laid these in, but there's an identical sheet already in the box.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 10/14 5:13:19


Re: Dec. 1953 postcard to Rayner Unwin
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The Tolkien-Allen & Unwin archive contains a photocopy of the postcard, and did so when we first looked at it decades ago. (At the time, we didn't know it was a postcard, as only the message side was copied.) How or why, or rather by whom, the original left the Allen & Unwin files is a mystery. The card was offered at least once before, on eBay in 1999, when it was initially priced only in low three figures (we didn't record what it brought in the end).

The address Tolkien was going to was Langham Place, i.e. the BBC.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 9/9 5:19:42


Re: Collecting and sales
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These are all good points. There are indeed more inexperienced sellers out there, Khamûl; anyone can pay to be on abebooks, or wherever, and be listed just the same as the pros. But their poor descriptions, lack of detail about condition or jacket, etc. often (not always) give them away. As for prices, by rights those should have moderated again by now, but many sellers still think the market is hot and they'll make a killing. Some specialist secondary works are at least genuinely scarce, but even so, the goal of anyone in the book business is to sell, and generally that means pricing according to one's market in order to have a good cash flow.

Wayne has sometimes told the story of reading a catalogue years ago with great Tolkien material, from which he bought a couple of the more moderately-priced items, and the dealer rang him up to ask about his interests. Wayne pointed out that no serious Tolkien collector he knew, and he knew most of them, could afford the higher prices, but the dealer said he was trying to push the market, that he had bought high at auction to push up after-auction prices, and was willing to hold firm until he got what he was asking -- and would put his kids through college on the proceeds. Before long, the leftovers from the catalogue were themselves put up at auction, and the dealer lost on the exchange.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 1/2 18:46:06


Collecting and sales
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As many of you will know, we're preparing a new edition of our J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide for publication in September. One of the articles in the Reader's Guide component is "Collecting and sales", about the collecting of Tolkien's works and "Tolkieniana", with general comments about sales and prices. We want to bring this up to date for 2016/17 - ten years or so after our first edition - and wonder if anyone here would care to suggest current trends in collecting, notable events or sales, etc., indeed any thoughts at all.

Examples of aspects and questions, by no means exhaustive:

The continuing (comparatively) high prices for Tolkien books that are very common in the market, even for later printings, copies with damage, etc.

The increase in special "collector's editions", e.g. by HarperCollins, and the fact that these aren't necessarily limited editions.

The increase in variant trade editions, as when HarperCollins publishes a paperback in both mass market and trade paperback size.

The muddying of the Tolkien autograph market by forgeries.

Has the number of Tolkien collectors grown worldwide?

Did the films encourage more people to collect, and have they stayed with it once the publicity faded?

Are collectors specializing more, rather than being "completists"?

How has the proliferation of booksellers (amateur as well as professional) online, largely taking over from physical shops and printed catalogues, changed the face of Tolkien collecting?

Thanks,

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2016/12/29 13:14


Re: BBC Radio 4 - Archive on 4 Tolkien: The Lost Recordings
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We had a sinking feeling as soon as Joss Ackland began his bizarre and wholly unnecessary 'narration', but kept hoping that, well, they would finish with 'the making of Tolkien in Oxford' and get on to the 'lost recordings'. Most annoying was listening to remarks about watching the offcuts - and just how much of Tolkien, in the end, was cut and thus 'lost'? Perhaps the BBC will finally issue a DVD of the 1968 programme with 'deleted scenes'. At least Tom Shippey was incisive and entertaining, as he always is. Little of what we heard by JRRT was new, in the sense of not having been said by him somewhere else.

Looking back at the advertising for this, we see that it was accurate: what was promised was a programme about the 'search for unheard gems', and that's what we got, though of course it's not what we were meant to think we were going to get.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2016/8/7 4:31



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