Tolkien Collector's Guide
UK 1st and 2nd Impression GA&U Hobbit bindings

UK 1st and 2nd Impression GA&U Hobbit bindings

Jun 12


I have been looking at the binding of my 1937 GA&U 1st/1st and 1st/2nd Hobbits, and wonder if a change was made on the binding for the 2nd Impression.

On my copies, it looks like the text for 'The Hobbit' is in bold on the 2nd Impression, i.e. a larger font than the 1st Impression.

Could any members who own these editions, have a look at the bindings, and I would welcome your comments?

10_5b1fdd41e08a4.jpg 544X374 px
Jun 12
I did a quick online search for high-res images of 1st and 2nd impression hobbit front boards, and it was inconclusive. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the stamping die was the same for the two impressions, but was not always pressed into the boards with the same pressure?

For an example of what looks (to my eye) as a "bold" Hobbit text on a 1st impression look at the high res picture from

Just a guess though!

1_5b1ff5727f814.jpg 800X1067 px
Jun 12

Going to have to change my question to, was the binding changed on the first impression, and it looks like it was?

The image looks more like the 2nd Impression than my 1st/1st binding.
Jun 12
Not a bad theory.

The casing design and discussion is covered in Hammond's Bibliography pp. 13-14. No mention is made of having to change it mid-print run, but it is interesting to read as it went through multiple revisions and options. A nice reproduction of the 2nd impression case is on p. 5 (no plate for the 1st impression case in the book, however.)
Jun 12
I'll go & have a look at some of the 1st & 2nd imp. I have & get back to you Trotter...

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