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Tolkien Collector's Guide

RotK Deluxe Specimen

Jun 29, 2017
2017/6/29 22:18:30 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Laurel's post reminded me that I wanted to ask about this copy of RotK I picked up a few weeks ago. It's from the specimen set that Allen & Unwin's Ronald Eames asked Jarrold & Sons to put together in March 1964 when the idea of a Deluxe set of The Lord of the Rings was first being experimented with. I'm sure you've all read Deagol's article on this but just to reiterate: the book is bound in deep red Tego buckram with grey endpapers, gilt page edges all round, thicker binding boards, head and tail bands, and a grey bookmark which were all specifications supplied by Eames to Jarrolds. It is a 10th Impression. Two months after the first set was made, additional alterations were requested for the subsequent specimen set including a change in binding to black buckram.

So it seems that this book is one-of-a-kind. I'd love to hear from anyone who has any further information on it or any opinions as to its value.

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Jun 30, 2017
2017/6/30 0:17:59 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Another great find!
Jun 30, 2017
2017/6/30 11:32:24 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
This is actually quite spooky and is part of my biggest regret.

Some years ago when I was young and not knowledgeable (not that has changed much) I was talking to a colleague at work about liking Tolkien and it turned out he had a elderly relative who had connections with George Allen and some Tolkien books . I cant recall what as didn't pay any attention at the time. Anyhow to cut a long story short he agreed to sell me some.

I even took a day off work at the time to travel to see him with
a pocket of hard earned cash. When I arrived he showed me through to his study which was crammed with books inc numerous Tolkien books.
At the time I was collecting the HOME series and he duly sold me 10,11 & 12 and a readers union set. I was buzzing.

However here is the irony -he also showed me some signed books by Tolkien and some by Christopher and started talking about sample /proof books and a full set /samples of the deluxe edition which he stressed were rare. I also recall seeing maybe 2-3 boxes that he claimed were made and not used and some of Pauline's artwork.
Of course at the time I thought they looked a bit scruffy and who would want sample books with writing all over them - gulp!!!!

It wasn't till about 2-3 years I thought OMG what have I missed. The colleague had left but I still knew the address. I went back and knocked on the door only to be greeted by a totally different person who advised they had lived there for just over 2 years. The previous owner had died and house cleared by son who lived in Australia!

It was a long journey home I can tell you but an important lesson. If you see something rare go for it as you may not get another chance
Jun 30, 2017
2017/6/30 17:29:04 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Wow, great story, thanks for sharing that!! I'm off to Australia to hunt down the son
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