Tolkien Collector's Guide
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Individual Value of 1st Edition 1st Imp. LOTR Set

Apr 11, 2019
2019/4/11 15:34:42 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

I would love to buy the books individually, but I understand that established sellers usually try to lump the books together and sell it as a set.

May I ask how you would allocate the value of each book? For example, lets say the set is worth GBP 30,000. Hypothetically all three books are in equivalent near-fine condition. Would you say, individually they are worth 1:1:1 of GBP 30,000 (GBP 10,000 each, I know highliy unlikely)? What do you guys think? Obviously the Return of the King would cost far less since it was printed in larger number.
Apr 11, 2019
2019/4/11 16:08:31 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I think there is a markup on complete sets as you say - it would be possible to assemble a set from individual volumes bought over time for less, but essentially impossible for them to look like a matching set.

  • Fellowship of the Ring: 3000 copies printed
  • The Two Towers: 3250 copies printed
  • The Return of the King: 7000 copies printed

(All numbers from Hammond's Bibliography pp. 83-86).

I think, given the gradual release of the three volumes, that the likelihood of finding them in fine condition goes up quite a bit for each (Fellowship the rarest in other words).
Apr 11, 2019 (edited)
2019/4/11 17:16:22 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

The_Antiquarian wrote:
Obviously, the Return of the King would cost far less since it was printed in a larger number.

There are different states on this UK edition, so you also need to decide which one you want, http://www.tolkienbooks.net/php/1st-rotk.php

If you watch this youtube video, they get the first state of The Return of the King wrong

Apr 11, 2019
2019/4/11 17:52:25 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Good point on the state differences, Trotter.
Apr 12, 2019
2019/4/12 15:06:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
PM'd you
Apr 13, 2019
2019/4/13 18:26:29 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Hello guys, thank you very much for your wisdom!

I talked to an established bookseller and he puts the price of the Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers near-equivalent.

Anyhow, thank you!
Apr 13, 2019
2019/4/13 21:53:39 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

The_Antiquarian wrote:
Hello guys, thank you very much for your wisdom!

I talked to an established bookseller and he puts the price of the Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers near-equivalent.

Anyhow, thank you!

Sounds about right. I think TT is a little bit lower priced, but not even close to the difference between RoTK and the others.
Apr 14, 2019
2019/4/14 10:03:24 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Yeah, RoTK should be priced lower as it is more common on the market. I would place FoTR and TT in the similar price range.

Here is a part of my grandfather's and father's first edition collection. Most of the collection is stored in boxes as I do not have enough space for everything at this time. There are a lot of early (and first) impressions. I did buy some of the first editions myself to complete the impressions.

What is interesting, I do have some variations that are not mentioned anywhere, not even in Hammond.

For instance , I have a first impression RoTK wih dozens of variants, not just the famous 4 variant.

2001_5cb30374b1023.jpg 4608X3456 px

2001_5cb3055439e93.jpg 4608X3456 px
Apr 14, 2019
2019/4/14 10:16:10 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Some more variations of the first impression RotK

2001_5cb30735dc079.jpg 4608X3456 px

2001_5cb307e034fda.jpg 4608X3456 px
Apr 14, 2019
2019/4/14 10:37:11 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Lokki,
This looks amazing!!!
Thanks for sharing
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