Tolkien Collector's Guide
Aug 14, 2019
2019/8/14 18:14:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The illustrated LR, S and H editions are larger than the History of M-e volumes, so you won't be able to built a matching set size-wise.
Aug 14, 2019
2019/8/14 18:16:16 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Remy, this is just wonderful! My grandmother recalls him doing a small number for "Tolkien and his family or loved ones", I think it is highly likely that these photos show one of that batch as it doesn't seem to be bound like the first Ed copies were. There are two more features which my grandfather described to me many years ago when prompted by his wife (he was very careful to be humble to the point of others frustration)... That it was printed on the sort of paper you get in bibles (I forget the correct term) and that it was gold edged. This looks to meet those criteria.

Even looking at those photos brings a lump to my throat. I am under no illusions that I could ever own one of these but to have even seen the photo is really truly wonderful. I feel so blessed.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I now know how I will bind my collection, even if it takes me a decade of practice to be good enough to hold a candle to his work.
Aug 14, 2019
2019/8/14 18:18:09 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Deagol, good to know. I would be happy to ditch the illustrations if it meant that I could build a matching sized set.
Aug 14, 2019
2019/8/14 20:01:10 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The book in the photos is not printed on bible paper - it would be much thinner. Bible paper reduces LR to 1 inch thick. 1000 sets of sheets of the first edition were printed on higher quality paper than the trade edition. These were bound in red leather in 1982, but some could have been set aside for the family.

If you want all of the books to be matching size, you may be best going for current standard hardback editions and buy them in a bricks and mortar shop rather than online so you can check them against each other.
Aug 14, 2019
2019/8/14 21:39:53 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Deagol Sure thing, I'm going by 40+ year old memories, and my own recollection of a conversation 20 years ago, so it wouldnt suprise me if that was simply wrong.

On balance I would say it is likely that this is the binding because of the date and the fact that it was gifted by Christopher Tolkien. Im open to being proven wrong though.

Re. Finding the right sizes, I'm gonna have to do that ultimately I think - it's tricky to find a shop with a wide enough range to encompass all the Tolkien middle earth works in a range of editions, but next time I'm in a large bookshop in a city I will give it a shot (:
Aug 15, 2019
2019/8/15 6:45:27 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
That's very nice. If I was doing a custom binding of the Sil, I think I might well follow that pattern.
Aug 15, 2019
2019/8/15 17:53:26 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:
That's very nice. If I was doing a custom binding of the Sil, I think I might well follow that pattern.

I have to agree that is a really nice binding, JamesTMS, that is a lovely binding and really hope it was done by your grandfather, you probably need to contact Clowes to see if they have any records about bindings that he did
Aug 15, 2019
2019/8/15 18:17:42 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'm not trying to push you down a route, but if I was going to do this kind of project I would go for 70s editions of S, H, LR and TB, etc with reprints of the 12 volume History series. It would be more expensive to do but, for me, it would be closer to the books of the period your grandfather was with the business.
Aug 18, 2019
2019/8/18 12:54:28 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Trotter I shall do that. Whether they still have or would give the info out is another matter but it would be great to get a fuller picture of his work, in particular how many bindings of the Silmarillion he did.

Deagol Thats a nice idea actually. I have made some progress because Hodder and Stoughton have trim sizes listed on their website which is super handy...This means that I know that the 2002 complete history will match in size with their 50th anniversary LR, their classic hardback hobbit and their deluxe edition Silmarillion. No matches for Tom Bombadil though. I'll need to see 70's editions in person I think to check trim size and compile a matching set.
Aug 18, 2019
2019/8/18 13:36:25 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
JamesTMS, I'd be very interested in any early history of The Silmarillion you might uncover in respect to specially-bound copies made at publication (by Clowes) for presentation. I've stumbled across a few Billing & Sons book folks, but nobody from Clowes.
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