Tolkien Collector's Guide

Winner of the 2019 Tolkien Society award for Best Website

The Hobbit Sketchbook by Alan Lee

The Hobbit Sketchbook by Alan Lee

Jul 26 (edited)

Hobbit Sketchbook.jpg

Hardcover released on the 14th November 2019

This richly illustrated book celebrates in words and pictures the beautiful work that award-winning artist Alan Lee produced for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and includes dozens of brand-new paintings and pencil drawings exploring the world of Bilbo Baggins.

Since The Hobbit was first published in 1937, generations of readers have fallen under its spell. That magic was reignited sixty years later, when Alan Lee was commissioned to produce a special illustrated edition, and his delicate pencil drawings and beautiful watercolour paintings have become for many the definitive vision of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

In this sumptuous, large-format hardback Alan Lee reveals in pictures and in words how he created these images, which would prove so powerful, matching perfectly with Tolkien’s own vision, that they would eventually define the look of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations and earn Alan a coveted Academy Award.

The Hobbit Sketchbook is filled with more than 100 of his sketches and early conceptual pieces that reveal how the project progressed from idea to finished art. It also contains a wealth of brand-new full-colour paintings and sketches drawn specially for this book, which unlock the secrets of how Alan creates his own magic and provide a fascinating insight into the imagination of the man who breathed new life into Tolkien’s vision.

Amazon UK -


Deluxe Hobbit and LOTR Sketchbook.jpg

HarperCollins have also announced the following


Presenting two richly illustrated books in one elegant slipcase, this deluxe, limited edition boxed set celebrates in words and pictures the beautiful work that award-winning artist Alan Lee has created for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Sumptuously bound in full cloth, with a miniature colour image embossed into the front board, each large-format volume overflows with hundreds of delicate pencil drawings and conceptual sketches, and dozens of haunting watercolour paintings, including many brand-new Hobbit paintings and drawings that take us deeper into the magical world of Bilbo Baggins.

This very special set unlocks the secret of how Alan creates his own Middle-earth magic and provides a fascinating insight into the imagination of the man who breathed new life into Tolkien’s vision. It is limited to a worldwide printing of just 3,000 numbered copies and each copy of The Hobbit Sketchbook has been personally signed by the artist.

Looks like only The Hobbit Sketchbook is signed and 3000 copies is a big print run.

Amazon UK - ... =8-2&tag=tolkcollsguid-21
Load previous replies
Sep 22

I am curious about something: I have the HarperCollins collector's editions of The Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien and The Fall of Gondolin, still sealed. In time, will they be worth more unsigned, and sealed, or opened and signed?? I've always been curious about that - in regards to any sealed collector's items.

Neither will (IMHO) have any significant value. Personally, I wouldn't buy the sealed copy, as you have no idea which print it is, and resealing a book in shrink wrap is trivial, so it means absolutely nothing.

By the way, my comment about "No copy shall remain unsigned" was just a wry observation as there has been a long running joke here that it is harder to find unsigned copies of Lee's work than signed copies. Like Trotter says, his signature is so widely available that it has no monetary value (I don't think it devalues a book, of course, unless it is signed to a specific person, in which case it probably does).
Sep 23
Seller: guindr_55 (-1)
Ended Aug 14, 2019
[1 Bids]

insurrbution wrote:
We'll have to see as time goes on. I count myself VERY fortunate that I was able to get the red slipcased edition of Jemima Catlin's illustrated Hobbit at reatail price. No longer in print (that edition, you can still get it in standard hardback and paperback) and is quite pricey via marketplaces when it does show up.

There have been two sell on eBay in the last few of weeks for less than RRP, FWIW. They were definitely hard to find/expensive for a little while, though. Not sure whether that was just because they were recently published and people don't tend to sell books right away.

eBay Item #372733223500
Sep 23
Could be a combination of both :)
Sep 23

insurrbution wrote:
Could be a combination of both :)

I own one of these editions, interested in what prices you have seen for the book, it cost £30 when published.
Sep 24
Via the various Amazons (.ca, .com, and I had it seen go for as cheap as about $500 CDN, and as much as 400 pound.

Again that was via "sellers" on Amazon, and when they were posted on and off again in the years since. I didn't get mine IMMEDIATELY at publication, probably a few months after. Got it from my national bookstore (Chapters Indigo here in Canada. US has Barnes and Noble, and the UK has Watersones for instance) and paid the retail of.....$79.99 (though the purchase was assisted by loyalty program benefits )
Sep 24
Amazon is a really, really poor source of information on anything to do with books. I wouldn't pay much attention to the prices people are asking (no evidence they're selling these, is there?) for copies on listings there.
Sep 24
I did see a number of them sell in the past (sealed fine copies) in the £250-£350 range. One I listed sold at 350 Euro.
Sep 24
Here is a picture from HarperCollins of Alan Lee signing the dedication pages for the Deluxe Hobbit Sketchbook, 2 copies on the desk, only 2998 to go. The gentleman on the left is Chris Smith, Tolkien editor at HarperCollins.

10_5d89fc2ec5841.jpg 2037X2030 px
Sep 24
Very cool - and I understand the remarks about the scarcity of Alan's signature - I guess it's sort of more for fans than those collecting, and/or re-sell later (Hey I have signed copy, cool!)

Also, I might be getting the positions mixed up, isn't D. Brawn in that position??
Sep 24

insurrbution wrote:
(Hey I have signed copy, cool!)

Also, I might be getting the positions mixed up, isn't D. Brawn in that position??

As regards the signature then soon 3000 more will have a signed copy.

It is Chris Smith, Tolkien editor at HarperCollins in the picture.
Load more
Jump to Last