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Letters from Father Christmas Deluxe Special Edition

Oct 3, 2019 (edited)
2019/10/3 9:38:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Letters from Father Christmas Hardcover – Special Edition, 17 Oct 2019

This beautiful, deluxe slipcased edition of Tolkien’s famous illustrated letters from Father Christmas to his children includes for the first time every letter, picture and envelope that he sent them, reproduced in glorious colour. The perfect Christmas gift for Tolkien lovers of all ages.

This classic festive book of Tolkien’s amazing Father Christmas letters written to his children between the 1920s and the 1940s has been reworked into a sumptuous, new deluxe edition. It contains brand new high-quality digital reproductions of his wonderful letters and pictures, including a number them that have never been printed before, a revised introduction by Baillie Tolkien, and a special full-colour, foldout frontispiece.

‘My dear children, I am more shaky than usual this year. The North Polar Bear’s fault. It was the biggest bang in the world, and the most monstrous firework there has ever been. It turned the North Pole black!’

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J. R. R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole:
• How all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place.
• How the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining-room
• How he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden
• How there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house!

Sometimes the Polar Bear would scrawl a note, and sometimes Ilbereth the Elf would write in his elegant flowing script, adding yet more life and humour to the stories. From the first note to Tolkien’s eldest son in 1920 to the final poignant letter to his daughter in 1943, this book collects all the remarkable letters and pictures in one enchanting edition. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness of Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas.


I really like the design of this book, could be my favourite UK deluxe so far

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letters-Fathe ... bf32489e54&language=en_GB

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Dec 6, 2019
2019/12/6 1:19:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:
I thought it worth sharing my example - anyone else willing?

Yeah, I'll post mine up when there isn't a baby sleeping in the same room as the book! The level of misalignment on mine is about the same, albeit for the slightly different reason.
Dec 6, 2019
2019/12/6 2:06:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
There we go..

Too many variables. How the faux-stamp is cut, the positioning of the ink on the red paper, the positioning of the blind stamp on the red paper and the positioning of the faux-stamp on the paper.

Was probably never going to work, except where luck happened to come together for a particular copy.

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Dec 6, 2019
2019/12/6 10:29:11 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I don't have much luck with slipcases in general so mine was never going to be centered.
Dec 6, 2019
2019/12/6 10:29:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:
I don't have much luck with slipcases in general so mine was never going to be centered.

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Dec 6, 2019
2019/12/6 12:55:30 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
This is something the Talking Tolkien review/unboxing video addresses.

Funny to think that "standard" editions are better made than "deluxe", higher-end ones.
Dec 6, 2019 (edited)
2019/12/6 14:19:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

insurrbution wrote:
This is something the Talking Tolkien review/unboxing video addresses.

Funny to think that "standard" editions are better made than "deluxe", higher-end ones.

I'm going to take HarperCollins side on this, these are stamps that were printed in sheets, perforated, gummed or glued (not sure on that, might ask HC) and then stuck on by hand, on the boxes, 4000 of them.

For them to be perfectly centered they would have to have printed the stamp on the slipcase, and not produced them with a hand affixed stamp, I like the approach they took
Dec 6, 2019
2019/12/6 15:00:46 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Very good point. I was speaking generally since the deluxe Kullervo, and a few other deluxe edition hiccups.
Dec 6, 2019
2019/12/6 16:51:17 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Trotter wrote:

I'm going to take HarperCollins side on this, these are stamps that were printed in sheets, perforated, gummed or glued (not sure on that, might ask HC) and then stuck on by hand, on the boxes, 4000 of them.

For them to be perfectly centered they would have to have printed the stamp on the slipcase, and not produced them with a hand affixed stamp, I like the approach they took

I didn't mean to imply that I am unhappy with my FCL deluxe, I still think it is one of the best they have produced in recent years. Just documenting the variations in the process - and I agree, the "hand assembled" feel is a nice touch.

I do scratch my head a bit that they put the cancel/frank on the book before they put the stamp on, and already have the cancel/frank pre-printed on the stamp - pretty much guaranteeing the two don't align with each other. It would seem like if they just did it the way the post office does (put the stamp on first, then cancel/frank the book and the stamp together) would avoid the alignment issue.

[Edit to add] In all seriousness, I assume the book cover is manufactured by machine with the cancel/frank printed on the board and a machine doing the blind stamp - thus variations in the positioning between the two. The stamp itself might be hand applied or by machine, too. If they hand canceled the stamps (or built a machine to do it), that would add a fairly expensive extra step to the manufacturing process, so I completely understand why it is the way it is.
Dec 6, 2019
2019/12/6 16:54:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
On the flip side, they just created a "holy grail" collector's item - the very small handful of copies that actually align.

Given my prior experience from other collector communities (toys with variants, philately with certain franks/cancels being prized for being clearly legible or from the right city/date/time) I am not being (very) sarcastic here. Someone will be willing to pay extra money to get a copy that is properly aligned. 😉
Dec 6, 2019
2019/12/6 19:47:07 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'm happy enough with the book. I don't wholly agree with Trotter, though. A big part of designing any product is ensuring that the design you have produced is capable of being properly manufactured using staff and equipment of the expierence/care factor and cost you wish to engage in the manufacturing.

LIke I said, I'm happy enough with it (at £40) - it is a nice book despite this. I wouldn't be happy at £75, mind. It is sometimes easy to forget that the 75 quid is not a small sum.
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