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Sothebys auction December 16th - rebound first editions, one signed

Dec 11, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/11 17:18:22 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Sotheby's is having an online auction on December 16th, 2020 from their New York office, titled 'Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Selections from the Collection of Barbara and Ira Lipman'. It has two lots that are Tolkien related, both of which already have multiple bids with reserve met (if any).

sothebys hobbit dec 2020.jpeg

Lot 263 - Tolkien, J.R.R. - The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., [1937]



8vo (187 x 130 mm). Frontispiece, 8 plates and one vignette by Tolkien, advertisement leaf at end; . Full green morocco by Bayntun-Riviere, upper cover with gilt motif of Smaug the dragon in lower right corner, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, original cartographic endpapers bound in.

Estimate: $5,000 - 7,000 (USD)
Final bid: $16,380

sothebys fellowship dec 2020.jpeg

Lot 264 - Tolkien, J.R.R. - The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, uniformly and handsomely bound



The Fellowship of the Ring. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1954 — The Two Towers. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1955 — The Return of the King. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1955. All 8vo (135 x 219 mm). Half-titles, The Fellowship of the Ring signed by Tolkien, folding maps printed in red and black tipped in at end; minor toning, one or two stray spots. Modern full green crushed morocco, covers with gilt rules, spines with raised bands in six compartments, second and third with gilt-lettered brown morocco labels, others with repeat gilt rules and cornerpieces, topstained burgundy, marbled endpapers; minor scuffs or indentations to upper cover of The Two Towers, some spotting to fore-edges. First editions, first printings, signed by Tolkien on the general half-title of The Fellowship of the Ring.

[Update - the signature has been called into question]

Estimate: $5,000 - 7,000 (USD)
Final bid: $40,320
Dec 11, 2020
2020/12/11 17:31:16 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I don't like that signature....

247_5fd3ad418b8f3.jpg 1281X2000 px
Dec 11, 2020
2020/12/11 17:35:34 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I hadn't shared that picture yet, as I wanted to dig further (asking you, essentially). It does look a bit off to me as well, and I noted that Sotheby's doesn't provide any provenance for this specific book.

Might reach out to Sotheby's.
Dec 11, 2020
2020/12/11 17:42:56 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Tolkien typically did not sign on that page either, another red flag.
Dec 11, 2020
2020/12/11 18:07:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Again like the fake one on ebay (now 1010£...) 🤦‍♂️

5116_5fd3b5ff4da63.jpg 720X481 px
Dec 11, 2020
2020/12/11 21:32:41 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
It isn't quite the blatant fake that the other one is, but I don't like the "R"s and dots, nor the curve at the bottom of the "T", which looks like it was started and then corrected.
Dec 11, 2020
2020/12/11 22:04:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The slant of the thing is off, too.
Dec 11, 2020
2020/12/11 22:20:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Dec 11, 2020
2020/12/11 22:25:05 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

PanSam wrote:

Another one...

Yikes, that one is utterly dreadful, even after taking the (likely intentional) horrible photography skills into account.
Dec 11, 2020
2020/12/11 22:25:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
No chance that's legit.
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