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17 Feb, 2008 (edited)
2008-2-17 10:31:53 AM UTC
For a start its perfectly possible if there are two distinct Clowes jackets (for 1rst state, and for 2nd state [ and 2nd imp.] books), that one or the other could end up on the incorrect corresponding book; as Clowes undoubtedly made them all at the same time. They may have run out of one when covering the 1st state book and used 2nd state jackets (i.e. blue-purple jacket on Clowes-cloth book; according to Hammond colours).

Trotter! You're scans are not helpful!

Rather than the Billing (and other later impressions) being 'Blue-purple', I think the Clowes-cloth 1st state jacket should have been described as destinctly 'Blue-black' (inky almost). Its destinctly darker than the other jackets; and lacks that warm blue/purple colour.

I think when you see a Billing copy (scan picture) on Ebay its quite destinct from the Clowes-cloth 1st state (it has this grainy texture to it); but some definitely look more purple than others.

I've got a range of 1st Edition jackets (and books) that should be representative of their repective impressions/states; but without consulting mutiple copies its impossible (I think) for any of us to say with conviction what the destinction is (if any) between them all.

Suffice to say Hammond certainly spotted a subtle difference in shade/colour between the Export and Domestic Editions which is noticeable; and stated that the Clowes 2nd state (although he does not prioritise it as such) was the same 'Blue-purple' as the Billing Domestic copy. I don't agree with the latter personally.

I think the Clowes-cloth 1st state is dark; the Billing copies do have a purple colour the Clowes-cloth lacks. But the Clowes-paper 2nd state is somewhere in between. After all, the two 'Blue-purple' jackets described by Hammond were both manufactured by two different printers; therefore a minor shade difference is not unlikely.

One other destinction I have always noticed (again it may be too subtle; and not consistent across all copies) is that the Clowes-cloth 1st state does not have the same shade of red lettering.

I know the lettering on the spine always fades; but the colour/shade of the lettering (if you ignore spines and examine front covers) is destinctly warmer I feel. Mabey my copy is faded slightly. Mabey the darker cover gives the illusion of a different shade of red. But looking at photos of copies (and scans) I can't help but think the Clowes-cloth jacket red is not so pillar box red as, say, the Billing copies (or even the Clowes 2nd impressions)...

Clear as mud!

18 Feb, 2008
2008-2-18 8:59:51 AM UTC
I agree it is all as clear as mud.

I was also going to ask if anybody had an information on who printed the dust-jackets, as it is entirely possible that it was not the same printers as the books themselves?
24 Feb, 2008
2008-2-24 9:16:39 AM UTC
That would be interesting to know indeed...
28 Mar, 2008
2008-3-28 5:56:23 PM UTC
I think that the topic of Silmarillion variants, though subtle and somewhat subjective, is an important and under-discussed topic. So many copies of the first impression were printed that collectors will ultimatley favor the true first state (Clowes Variant 1). I personally have 3 Clowes and 2 Billings copies of the first edition / first printing. I have one copy of the first variant Clowes and two copies of the second variant. My copy of the first variant (containing headband, blue topstain, and cloth boards) has a very dark blue dustwrapper, nearly black. The two copies of the second variant have a noticably lighter, but still navy blue wrapper. My copies of the domestic (Billings) edition are very close to the second variant Clowes wrapper. It is much easier for me to see the difference between the two Clowes variants, than between the Clowes second variant and the Billings copies. The subtle differences might be very important to those who are trying to acquire all possible variants. However, for the purpose of valuation, I think that the Clowes first variant is most important, and fortunately, most easily distinguishable.

My real reason for this post, however, is to see if anyone knows of textual variation between the first and second variant Clowes editions. On, it is stated,

"Minor textual differences indicate that Variant 1 was printed before Variant 2."

I have no idea what these differences may be, but would be very interested in knowing. This could come into play if ever trying to identify re-bound copies that might have been stripped of the headband, topstain, and cloth boards. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
29 Mar, 2008
2008-3-29 6:24:22 AM UTC
"Minor textual differences indicate that Variant 1 was printed before Variant 2."

The description above is quite correct, the difference is on one page in the two copies.

On Page 352, 6th line from the bottom, there is an entry for Ulmo

First Variant

Ulmo A Vala, one of the Aratar, called Lord of Waters and King of the Sea.

Second Variant

Ulmo A Vala, one of the Aratar, called Lord of Waters and King of the Sea.

Because the 'and' should not be in Italics and was corrected, the second variant must have been printed after the first.
29 Mar, 2008
2008-3-29 1:04:17 PM UTC
Thanks, Trotter. That's great info. Crazy that such a small difference ever is even noticed. I guess that's the job of good editors. It so happens that I have one of the first and two of the second. Thanks again!
3 May, 2008
2008-5-3 11:48:42 PM UTC
I've just placed one for sale on eBay with a $5 starting price


4 May, 2008
2008-5-4 5:51:10 PM UTC
can someone post a scan showing what the headband looks like. i guess i just don't understand what this is. thanks
4 May, 2008
2008-5-4 8:08:34 PM UTC
Here is an example

This is an LOTR set.
The headband is the red and yellow piece of material at the spine.
It is blue and white in THE SILMARILLION.
5 May, 2008
2008-5-5 12:56:29 AM UTC
thanks deagol
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