Tolkien Collector's Guide
The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1
By Mathew

The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1

Sep 22, 2008 - in Collector's Marketplace
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Sep 22, 2008
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Posts: 3

My grandmother gifted me a copy of The Silmarillion years ago that she had purchased from a garage sale. I have looked into it and it turns out that it is a First edition Clowes printing referred to as the "Export Edition" (I'm sure you all know this, I'm just stating what my local rare book dealer told me after we looked at it) variant 1. It has all the identifiers listing it as such and is in "fine" condition. The very top of the cover slip has some very slight curling, other than that it is in amazing condition. I don't believe the book has ever been opened simply because it feels like the spine hasn't been cracked. Can't say for sure though. Anyways, I'm not a book collector, and I would certainly be interested in selling to anyone who might be interested. My dealer told me the book is worth 650 USD, but if he were to buy it from me, he'd pay me 200 and keep the rest. I feel that's kind of a rip off and would much rather sell it to somebody at a lower price than the 650 and not be ripped off. Please feel free to comment in any way you like, I appreciate and questions, advice, or criticism, as I said I am not a collector and am very new to this. Any number of pictures can be provided, my wife is a photographer so she'll only be too happy to take photos!


Re: The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1

Sep 22, 2008 - in Collector's Marketplace
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650 USD is far too much for this book - there were over 100,000 printed. 100 USD would be towards the top end.


By Mathew

Re: The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1

Sep 22, 2008 - in Collector's Marketplace
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Thankyou for your reply Wellinghall. Is there any reason why they are selling for that much on ABE books then? Is there a misunderstanding I'm having? Again, thanks for the input.


By Elwë

Re: The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1

Sep 22, 2008 - in Collector's Marketplace
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This one gets even more confusing, even for the experienced collector. Here is a link to a thread started back in February regarding first edition variants of the Silmarillion:

http://www.tolkienguide.com/modules/n ... ost_id=3290#forumpost3290

As you can see, there are actually two variants of the true first printing (Clowes and Sons, export edition). The main features of these two variants are (taken from the aforementioned thread):

Variant 1) Dark blue cloth binding, with blue and white striped headband and dyed blue top edge. Also, on Page 352, 6th line from the bottom reads, "Ulmo A Vala, one of the Aratar, called Lord of Waters and King of the Sea."

Variant 2) Dark blue textured paper binding, no headband and no dye to top edge. Page 352, 6th line from the bottom reads, "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.)

All this said, even if you had the first variant of the first printing, the true value is difficult to determine. There may be certain pricelists that show high values for this book, however, the book is really not that rare from what I have seen. Many copies were printed during the first run making it fairly easy to obtain. I purchased a copy within the last year on ebay for less than $50.00USD. I am really no expert, but I would tend to think that $200.00USD might be a decent price. If you had the means to properly advertise your book (through various collectible book venues) and don't mind waiting a while, you might eventually get more out of it, but it could take a while. The value of anything is exactly the price that someone else is willing to pay at a given time. With the current state of the economy, and the fact that the Silmarillion is not collected quite like the 'Hobbit' or 'Lord of the Rings,' $200 seems quite reasonable and maybe even very good.

Again, I am certainly not an expert in collectible book pricing. This is just my gut feeling about this book. Take a look on ebay and other sites like abebooks.com to get a feel for the market. Also, I would love to hear other's opinions on this matter, as I know a lot of you are much more knowledgeable than I on this subject.


Re: The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1

Sep 22, 2008 - in Collector's Marketplace
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Sellers might be asking that much, but I very much doubt whether the books are selling!

wellinghall


By Mathew

Re: The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1

Sep 22, 2008 - in Collector's Marketplace
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Sep 22, 2008
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Thankyou for your detailed comment. The copy I have does include said spelling errors and all other points, but I agree with you completely that a book is worth exactly what someone else is willing to pay for it. This is largely the reason I came here, to see what people who are obviously interested in book, would think is a good price.


Re: The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1

Sep 23, 2008 - in Collector's Marketplace
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I think you should go back to the book dealer and sell it to him for $200 as you are very unlikely to get this price elsewhere.

The book is quite common, I bought a copy in pretty good condition recently for $30, which was cheap as the book would normally sell for $50-$100.


By Deagol

Re: The Silmarillion Clowes 1st edition variant 1

Sep 23, 2008 - in Collector's Marketplace
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On a very good day your book might sell for up to 100 USD, but due to the high numbers printed this edition generally sells for 30-50 bucks.

The presentation copy issued by Methuen in Canada in 1977 may sell for $600 USD, perhaps you are confusing it with this.

Sorry that it is not better news.
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