Tolkien Collector's Guide
1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question
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By Elwë

1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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I have a question for anyone out there who is familiar with the 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion. Why is this book so expensive compared to the 1987 Super Deluxe Hobbit? It simply does not make sense to me that this 1 of 1000 edition should be valued higher than the 1 of 500 Hobbit (signed copies aside). I realize that it is a binding of the first printing of the Silmarillion, but so many of those were printed that $2000+ prices can not be justified. I realize that it is a very nice binding and quite an attractive book, but I just can't understand why it is so rarely for sale and when it is, it costs nearly as much as a first edition of The Hobbit! (not quite, but you know what I mean)

I have over the last year, been able to track down and purchase 3 copies of the 1987 Super Deluxe Hobbit (2 of them unopened in their original shipping carton), and I never paid more than $600 (USD) for any single copy. Why is it that the only copy of the Super Deluxe Silmarillion I can find available for sale is one offered by 'The Tolkien Bookshelf' and is listed for $2400?! I would just think that supply and demand for this book shouldn't dictate prices higher than maybe $500 to $800.

Any thoughts on this one?


Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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I haven't got a copy of the Super Deluxe Hobbit, so I can't make a proper comparison. However, I can say that the Silmarillion is a truly beautiful book. Everything about it shouts quality - it is the nicest book I own, by some little way.

- wellinghall
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Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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There are a couple of points to made here I think (...and I don't have either of these fine editions!)

The copy David Miller has listed on Abebooks was bought on eBay this year for £741. Although the pound has moved a lot recently against the dollar, this is roughly £1600 i.e. more than double the purchase price. How representative is this price, and how long will he have it listed there I wonder?

You say there were so many of those printed (the first edition of The Silmarillion); but, there can only be 1000 copies of the 'first thousand' sheets! I don't personally believe (like you) that this particularly makes a quality edition, or justifies the prices.

But consider (in reality) what your comparing it to (text/literature aside): A new edition of The Hobbit, 50 years after it was first published. How many hardback copies of The Hobbit do you reckon had been produced in that time? What exactly is so special about this edition; other than its limited number?

The 1982 Silmarillion on the other hand, was produced only five years after its publication; using the first sheets of the press. The binding and production (by all accounts) is of the finest quality; perhaps the finest edition GA&U brought out of Tolkien's work.

If you were to compare it to some imagained 1940/50's Hobbit, which had used the first sheets of the very first Hobbit printing; bound into some fabulous edition; limited in number etc etc -then perhaps the comparison would be on equal grounds.

Put it this way, look at the new CoH Super Deluxe (which I paid £350 for). It this worth more than the 1987 Hobbit? Top this up with another £350, and you could almost have bought that #117 Silmarillion...

I think the reasonably low prices for the 1987 Hobbit (in comparison) suggest the edition just does not have the same appeal as the 1982 Silmarillion. Would love to have them both in front of me to pass comment tho'...

BH
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BH

You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


By Beren

Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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Actually, there is one thing in a limitation notice of 100 signed copies and the actual amount of signed copies.

Also it is known that no more then 500 copies were produced of the Super Deluxe Limited Edition. And because in 1982 there was not a lot of interest only a few signed copies were ever produced.

Why do you think almost no 'serious' collector has a copy on his shelves? Because there don't exist that many copies. Seriously, this is not something I'm inventing. You can ask Wayne Hammond, he will tell you the same story.
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By garm

Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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Beren, are you saying there were only 500 copies of the Silm, not 1,000? I hadn't heard that. It would explain why this book is very hard to find.

I don't have a copy of the Silm; signed or unsigned; though I would very much like one. But I do have a copy of the Hobbit: one of the first 100, signed by CT. I also have one of the Methuen Silmarillions, bound in publishers' leather - and it has a bookplate which is inscribed: 'with gratitude, Christopher Tolkien'. nice!
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Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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Yes, there may not have been 1000 bound; but not 100 signed? How come one proud owner (Deagol) has a signed #91?

BH
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BH

You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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I am also struggling with this.

GA&U contracted with Christopher Tolkien to sign 100 copies of the book, but did not follow through with that. The signed copies would sell more easily than the other copies, so why would they not have done this? I would think that we know that at least 100 signed copies exist.

I am really interested now to know exactly how many signed and non-signed copies were sold.

Anyone know how we can find out?

alpingloin Thanks for starting this topic


By Elwë

Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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I think I started this topic mostly out of my frustration trying to obtain a copy for myself. I would love to get my hands on one, but I don't see myself ever being able to justify paying $2000+.

Also, Trotter, I am not sure why I never got this before, but I think I finally understand your screen name. Does it have anything to do with Strider?


Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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Indeed it does. I assumed that the regular members of this board would all know where the name Trotter comes from, having all read the History of Middle-Earth volumes that deal with the History of the Lord of the Rings.

Although I use this name I am glad that Tolkien changed the character to Strider, I don't think a Hobbit Ranger who wore boots has the same gravitas as Strider does in the finished book.

Andrew


By Elwë

Re: 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarillion Question

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Well, I must confess to not having read 'The History of Middle Earth,' in its entirety. I have only gotten through pieces of it, but enough to have known of 'Trotter.' It is a clever screen name and I like it. Mine is bit more lame, however. Growing up in the Rocky Mountains, and loving the sunsets and 'alpinglow' that you get on the mountain sides in the evening is what led to my name. I really have no particular affection for the Dwarves, but 'Gloin' just sort of fit.

Anyway, it is indeed funny to think of a Hobbit Ranger named 'Trotter,' with the clickety-clack sound of his wooden shoes, fighting off wraiths at Weathertop. What about the name, 'Fosco?'



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