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1938 Hobbit and UK 1st/1st rebound LOTR

25 Jul, 2023 (edited)
2023-7-25 1:29:42 PM UTC

Potter & Potter Auctions - THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 2023


Lot 142 - TOLKIEN, J.R.R. (1892-1973). The Hobbit or There and Back A...

TOLKIEN, J.R.R. (1892-1973). The Hobbit or There and Back Again. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1938.

8vo. 13 illustrations by Tolkien, including 4 in color. Original tan cloth stamped in blue and red, map endpapers printed in red; ORIGINAL DUST JACKET (price-clipped, few spots of professional restoration at extreme edges including ends, few small spots of wear to folds); full morocco folding box with matching dust jacket art. Provenance: Gelber-Lilienthal, Inc. (booksellers’ ticket).

FIRST AMERICAN EDITION, FIRST STATE with the “bowing hobbit” on the title-page (replaced by a publisher’s device in the second state), the color frontispiece inserted on a stub, and the endpapers bound opposite to the order of the List of Illustrations.

In 1937, Allen & Unwin, publishers of the first British edition, had interested “one of the outstanding firms of American publishers” in The Hobbit and, unlike the British edition, would be issued “more or less explicitly as a juvenile”. The interested party was none other than the publishing titan Houghton Mifflin whose goal was to “bring modern books to the modern world” (Houghton Mifflin, Our Legacy). Paul Brooks of Houghton Mifflin, later to be named editor-in-chief, “fell for Mr. Bilbo Baggins and his crew” despite negative criticism by the editor in charge of children’s books at his firm and the children’s librarian at the Boston Public Library, whose professional opinion was consulted. Unlike Allen & Unwin who published The Hobbit without illustrations, Houghton Mifflin wanted to include color illustrations by American artists in addition to Tolkien’s line drawings, but Allen & Unwin advised Tolkien that “it would be better if all the illustrations were from your hand”.

Despite Tolkien’s hesitations of his illustrations looking “rather silly”, he finally agreed to let Houghton Mifflin “do what seems good to them- as long [as] it was possible (I should like to add) to veto anything from or influenced by the Disney studios (for all whose work I have a heartfelt loathing)”. Two of these color illustrations were reproduced on the dust jacket, which Houghton Mifflin preferred to Tolkien’s first design on the dust jacket, which they felt had a “British look”. This rare dust jacket is now considered more desirable than the first British edition jacket as fewer have survived and is almost never to be found on the market. The Hobbit was later adapted into three films directed by Peter Jackson from 2012-2014, becoming one of the highest-grossing film series of all time. Hammond A3b.

Estimate: USD 10,000.00 - USD 15,000.00
Sale price: USD 25,200.00 including premium ... t_or_There_-LOT70705.aspx

Lot 347 - TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973). [The Lord of the Ri...


TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973). [The Lord of the Rings trilogy:] The Fellowship of the Ring. 1954. –– The Two Towers. 1954. –– The Return of the King. 1955. All London: Allen & Unwin Ltd.

Together, 3 volumes, 8vo (210 x 137 mm). Folding map tipped–in each volume. Full red niger gilt with the “Ring & Eye” design stamped on both covers, spines in 6 compartments with raised bands, 2 morocco lettering-pieces gilt, author’s gilt initials intertwined in bottom compartment, edges gilt, marbled endpapers; morocco-edged slipcase with suede lining.

SECOND IMPRESSIONS of the first edition (The Two Towers, although listed as a second impression, is actually a third impression due to the omission of the year on the title-page which was not originally noted in Hammond). A FINE SET of one of the best–selling book series of all time in a handsome binding. Hammond A5a–i, ii, and iii (first editions); Bleiler, Supernatural Fiction 1606–8; Pringle, Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels 16; Cawthorn & Moorcock, Fantasy: The 100 Best Books 76.

Estimate: USD3,000.00 - USD5,000.00
Sale price: USD 4,320.00 including premium ... ___The_Lord-LOT70910.aspx
26 Jul, 2023
2023-7-26 2:50:53 PM UTC
Way out of my budget but that rebound Lord of the Rings is beautiful.
30 Jul, 2023
2023-7-30 8:11:53 PM UTC
That hobbit is so freaking beautiful holy.
1 Aug, 2023
2023-8-1 6:02:16 PM UTC
I was sent some more photos of the Hobbit Clamshell case, it really is very impressive.

10_64c948a29f1d1.jpg 2340X3456 px

10_64c948a29f231.jpg 2556X3740 px
3 Aug, 2023
2023-8-3 3:56:04 AM UTC
I'm no expert, but I'm sure that clamshell case alone would run you a pretty penny. lol
18 Aug, 2023
2023-8-18 4:22:46 AM UTC
Lot 142 - TOLKIEN, J.R.R. (1892-1973). The Hobbit or There and Back Again
Sale price: USD 25,300.00 including premium

Lot 347 - TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973). The Lord of the Rings
Sale price: USD 4,320.00 including premium

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