The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion

Sep 7, 2009
Posts: 1

Hello. I am relatively new to collecting Tolkien. I recently found a copy of the Silmarillion at a flea market for $25. It's in great condition so regardless of the edition I am pleased with my purchase. However, I would like to know if I have something of greater value or not. I believe it is the export edition of the first edition. It is the 1977 edition Allen and Unwin, printed by Clowes and Sons. There is no price on the dustjacket. The top of the pages are blue. There are misprints on pages 330 (missing full stop) and 352 (the word and is italicized in Ulmo's titles).

Do I have a "find" at $25 or did I over pay?

I apologize for no scanner is acting up tonight.

Re: The Silmarillion

Aug 16, 2007
From Scotland
Posts: 1846

It's sounds as if you have indeed purchased the Clowes 'export' edition. Issue points are: published by GA&U; printed by Clowes; no impression stated on copyright page; no printed price; cloth boards; top page edges stained blue; headbands; both errors present.

Price? $25, which must be about £15, is okay. You can certainly still pick up a Clowes 'export' on eBay if you ask the right questions (& get sensible answers!) for as low a price as you can think off e.g. 99p -it just depends on what the dealer starts the listing at. Auctions for copies of The Silmarillion come and go with no takers for prices around £5 regularly on eBay as there are so many copies out there.

But if you look at booksellers sites (e.g. Abebooks), prices for the Clowes 'export' probably do start around $20-$25 for a copy in decent condition; all the way up to hundreds of dollars (for no justifiable reason).

So all in, you probably could have bought a slightly cheaper copy online. Though, in the US, auctions for the UK first(s) seem to go quite high sometimes (online that is). Also worth noting is the (reasonable) scarcity of decent copies of the UK Silmarillion in any secondhand markets besides the internet.

So, no "find" I'm afraid. But you've hardly been had...

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...

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