Three Tolkien Lots

2024 June 27 Important English and American Literature: The William A. Strutz Library, Part I, Rare Books Signature® Auction #6295

HA Auction.jpeg

Lot 45186

A very fine presentation copy in a superlative dust jacket
J. R. R. Tolkien. The Hobbit. The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1937. 8vo. Frontispiece and eight text illustrations by the author, inserted half-tone plate by the author, integral advertisement leaf at end. Original publisher's green cloth stamped in blue, off-white endpapers printed with Thror's map and a map of Wilderland after drawings by the author, top edge stained green; original pictorial dust jacket after drawing by the author, with "Dodgeson" corrected by hand on rear flap (small chip on top edge of rear panel, some other very minor edgewear); housed in imaginative full morocco slipcase, by R. Patron, Hollywood, CA.

FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed on the front flyleaf by the author: "Charles & Dorothy Moore / from. / J.R.R.T / with love / September 1937." A rare presentation copy of one of the most widely-read works of fantasy literature, inscribed to his friends Charles and Dorothy Moore, in the year of publication.

According to Wayne G. Hammond, Dorothy Moore was an old friend of Tolkien's wife Edith. In the new edition of Tolkien's Letters (2023), "Dorothy and Charlie Moore" are described as "family friends" living in Exeter, Devon, in connection with a holiday the Tolkiens' youngest son, Christopher, spent with them. Dorothy died in the early 1940s; the Tolkiens stayed in contact with Charles but lost touch with him around 1955.

Condition: Cloth with very minor fading and discoloration. Dust jacket with very slight wear to head of spine panel and extremities, with a few tiny closed tears; a few spots slightly rubbed along flap folds. Overall a very fine copy in a bright and exceptional dust jacket.

Provenance: Charles and Dorothy Moore (presentation inscription on front flyleaf);

References: Currey 476.

Starting bid USD 100,000 ... w-ShortDescription-071515

Lot 45187

1949-10-30 JRRT to Wilkinson (inscription).jpg

This is a very interesting sale. A presentation copy of Farmer Giles of Ham, to the Cyril Wilkinson, whom the book is dedicated to, with a handwritten letter.
Letter link: Letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to Cyril Hackett Wilkinson • 30 October 1949 (#2213)

FIRST EDITION, THE DEDICATION COPY. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY TOLKIEN TO THE DEDICATEE on the front free endpaper: "C.H. Wilkinson / with best / wishes / from / J.R.R.T." With an autograph letter signed ("JRR Tolkien"), presenting this, the dedication copy, to "My dear Wilkinson."

Cyril Hackett Wilkinson (1888-1960) held many positions at Worcester College, Oxford University, among them English tutor, College Librarian, and "The Dean" of Worcester College. He attended the college as an undergraduate, where he was a member of the Lovelace Club. Through Wilkinson's patronage of the club as Dean and Librarian, he invited Tolkien to speak at a meeting on 14 February 1938. Tolkien broke from tradition, and rather than read "a paper 'on' fairy stories," he read an expanded version of Farmer Giles to the club, much to their delight. He wrote to his publishers: "I was very much surprised at the result. It took nearly twice as long as a proper 'paper' to read aloud; and the audience was apparently not bored - indeed they were generally convulsed with mirth." (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981), letter 31, p. 39).

Though the story originated as a tale told to his young children in the 1920s, and Tolkien read an expanded version to the Lovelace Club in 1938, Farmer Giles of Ham was not published until 1949. Before publication, Tolkien wrote to the publisher Allen & Unwin on 5 July 1947: "I think it might be as well to emphasize the fact that this is a tale specially composed for reading aloud: it goes very well so, for those that like this kind of thing at all. It was, in fact, written to order, to be read to the Lovelace Society at Worcester College; and was read to them at a sitting. For that reason I should like to put an inscription to C. H. Wilkinson on a fly-leaf, since it was Col. Wilkinson of that College who egged me to it, and has since constantly egged me to publication." (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981), letter 108, p. 119).

In presenting the present copy of this book to its dedicatee, Tolkien writes in the accompanying letter: "...In the meantime the slender book after endless delays has come at last to light, and since you allowed me to dedicate it to you in memory of a very pleasant evening (and of your own urging of publication), I hope you will also accept this copy. Very sincerely, JRR Tolkien."

Wilson was present for Tolkien's reading of the revised version of Farmer Giles of Ham and later Tolkien said he wished it to be dedicated to Wilkinson.See Hammond & Scull, Chronology, entries for 14 Feb 1938 and 5 July 1947.[1]

Starting bid USD 10,000 ... n-Open-ThisAuction-120115

Lot 45188


J. R. R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, comprising The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1954-1955.

3 volumes, 8vo. Publisher's red cloth, spines stamped in gilt. Inserted maps and in-text illustrations by Tolkien and his son, Christopher Tolkien. Original illustrated dust jackets. Housed together in a custom quarter morocco folding case.

FIRST EDITIONS, FIRST IMPRESSIONS. The Fellowship of the Ring, first edition, first impression, with signature mark "4" on p. 49, first state dust jacket; The Two Towers, first edition, first impression, with signature mark "4" on page 49, first state dust jacket; The Return of the King, first edition, first impression, p. 49 variant 3 with damaged text and signature mark "4" present, p. 281 variant 2 with the gap in "Men" closed, second state dust jacket with reviews of the first two volumes on the rear flap.

Condition: Minor edgewear to cloth. Offsetting to endpapers, foxing to endpapers and textblock edges. Dust jackets unclipped (all 21s), spines sunned, minor toning and light edgewear, minor soiling.

References: Hammond & Anderson A5a.i, ii, and iii; Hammond, "Addenda and Corrigenda," The Tolkien Collector (1995).

Provenance: acquired from Heritage Book Shop, Inc., Los Angeles, acquisition date unknown.

Starting bid USD 7,500 ... -Open-ThisAuction-120115#

1 See Hammond & Scull, Chronology, entries for 14 Feb 1938 and 5 July 1947.