Online Auction ends Thu, 20 Jun 2024 11:00 AM GMT

Lot 236

Lot236.jpg

TOLKIEN (J.R.R.)
The Hobbit or There and Back Again, FIRST EDITION, FIRST IMPRESSION, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed on half-title "Margaret [Wiseman] from Ronald/ J.R.R. Tolkien 1937", frontispiece, one plate and 8 illustrations (all but one full-page), advertisement leaf at end, publisher's green cloth, soiled and worn with remnants of old leather reinforcements at corners, lower edges and on spine (this lacking the lower half of the backstrip, lettering 'The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien' still visible), hinges reinforced with parcel tape affecting map endpapers, bookplate and ink and pencil shelf numbers on front endpapers, shelf numbers repeated on flyleaf with 'Oulton Abbey School' in pencil, 8vo, George Allen and Unwin, 1937
Footnotes

PRESENTATION COPY OF 'THE HOBBIT' FROM TOLKIEN TO CHRISTOPHER WISEMAN'S SISTER MARGARET, A BENEDICTINE NUN AT OULTON ABBEY - WITH HIS RARER FORM OF SIGNATURE AS "RONALD TOLKIEN".

Little seems to be known of Margaret Wiseman, the sister of Tolkien's friend Christopher Wiseman, but she clearly exerted some influence over the author, who favoured her with presentation copies of his books over a long period, all signed with his rarer "Ronald Tolkien" signature, reserved for close friends (see following lots).

Tolkien had met Christopher Wiseman at school: "The youthful Tolkien belonged to a group known as the TCBS, initials that stand for Tea Club, Barrovian Society. This club, composed of students from King Edward's School, the exclusive public school that Tolkien attended, used to meet in the Tea Room of Barrows Store in Birmingham. Eventually the club centered on four major members, each of whom brought a specialization: Christopher Wiseman, the expert on music and natural sciences... Tolkien, called John Ronald, versed in Germanic languages and philology. Tolkien was the only Catholic in the group, but all four young men hoped to contribute to a moral and cultural renewal in England... By the war's end, only Tolkien and Christopher Wiseman remained alive. Wiseman wrote to his friend, "You ought to start the epic"; but for the most part, he does not play a significant role in Tolkien's literary career. Ironically, his sister Margaret does; she became a Catholic and a Benedictine nun, Mother Mary St. John, at Oulton Abbey from where she encouraged him with her prayers" (John Kezel, 'Priests, Prophets, and Kings: Ecclesiology in Newman and Tolkien', International Centre of Newman Friends website, May 2011).

St Mary's Abbey, or Oulton Abbey, was the home of Benedictine Nuns who came to Oulton from Ghent in 1853, and who commissioned Pugin to adapt the existing house and design the church. In the twentieth century a small boarding school was incorporated into the Abbey, in whose library it seems Margaret deposited the Tolkien books. The Abbey is now transitioning into a care home.

Provenance: Margaret Wiseman, inscription from Tolkien dated 1937; Oulton Abbey, bookplate.

Estimate GBP 20,000 - 40,000

https://www.bonhams.com/auction/30293/ ... rge-allen-and-unwin-1937/

Lot 237

Lot237.jpg

TOLKIEN (J.R.R.)
Farmer Giles of Ham, FIRST EDITION, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed on reverse of frontispiece "Margaret from Ronald Tolkien./ J.R.R. Tolkien. 1949", illustrations, shelf numbers in ink and pencil on half-title, slight foxing to title-page and at end, publisher's pictorial pale orange cloth, a little faded and soiled towards top edges, shelf mark on spine, dust-jacket torn with significant loss at corners and top of spine (affecting title), with shelf number in ink at foot, 8vo, George Allen and Unwin, 1949
Footnotes

PRESENTATION COPY FROM TOLKIEN TO HIS FRIEND, THE BENEDICTIONE NUN MARGARET WISEMAN AT OULTON ABBEY - INSCRIBED WITH HIS RARER "RONALD TOLKIEN" SIGNATURE AS WELL AS THE USUAL "J.R.R. TOLKIEN".

Provenance: Margaret Wiseman, inscription from Tolkien dated 1949; Oulton Abbey, bookplate (dated 1977 in ink).

Estimate GBP 4,000 - 6,000

https://www.bonhams.com/auction/30293/ ... rge-allen-and-unwin-1949/

Lot 238

Lot238.JPG

TOLKIEN (J.R.R.)
The Lord of the Rings, 3 vol., FIRST EDITION, FIRST IMPESSIONS, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPIES, inscribed on the front free endpaper of the second volume to Margaret Wiseman ("M. from R./ J.R.R. Tolkien. 1954"), and signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien") in the other two volumes, with inscriptions added by recipients at the Abbey in the first and third volume, and shelf numbers and Abbey bookplates in all three, 'The Return of the King' without sagging text or signature mark 4, folding map at rear of each volume (the first detached), some foxing and staining confined to endpapers, publisher's cloth, some damp-staining and soiling, extremities worn, shelf marks on spines, lower joint of 'The Fellowship' crudely repaired with tape (inner hinges also repaired but split), 8vo, George Allen and Unwin, [1954-1955]
Footnotes

PRESENTATION COPIES FROM TOLKIEN TO MARGARET WISEMAN AT OULTON ABBEY.

The Two Towers is fully inscribed by Tolkien to Margaret Wiseman ("M. from R./ J.R.R. Tolkien. 1954"), in ink; The Fellowship of the Ring is signed in ink by Tolkien, with "Oulton Abbey, from the author. 1954" added in another hand, also in blue ink; The Return of the King is signed and dated 1955 by Tolkien in ink, with "From the author" added in pen above (along with letters R.H., crossed through in pencil), seemingly in the same hand as the previous added inscription. It seems likely that the additional inscriptions are in the hand of the recipient, the Benedictine nun Margaret Wiseman (see previous lot).

Provenance: Margaret Wiseman and Oulton Abbey, with Tolkien's inscription or signature in each volume, inscriptions from the recipient; Oulton Abbey bookplates and shelf marks.

Estimate GBP 10,000 - 20,000

https://www.bonhams.com/auction/30293/ ... llen-and-unwin-1954-1955/

Lot 239

Lot239.JPG

Tree and Leaf, first edition in paperback, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed to Margaret Wiseman ("M.W./from JRRT/Aug. 1964") in upper inner corner of first leaf (this detached, with some damp and adhesion damage at inner edge), some spotting, publisher's wrappers, protective clear wrapper with inner flaps adhered to inner covers, soiled, 8vo, Unwin Books, 1964; and 3 others by or on Tolkien (4)

Estimate GBP 600 - 800

https://www.bonhams.com/auction/30293/ ... thers-by-or-on-tolkien-4/

Lot 240

Lot240.jpg

Smith of Wootton Major, FIRST EDITION, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed on half-title to Margaret Wiseman ("M from R/ 1967/ J.R.R. Tolkien."), full-page illustrations by Pauline Baynes, shelf numbers in ink and pencil on front free endpaper, publisher's pictorial boards, worn, shelf label taped onto spine, 12mo, George Allen and Unwin, 1967
Footnotes

PRESENTATION COPY FROM TOLKIEN TO MARGARET WISEMAN AT OULTON ABBEY - INSCRIBED "M FROM R" ABOVE HIS USUAL SIGNATURE, IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR CLOSE FRIENDSHIP.

Referring to Smith of Wootton Major, Scull and Hammond's J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide quotes a list of ten people "to whom future publications should be sent, since he owes them 'a considerable amount for help, encouragement, and gifts...' [including] the Reverend Mother Prioress of Oulton Abbey". Whether the Abbess was to be sent copies in addition to Margaret, or whether they were to be addressed to her, is unclear.

Provenance: Margaret Wiseman, inscription from Tolkien dated 1967; Oulton Abbey, bookplate dated 1977 in ink.

Estimate GBP 2,000 - 4,000

https://www.bonhams.com/auction/30293/ ... rge-allen-and-unwin-1967/

Lot 241

Lot241.jpg

[TOLKIEN (J.R.R.)
The Road Goes Ever On. A Song Cycle. Poems by J.R.R. Tolkien. Music by Donald Swann, FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY FROM TOLKIEN TO MARGARET WISEMAN, inscribed on front free endpaper "Margaret from Ronald/ J.R.R. Tolkien", printed in red and black, foxing to preliminary leaves including title, shelf numbers in ink and pencil above inscription, publisher's cream boards printed in red, some spotting, shelf numbers on spine, dust-jacket soiled and frayed, tear without loss to front panel, shelf numbers in ink on spine, 4to, Allen and Unwin, 1968
Footnotes

'MARGARET FROM RONALD': A TESTAMENT OF TOLKIEN'S LONG-HELD FRIENDSHIP WITH MARGARET WISEMAN AT OULTON ABBEY, INSCRIBED SOME THIRTY YEARS AFTER HE PRESENTED HER WITH A COPY OF THE HOBBIT.

Provenance: Margaret Wiseman, inscription from the author; Oulton Abbey, bookplate dated 1977 in ink.
Estimate GBP 2,000 - 4,000

https://www.bonhams.com/auction/30293/ ... man-allen-and-unwin-1968/