Lot 97

Christie's Auction Thu, 27 Jun 2024 2:00 PM GMT


TOLKIEN, J.R.R. (1892-1973). The Hobbit, or there and back again. Illustrations by the author. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1938.

A lovely copy of the first American edition, first state. “In this Tolkien invented an entirely new mythological race of "hobbits" who, like their representative Bilbo Baggins, are solid, respectable, anachronistically English, and, as appears when Bilbo is sent off by the wizard Gandalf to help recover the lost treasure of the dwarves from the dragon Smaug, capable of unsuspected resource. The Hobbit began as an amusement for the Tolkien children, and reached print rather unexpectedly, a typescript of it having been shown to Stanley Unwin by a former pupil of Tolkien's. Once published, however, it was an equally unexpected success” (J.R.R. Tolkien, Life and Legend, p.45). Indeed, it was the world's best-selling single work of fiction until Harry Potter. This copy with first state points of "bowing hobbit" on the title page, the frontispiece mounted on a stub, and the maps on the front and rear endpapers reversed. Hammond A3b.

Octavo (203 x 140mm). Frontispiece and 3 color illustrations. Tan cloth with horizontal ribbing stamped in blue and red. Illustrated dust-jacket (a little browning to spine; chip at spine head touching "T" in "The," as well as some mostly minor general chipping and tearing at edges). Provenance: Elinor Sulland (bookplate on front endpaper).

Estimate USD 12,000 - 18,000

https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/fin ... merican-edition-97/226178