Tolkien Collector's Guide
Tolkien Signatures on eBay???
By Jlong

Tolkien Signatures on eBay???

Oct 30, 2009

I found these on eBay: ... tible?hash=item439b157213 ... tible?hash=item439b156322

Personally, I am REALLY skeptical about the Lewis book signed by Tolkien. It is a well known fact that Tolkien hated The Chronicles of Narnia. Why would he sign a book he didn't like? And the fact that Lewis signed it makes it even more suspicious in my mind. At this time (1958 or later), Tolkien and Lewis were not close at all. If these signatures are authentic, which I highly doubt, this book is indeed one of the rarest items I've ever seen. I've never seen a Lewis book signed by Tolkien, and I think I've seen only one item signed by both Lewis and Tolkien, but it was also signed by a number of the other Inklings as well. Moreover, this book is also an ex-library copy, which also seems odd to me given the signatures.

The Higgins letter is the 4th I've seen so far; I think all of them originally appeared on eBay at different times but are now being sold as a collection for a lot more money:

I am skeptical about these "Higgins" letters because they are all very similar in look, none of them have dates, and their content is extremely vague. Not to mention the fact that if this person was really as close to the Tolkiens as the other letters seem to suggest, someone should have heard of him before. He is not mentioned in the C & G Reader's Guide.

I would like to hear what Pieter, Wayne, Christina, or anyone else thinks about these rather strange eBay items.
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Mar 31, 2010
This book was listed for sale for years by an Oxfordshire bookshop. The owner asked me who SRT might be; he thought it might have been S.R.T.O. (Simonne) d'Ardenne, but I replied I wasn't so sure. (I'm pretty sure the signature isn't Tolkien's, either. Since when did he sign his name with only one 'R'?)

As it happens, a glance at the Scull-Hammond Chronology shows that Tolkien didn't become d'Ardenne's supervisor until 1932. So, it ain't her!
Apr 4, 2010
No, it's not d'Ardenne, but we can't think who it might be either -- perhaps one of the Oxford students he was tutoring around that time, or a friend in the Exeter College Essay Club? The handwriting is Tolkien's, anyway, his earlier, less disciplined script: compare, for instance, the page from The Fall of Gondolin in The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, and the 1913 inscription reproduced in J.R.R. Tolkien: Life and Legend, p. 27. The latter is signed 'John Reuel Tolkien', so only one 'R', as it were, in that case.

Wayne & Christina
Apr 4, 2010
I thought I had seen this before, the book was until recently for sale on Abebooks by Jonkers Books in Henley with a sale price of $1633.50, half the current bids on eBay.

This is the description from Jonkers

Book Description: Blackwell, 1920. First edition. Original grey paper wrappers with title labels on spine and upper cover. INSCRIBED BY TOLKIEN: "S.R.T. / Because he doesn’t, / either to you or me, / I do to you / J.R.T. 22.2.20". A very good copy with slight creasing to the oversized portions of the wrapper. We have been unable establish the identity of the recipient of the book. It is likely to be a friend or fellow writer. At the time Blackwell was Tolkien’s publisher so perhaps both expected complimentary copies and, as none were forthcoming, Tolkien obliged.

This description makes a lot more sense than flatsigned.

Up for auction is THE MOST RARE of all Tolkien Collectibles I have ever seen! This auction is for a book from Tolkien's own personal book collection with secret message to a secret person! The person's last name begin's with a "T" so most logical to me, it must be a "Tolkien" family member! The book is entitled LONDON SONNETS. After an exhaustive search, we have not been able to locate any copy of this book even! Author: WOLFE, Humbert Publisher: Blackwell Description: First edition. Original grey paper wrappers with title labels on spine and upper cover.

If he had looked on Abebooks he would have found this copy. ... BSONNETS%26x%3D80%26y%3D8

Some have told me this is worth at least ten to twenty thousand. But, you decide...VERY REASONABLE RESERVE AUCTION....A FRACTION OF THIS VALUE STATED!

I think it is worth what he paid for it, which is probably less than the asking price from Jonkers.
Apr 5, 2010
Thanks for the info, Findegil and Trotter

>thumbs up<
Apr 7, 2010
It has been relisted with a buy it now price of $8889, only $7200 approx more than they paid for it, what a bargain. ... tible?hash=item20b05a6cd7

Flatsigned have included a bigger picture of the inscription.

e in he is underlined as is I, any thoughts on why? did he mean i.e. ? which is (id est (that is))??

10_4bbcc38b84809.jpg 700X476 px
Apr 7, 2010
Sorry, just a quick note (I haven't quite read the latter posts), getting back to the Silmarillion with CJRT signed sticker --did I miss something? $2,200 (~£1,447)!?

Apr 8, 2010
Yes, that's a silly price for a Silmarillion - and Christopher's autograph can't be worth as much as that, can it? (no offence to CT)

As for the Wolfe book - words fail one, don't they?
Apr 8, 2010
I agree, Christopher Tolkien's signatures are currently quite easy to acquire, I think I have 8 or 9 in my collection. Christopher Tolkien has signed a lot more book plates and books than his father.

You can get a signed copy by Christopher Tolkien for £245 from the HarperCollins website. ... s.aspx?ISBN=9780007252244

OK this is an earlier example of his signature, but £1200 more!!!
Apr 8, 2010
That's still expensive - I bought a one - off signed book for £35.00, not so many years ago. Just luck I expect. Though if anyone were to ask me what's a good price for a CT signature, I'd have to admit I don't know.
Apr 19, 2010
It has been relisted with a buy it now price of $8889, only $7200 approx more than they paid for it, what a bargain.

This book has been relisted again ... tible?hash=item1e5b6dc9a5

The most rare book ever now has no reserve and seems to be a loss maker on the price paid to Jonkers, oh dear, it was way over the original price paid but unsold last time.

Could be a good buy as we are certain the signature (initials) are real.
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