Tolkien Collector's Guide
A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 1, 2010

OK, so I may be biased because it's mine, but I just started a blog on collecting Tolkien:

I only started collecting seriously this month(!) but I am buying books every month, and already have a half dozen titles (going to add the rest over the next week or so).

My plan is to do something I don't currently see on the net: provide lots of pics of books, and 500 words or so on the book itself - what makes it different to others, a bit about its history etc. Currently I'm having to go to a few different places to get all of this info.

Anyway, please consider adding yourself as a 'follower', as this will be a blog that gets regularly updated for a long time to come!


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Aug 23, 2010
bruffyboy, interesting blog. I look forward to future instalments
Aug 23, 2010
On the question of Folio Society editions - it's interesting you raise the matter of the paper used in the production. This is Caxton wove paper, which is very nice and all that; but this latest ed. of the Folio LotR seems a bit, well, lightweight to me, and I think that's partly due to the paper, as well as the 'vegetable parchment' boards, which I don't much like.

The original Folio set was a very different matter; very solid, quarter bound in leather and using a superior paper, called 'Guard Bridge Silver City' which has lost none of its colour or crispness over the years.

I really like the 1990 'Elephant hide' set, with its pattern of rings on the front covers of the books. The red topstain is the colour of blood, and the head and tail bands really set the books off nicely. This ed. uses 'Monument' wove paper.

If future values are of concern to you, then the one to go for would probably be the limited edition of 2002. This, with its corresponding editions of TH and Silm, is a very nice looking set; printed on 'St. Paul's' wove paper, and quarter bound in Morrocan goatskin with sides of Indian silk. Only 1750 numbered copies of each; I imagine they sold out fairly quickly?

I like the illustrations; Eric fraser is an extremely accomplished illustrator. The pictures were actually made by the then Princess Margarethe (now H.M. Queen Margarethe) of Denmark, who loved LotR so much, she made a series of drawings based on the story and sent them to Tolkien, who was very taken with them. However, they're not really up to publication standards, so Eric Fraser was asked to 'realise' them for publication, and I think they work very well.
Aug 23, 2010
Fascinating stuff Garm. I think the 2002 limited editions would pretty much constitute one of my top three Tolkien editions, but those prices!!!
Aug 23, 2010
Out of interest - - what would be the other two in your top three 'wish list'?
Aug 23, 2010
On the subject of the Folio Editions, you may be interested in knowing that there was a Danish translation boxed set of Lord of the Rings also published in 1977 coinciding with the original Folio one which also used Fraser's drawings of Queen Margarethe's originals.

I attach some photos.

414_4c72ed1e7b1f5.jpg 2170X1515 px

414_4c72ed49c4e1e.jpg 2114X1740 px
Aug 23, 2010
Thanks very much for that, Gawain. I'd heard of this set, but I don't think I've seen a picture before.
I don't go in much for translations, myself. (that would take up a lot more room!)
Aug 24, 2010
My top three wish-list (by which I guess I mean I don't have the funds for them) would be:

1) 1963 deluxe box-set with Pauline baynes art.
2) 1992 lotr green box-set signed by Alan Lee and limited to 250 copies
3) The deluxe folio editions

Aug 24, 2010
Good choices. I think I've got most of the LotRs I want. What I _need_ for the collection would be more in the line of academic / poetry stuff -

Songs for the Philologists

Sir Orfeo (1944) I know it's reprinted in Tolkien Studies, but I like originals.

A Little Book of Yorkshire Poetry

And of course a copy of the 1982 super deluxe Silmarillion, but that goes without saying.
Aug 24, 2010
1) 1963 deluxe box-set with Pauline baynes art. 2) 1992 lotr green box-set signed by Alan Lee and limited to 250 copies 3) The deluxe folio editions

I agree with garm, but having the single volume LOTR Deluxe signed by Alan Lee and the the three volume LOTR Deluxe set signed by Alan Lee, I prefer the single volume set.

It goes without saying that my current favourite book in my collection is the 1982 Super Deluxe Silmarllion, just wish it was numbered less than 100
Aug 24, 2010
Well, there you have it - horses for courses, and all that. Personally, I love the three volume Lee set. The green leather of the spines happens to be my favourite colour; it sets the gilt edged papers off beautifully. And the books are just the right size; they fit in the hand comfortably. But of course, I wouldn't be without either of them (nor their shelf-mates, the Lee TH and the Nasmith Silm).

I like all that sort of stuff; what I call the 'fancy' end of the range. But for me, it's the rarer material which quickens the pulse: stuff from the twenties, thirties etc, far away from Middle earth. Such stuff as dreams are made of!

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