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

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites
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Bruffyboy, you have to ask yourself --who is now buying the signed deluxe CoH? The rush at the beggining, as you say, was from all the mad collectors (in the main); some bought a few copies; some of these sales would, undoubtedly, be to dealers too. But with distribution being direct publisher-to-customer the potential for making any money as a dealer was, I assume, pretty low until discounting started kicking in. Once discounting started I think quite a lot of the sales would have been driven by book dealer purchases, not collectors.

So you might ask: why is a title, with a (relatively) small print run, still sitting at only about 2/3rds sold after (& I think you mis-calculate Trotter!; was the deluxe not published in Nov. 2007?) nearly three years? Is Tolkien suddenly unpopular? Was CoH unpopular? I would suggest the main reason is the price (& the title itself; the 'story' is known) --£350 is lot of money for a book; deluxe, leather-bound, or not.

As for value. It will never be worth (your while paying) more than £350 while stock remains with the publisher; obviously (--& one wouldn't even want to pay that now!) And, once it's 'sold out', probably about half the copies will be in the hands of people wanting (either at the time, or at a later date) to sell theirs. It's really about supply & demand. Will there be a couple of hundred people out there wanting to buy a copy and willing to pay £400, £500, or as you suggest, £700? I don't know. Just because someone on ABE has a copy sitting listed at £700, doesn't mean anyone is willing to pay that for it...

BH
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites
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Also, one other thing. Unless someone has actually asked HC how many copies remain, I'm guessing the numbers being sold might be misleading. I took at note of someone selling #333 at some point in late 2009 (I didn't note the month). Some copies may have been sold slightly out of order. Bruffyboy, are you sure the #260 purchase wasn't off eBay?

BH
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites
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I forgot about this earlier thread on the subject

Stu posted on 1st Jan 2009 Given the 30% discount and GBP 5.00 postage to Aus, I decided to get another copy of the signed CoH to shove under the bed for 25 years. The interesting thing is whether it will beat a bank account in terms of ROI at the end of the period. I'm not convinced it will, but I'll take the punt..! My copy number is 443, so there aren't that many left unsold at this point. I guess they might discount further, but I'm thinking 30% off might be as good as it gets. Having said that, who knows - maybe 40% discount is just around the corner? Stu


As you can see #443 was sold 18 months ago. As far as I can see it is not possible to currently tell how many copies are left from the copy numbers as HarperCollins are clearly not selling them in order.


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites (edited)
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I guess you are right Khamul- there may well be a lot of copies for sale in the next five years or so, and prices will be dictated by the size of The market who want that book.

However, just to play devil's advocate: why did the recent signed 1/1 Silmarillion go for over £400? You can buy a 1/1 for £20, so it was clearly the signature that raised the value to around 40x initial publishing price. Now, The CoH has the same signature! Yes it's a newer book, but in ten years it will be considered 'oldish'. Perhaps the main reason the Signed Silmarillion went for £400 was because it is a rarity to find. In five or ten years there will possibly be the same number of sealed CoH around as there are signed Silmarillions, so why wouldn't it go up in value in similar terms? obviously I am looking for just double my money rather than x 40.

The two lovely editions of LotR which came out in 1992 and were signed by Alan Lee (blue single volume deluxe and green three book version) both now command around £1000 too (twice that if shrinkwrapped) so that surely is some proof that deluxes will increase in value? Yes, those particular deluxes were limited to 250 copies, but they weren't signed by CT.

Similarly, the brown leather folio LoTR books are now valued at over £1000, and why? 1750 printed, lovely editions, no sigs, just valuable because of how nice they are.

Oh, and I am not basing any prices on Abe- more eBay and the few specialist Tolkien stores online.

Just food for thought, and again as I already said I am new to this so only really posing suggestions (nothing with authority!)
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By garm

Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites
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bruffyboy notes yet again -

"and CT sigs will have gone up in value at least a bit with his passing."

I know bruffyboy says he doesn't mean to be morbid, but I for one feel more than a bit uncomfortable about this sort of talk. Christopher Tolkien is a human being; same as the rest of us. He's also a nice bloke, and the idea of people waiting for his death in order to see the price of their possessions go up in value frankly makes me feel a little sick. Personally, I'd like to see a cap on this sort of thing.

But maybe that's just me.
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Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites
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You're absolutely right, and I've edited accordingly.


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites (edited)
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There's a couple of problems here with your argument bruffyboy!

First of all, I don't agree with any of your examples of 'value' or 'price'. I do recognise them, but I also recognise that just because something is listed for £1000, doesn't mean someone will buy it; and if someone does buy it, it doesn't mean it's worth that. (Reputable 'Tolkien' dealer or not.)

The £414 Silmarillion is, at present (& I'm willing to be proved very wrong here), an untypical price. If you read my post on recent prices --there is no precedence for this high a price. Secondly, what collector valued the piece at £400+? No collector. The Tolkien Bookshelf (a book dealer) bought this copy. It now sits on AbeBooks for $1250. Will someone now pay $1250 for it? I don't care. It's not worth this much. There are Tolkien books on Abebooks that have been listed since I opened my eBay account in 2003; they are overpriced & nobody has been willing to pay the amount they are listed for. (Incidentally, copies of The Silmarillion can be picked up, with ease, for less than £10.)

But there are other contradictory points I could make. You are very right about the rarity of the GA&U signed Silmarillions. But people tend to keep & look after £350 deluxe signed books a little better. I'd be very surprised if anyone had a signed deluxe CoH in any condition other than fine for the next decade; and even more surprised if there weren't still 500 in existence too. They're not just going to disappear. 1977 signed Silmarillions won't disappear either --but they can, by the careless, be overlooked & mistaken for any other 1977 copy amongst ten’s, if not hundreds, of thousands of copies. This ain't going to happen with a deluxe CoH i.e. it's rarity will not change over the next decade.

Btw, I agree with Garm. Bit more tact in regard to CT. The guys alive & kicking --he even has a book out in November!

BH
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BH

You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites (edited)
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Christopher Tolkien is a human being; same as the rest of us. He's also a nice bloke, and the idea of people waiting for his death in order to see the price of their possessions go up in value frankly makes me feel a little sick. Personally, I'd like to see a cap on this sort of thing.


I entirely agree, I'd like to see Christopher Tolkien around for as long as possible, Tolkien fans and collectors owe a huge debt to Christopher (e.g. 12 volumes of The History of Middle-Earth, a huge achievement), I know that like most collectors on this forum, I will be very upset when Christopher is no longer with us, certainly not celebrating that my books have gone up in value.


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites
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But there are other contradictory points I could make. You are very right about the rarity of the GA&U signed Silmarillions. But people tend to keep & look after £350 deluxe signed books a little better. I'd be very surprised if anyone had a signed deluxe CoH in any condition other than fine for the next decade; and even more surprised if there weren't still 500 in existence too. They're not just going to disappear. 1977 signed Silmarillions won't disappear either --but they can, by the careless, be overlooked & mistaken for any other 1977 copy amongst ten’s, if not hundreds, of thousands of copies. This ain't going to happen with a deluxe CoH i.e. it's rarity will not change over the next decade.


I think you've hit the nail on the head here, and this is the point I was missing! Kind of tempts me to open my CoH and treat it carefully but at least have a good look at it!

I would like to think the rise in Silmarillion price (and I know from another thread it was a massive hike on previous prices), could be linked to the drying of of CT signatures - based purely on the fact that CT no longer does book tours or signings, his sig is getting rarer. Obviously at least two people thought it was worth that much.

I guess I can only really talk from my own experience, and I know I would pay, for example, £350, for the 1992 deluxe's mentioned. I am guessing they originally cost around half that? So a doubling of original purchase price just does not seem crazy to me for a nice book that is in good condition and has sold out everywhere else.


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Aug 16, 2010 - in Other Websites
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I think you should open it, I really like my opened copy and think out of the four Super Deluxe editions I own it is one of the best (though not the best).



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