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Sotheby's Auction

7 Jul, 2016
2016-7-7 2:03:35 PM UTC

English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations 12th July 2016 10:30 AM BST London ... SortNum-asc&viewMode=list

Lot 262 Tolkien, J.R.R. THE HOBBIT. GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LTD., 1937
8vo, FIRST EDITION, 10 illustrations by the author, 2pp. of publisher's advertisements at end, recent full green calf with design of a forest in green morocco onlays on both upper and lower covers, morocco doublures, top edge gilt, original endpapers in red and black preserved, morocco slipcase, some minor colouring to frontispiece and front endpaper, some very minor scratches to spine ... ions-l16404-/lot.262.html

Lot 263 Tolkien, J.R.R. THE RETURN OF THE KING. ALLEN & UNWIN LTD., 1954
8vo, AN APPARENTLY UNRECORDED ISSUE OF UNBOUND PAGE PROOFS OF THE MAIN TEXT comprising 20 gatherings of 8 leaves, TWO PAGES WITH MANUSCRIPT CORRECTIONS BY THE AUTHOR (pages 135-36), numerous pencil corrections in another hand, TOGETHER WITH AN AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED WITH INITIALS ("J.R.R.T.") presenting the work, ownership signature on first leaf, several conjugate leaves separated, first leaf of gathering 17 torn, lacking final blank, some spotting and browning, occasional tears and chips ... ions-l16404-/lot.263.html

Expressing pleasure that "my books should have cheered you… from your generous and saddening work" and expressing views on morality in his work ("…they are so 'moral', and are founded on Pity; on the triumph and the defeat of Pity. The Lord of the Rings is indeed an exemplary legend. But this sounds dreadfully priggish when said") and the Englishness of his books ("…they are (I think) so completely English. For one with a German name this may sound an odd thing… But 'surnames' are largely delusory… My name entered England 200 years ago anyway"); also expressing frustration on the delays in publication of the final volume of The Lord of the Rings ("…I can hardly bear with patience your patience – I am so anxious for my readers to come to the end! Vol iii will come out, at last… I must say that I should like to think of you reaching the grand conclusion (and its sadness: like all things human seen in Time), and perhaps re-reading it again…"), 2 pages, 8vo, embossed stationery of 76 Sandfield Road, Oxford, 24 October 1955, one fold, two cuts around signature ... ions-l16404-/lot.264.html

8vo, first "India paper edition", SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR on verso of front free endpaper, illustrations, 2 folding maps, original pictorial black cloth, slipcase, final blank leaf torn with some loss, extremities of slipcase worn ... ions-l16404-/lot.265.html

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7 Jul, 2016
2016-7-7 11:05:29 PM UTC
That's an odd and strangely unattractive re-bind...
8 Jul, 2016
2016-7-8 10:36:22 AM UTC

Stu wrote:
That's an odd and strangely unattractive re-bind...

I think there is a lot to be said for traditional book-binding looks, and not for experimental bindings, some work and a lot don't.

I have to say that the estimate for this lot is bonkers, £8000-£10000 for a dodgy rebind.
9 Jul, 2016
2016-7-9 3:18:19 AM UTC
I agree on the rebind. I also have to admit finally holding an older (don't recall the exact edition or impression) copy of The Hobbit in my hand in a bookstore in central London. I really love the size and feel of these editions. I may need to find Stu's database post on values of these and see what the wallet will allow.
9 Jul, 2016 (edited)
2016-7-9 4:51:47 AM UTC
It is this thread. ... e=&topic_id=2300&forum=15

and if anyone is interested in a SuperDeluxe Hobbit, have a look at this auction ... &refno=++147127&saletype=

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9 Jul, 2016
2016-7-9 3:50:58 PM UTC
Thank you, and thank you for the link to the super deluxe. That is on my list, though the estimate is quite low I think.
12 Jul, 2016
2016-7-12 7:29:00 PM UTC
Auction Results from Sotheby's

Lot 262 - Poorly rebound Hobbit (Unsold)
Lot 263 - Return of the King Proof (£22,500)
Lot 264 - Signed Letter (£3,750)
Lot 265 - Signed Deluxe LOTR (£3,250)
12 Jul, 2016
2016-7-12 10:18:05 PM UTC
Shipping estimates on the super deluxe lot to the US so far are 185 pounds and 84 pounds.

Any bets whether lot 263 is going to Oxford?
13 Jul, 2016
2016-7-13 7:10:38 AM UTC
That shipping is too expensive -- Unsigned SD Hobbits aren't rare or desirable enough to be paying more than half the value on shipping.

I have to say the SD Hobbit is one of the books I regret buying. I doubt I will sell it, but I never, ever look at it. The SD Sil, however, I'd love one of those!
13 Jul, 2016
2016-7-13 5:23:34 PM UTC
Care to expand on that? Curious what is disappointing about it.

I did get more images of the SD Hobbit and it has condition issues, as expected. I think the last one sold on eBay in the 600 US range, IIRC.
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