Tolkien Collector's Guide
Original Nasmith Silmarillion Dust Jacket
By Karl

Original Nasmith Silmarillion Dust Jacket

Aug 25, 2016 (edited)

I'm trying to track down the original "Red" version (as opposed to the Blue of 2004) of the HarperCollins Nasmith-illustrated Silmarillion (1998 and 2000 according to TolkienBooks.net). From what I can tell, there are two variations of the dust jacket, which differ on the spine. The seemingly most common displays author and title longitudinally on either side of a short miniature of an illustration. The version I'm trying to find, though, more closely matches these spines [http://www.tolkienbooks.net/php/details.php?reference=87400] with a taller picture, and the Tolkien's name listed laterally in smaller letters. It's hard to find a picture, but you can see it in the photo at the bottom of this archived TolkienBookshelf.com page [https://web.archive.org/web/2014082405 ... rBy=title&category_id=242]. I don't think it's as simple as the 1998 printing being one, and the 2000 being the other. It seems both can be found on the 1998. TolkienBooks.net doesn't say anything about it that I can find. Does anyone have information on this? Better yet, can you help me find the version I'm seeking?

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Aug 25, 2016
(edited)
Aug 25, 2016
It is quite possible that some copies may have been re-jacketed at some stage.
The copy at tolkienlibrary is dated April 2008.
Aug 25, 2016
David at The Tolkien Bookshelf was quite kind to provide the original high-resolution image of the dustjacket he had for sale. I have attached that below.

I can say the following: my personal copy looks like the "common" dustjacket spine design shown above in the thread. However, on the inside flap, it has the following for pricing info:
£19.99 until 31 December 1998
£24.99 from 1 January 1999


The picture from David fairly clearly shows just the price of £24.99 on the flap. My theory is that David's copy was an updated dustjacket from 1999 at the least, or perhaps from the 2000 reprint. It is also possible that there was a last minute decision to have the "discount" priced dustjacket, and so David's copy could predate the "common" copy. David's copy definitely has the same ISBN as my first impression in "common" dustjacket.

I don't see any other differences in the dustjackets other than the spine and price info (just from the photo, I obviously don't have both in hand.)

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Aug 25, 2016
One other note - David also provided the copyright page photo, which is identical to my first impression "common" copy - definitely not indicated as a later printing!
Aug 25, 2016
There are about five variants of this edition. From memory, without going & getting them all...

Unpriced jacket & "£19.99 then £24.99" priced jacket.
Both have 'J. R. R. Tolkien’ printed with the spine (parallel to spine) in large font size; picture of Maglor perpendicular to spine; and just ‘The Silmarillion’ printed parallel to spine in large font.

£24.99 priced jacket & 2000 incarnation (2nd imp. Pb bound as Hb).
Both have ‘J. R. R. Tolkien’ perpendicular to spine (not parallel) and in smaller font size; picture is ships (not Maglor); under ‘The Silmarillion’ (which is in smaller size) additional ‘Illustrated by Ted Nasmith’ text.

2000 Pb:
Back to original setting: bigger font size; Maglor; no TN mention on spine.

The copies with unpriced jackets, "£19.99 then £24.99" jackets, and "£24.99" --are all 1st imp. copies with full line numbers. Additionally, the US first imp. was probably printed with the first UK edition. If I recall, both were printed in Spain.

BH
Aug 25, 2016
Thanks Khamûl. I saw some comments/notes online when looking yesterday that the BCA (book club) put this edition out too - would those be the unpriced jackets perhaps? I know that often BCA would have the same physical book and make changes to the dustjacket only, on occasion. I have no idea if that happened with this edition.
Aug 25, 2016
I received a bit of additional information from HarperCollins, and have a few followup questions out for more details. Here is what they told me so far - the "common" dustjacket with multiple prices on it is the first printing of the dustjacket. Later printings of the dustjacket had just the single price on them. The updated spine jacket coincided with the September 2002 illustrated Lord of the Rings release to match the layout there.

Hopefully more to come (like where the 2nd impression of this edition fits into the timeline).
Aug 25, 2016
You received an update at 10 p.m. UK time? Interesting...

The explanation makes sense. (They changed the 1997 Hobbit too.) What about the unpriced jackets? Book Club or "export"? And, is there an actually Hb 2nd imp.?

BH
Aug 25, 2016
@Khamûl - Got lucky today, I guess. I wasn't expecting an answer until tomorrow at the very earliest (a few days would not be uncommon).
Aug 25, 2016
Pestering the poor guy in the evening...

BH
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