Tolkien Collector's Guide
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Unfinished Tales 1st Ed, 1st Print

Oct 28, 2016
2016/10/28 16:21:46 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

I have found two similar offerings: one with the GA&U price label and rich blue color letters on the front cover for £100, one without price label and fading blue color on the front cover for £50. Both have pretty much lost spine coloring, which seems typical for this book. No other defects.

Is the price difference justifiable? Any advise from current owners of this edition?
Oct 28, 2016 (edited)
2016/10/28 20:39:08 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Morinehtar wrote:
I have found two similar offerings: one with the GA&U price label and rich blue color letters on the front cover for £100, one without price label and fading blue color on the front cover for £50. Both have pretty much lost spine coloring, which seems typical for this book. No other defects.

Is the price difference justifiable? Any advise from current owners of this edition?

The price of either is unjustifiable. Don't purchase a copy of this with any significant fading, just take your time. Mine is fine, unread, price-stickered, unfaded (and like my copy of the Sil. was stashed in a dark box of GA&U offerings from new). I think I paid 25 pounds or so for it. I paid quite a lot because it was perfect and prices were a little higher back then.

For a decent, but imperfect copy, you should't need to pay more than 15 pounds or so -- these books are very common. They come up on eBay quite a lot and I've seen some that look to be in good condition with little loss of the blue.

Just add to the list of books you keep your eyes peeled for and pick up when the right copy comes along. I don't think you can collect these with what is up for sale at any given point, you just need to grab good books as and when they happen to show up.
Oct 30, 2016
2016/10/30 20:29:01 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I sent you a PM with some copies I found.

FWIW, asking prices for decent 1st/1st copies of both the Sil and UT seem to be priced at around $50-100.

I'd like to see pictures of a Fine copy of UT if anyone has one. Even the one on tolkienbooks.net is faded, so it is difficult to know exactly how it should look like.
Oct 30, 2016
2016/10/30 21:24:45 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
My copy isn't Fine, but the fading isn't as bad as it could be...

4451_5816651bafa92.png 474X631 px
Oct 30, 2016
2016/10/30 21:37:20 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
This is my copy (sorry about rotated pics).

228_581667ec862fc.jpg 640X480 px

228_581667f552f78.jpg 640X480 px

228_58166801dc3fc.jpg 640X480 px
Oct 30, 2016
2016/10/30 21:39:08 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thank you!

So I guess originally the blue on both the spine and cover looked like the blue on this picture (not of a first print):

http://tolkienbooks.net/php/details.php?reference=64140

All copies on ebay and abebooks have fading (blue to gray) on the spine, seems it needs to be stored on a custom clam-shell or kept completely in the dark.
Oct 30, 2016 (edited)
2016/10/30 21:50:50 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Correct (see post #5 for my copy). I keep mine and the 1st print sil in a drawer, rather than on the shelf, so hopefully the red on the Sil and the Blue on the Unfinished Tales will stay in good condition.

I may have been a bit lucky to find these lifetime-boxed copies. It was a few years back, and the guy had a few of each, but from memory most of the UTs were second impressions, and he only had a couple of firsts in the box.
Oct 30, 2016
2016/10/30 22:19:36 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Do you think he might have some left?
Oct 30, 2016
2016/10/30 22:21:53 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Morinehtar wrote:
Do you think he might have some left?

It was a good few years back and he was a book dealer, so I very much doubt it!! Very pleasant guy from memory.
Oct 30, 2016
2016/10/30 22:28:47 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
What about the Clowes vs Billing? I've seen the Clowes copies command a higher price but they also seem to be more common, though this might just be a coincidence at this time.

Is there any noticeable difference to quality?
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