Tolkien Collector's Guide
Thornton's limited edition Silmarillion
By laurel

Thornton's limited edition Silmarillion

Mar 9, 2018 (edited)

Seller: tinfang_warble (165)
Ended Mar 19, 2018
EUR 899.00
[0 Bids]
eBay Item #253478178470

anyone ever seen one of these.
The seller had no real info but thought it was a Thorntons offering being similar to Roverdom?
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Mar 10, 2018

Stu wrote:

Remember that Thorntons weren't publishing anything. HarperCollins and GA&U published the books. Thorntons was rebinding. Completely different situation than Folio.

You are absolutely right.

I just wanted to reiterate on the fact that the Thornton rebinding by the Temple Bindery is in no way, different than those done by other private binderies on behest of individual collectors and as such, the prospective buyers should practice their own discretion in assessing their values (or perform more due diligence) prior to the purchase.

With the new TV shows coming up in the next few years, there will be a flood of new collectors trying to get a piece of Middle-Earth history and I would like to avoid the situation where another novice collector purchase the Thornton edition based on a belief that it is an officially "licensed" rebound books by HarperCollins.

remy wrote:

You are certainly entitled to your opinion and that is fine.

However I am not a novice collector and enjoyed adding both the Roverandom & Silmarillion Thornton’s editions to my collection. Every collector is different and all have their own likes and dislikes. The “footing” that one would ascribe to a book lies in the mind of each individual and varies from person to person. Just my two cents on the matter.

{Not trying to be disrespectful to your opinion - just giving my own}

I apologize if I stepped over the boundary. If I had more disposable income (or if my wife allows me), I would have added Thornton Edition the Hobbit & the Silmarillion to my meager but growing collection. Despite everyone dissuading me from buying rebound works, I found rebound books so fascinating and utterly beautiful that I purchased the 1st Ed. 1st Imp. rebound work from the Chelsea Bindery and I had Bayntun-Riviere rebound another copy (they are still working on it).

Once again, I just wanted to let another novice buyers understand that the rebound Thornton Edition books are in no way, similar to the Folio Society, and are no different from other rebound works commissioned by individual collectors.
Mar 10, 2018
The_Antiquarian wrote:
I apologize if I stepped over the boundary.


Once again, I just wanted to let another novice buyers understand that the rebound Thornton Edition books are in no way, similar to the Folio Society, and are no different from other rebound works commissioned by individual collectors.

Don't apologize, this is a good conversation and your opinion is valuable and in no way "wrong". I agree with your last statement quoted above, in that these are "after market" rebindings.

Collectors should treat all of their prospective purchases through the filter your mention - their own assessment of its desirability to them, and not for some potential future "value". Scarcity (including manufactured scarcity by custom rebindings like the Thorntons ones) does not necessarily lead to desirability.

Back to these Thorntons rebindings - from very sparse data, they appear to find buyers eventually when they come on the market - I haven't bought or sold any myself, so I can't say much on pricing history, sorry. They don't draw me like other bindings (though I agree that the Roverandom feels fun and appropriate, while the Silmarillion seems made to match Roverandom's binding rather than the contents of the book).

I do feel that Thorntons custom stuff has lost whatever aura the bookseller used to have, as they have drastically reduced their presence and moved out of Oxford. Today's newer collectors probably have no idea who they are/were, and don't need to. If the books draw you in enough to really want them contact the seller and see if you can work something out!
Mar 11, 2018
I have a copy of Thornton's Roverandom. I don't usually go in for re-bindings myself, I much prefer my books in their original condition; but on one occassion when I was visiting Ian Barnes of Temple Bookbinders (on an unrelated matter) some years ago, he brought out one of the out-of-sequence copies - that is, not numbered/lettered or whatever - and I was so taken by it that I bought it. It remains my only re-bound copy to date.

I quite like the look of the Silm, too (though it's out of my price range). I know it looks a bit odd, with the cover design matching Roverandom; but to my mind it's no odder than what Easton Books do with their LotR, Silm etc - that is, to replicate the cover design for TH, along with the lines from 'Stand by the grey stone...'
Mar 11, 2018
I thought about acquiring a copy of Roverandom Thornton edition as well, but the current pricing demanded by the secondary market sellers discourage me from ever acquiring one.

I sincerely envy your acquisition of the Roverandom directly from the renowned Mr. Ian Barnes!

I am put off with the current pricing on Thornton Edition Silmarillion as well. The rebinding is done in Morocco (?) using the simplest of the technique with no single inlays. The rebound work of Roverandom fits the book perfectly, but Silmarillion, I have to say it was a lapse in design issue (and cost) on Thornton's part.
Jul 11, 2018
I never asked the Temple Bindery (Ian Barnes) to bind 25 copies of the Silmarillion. Only 25 copies of Roverandom when the bookshop was still in Broad street. Tolkien of course used to visit the bookshop and I remember him when I worked for Parker's bookshop, also in he Broad in the mid 1960s. I wonder who owns such a Silmarillion edition. The bindery told me today that they only bound up 3 or 4 copies for various customers. Wim Meeuws, Thornton's Bookshop/Faringdon
Jul 11, 2018
However: the printers have promised that my new edition of Rayner Unwin's "the making of the Lord of the Rings" will be delivered this week. All 12 specials, numbered I to XII have been sold already. I add the front cover, the Hobbits in Broad street poster issued in 1992

4800_5b462c7fcdad9.jpg 717X1024 px
Jul 11, 2018

Did Thornton's also ask for a rebound Hobbit to be produced, from the Temple Bindery, and if so how many copies?
Jul 11, 2018
No never. As I wrote, only Roverandom.
Jul 11, 2018
Also as an aside, welcome Wim to the forums! Glad you are here.
Jul 11, 2018
Thanks for the information / clarification Wim.
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