The Return of the King: Book 3 (The Lord of the Rings)
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
Jul 24
2021/7/24 15:58:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Vanyarin wrote:

In one of the earliest pages of the sketchbook, he tries out several versions of it before identifying the one which suits him best and which he will use henceforth for the rest of his life.

After designing it in the Book of Ishness, he never actually used it again in his lifetime!
Jul 24
2021/7/24 16:07:16 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

Vanyarin wrote:

In one of the earliest pages of the sketchbook, he tries out several versions of it before identifying the one which suits him best and which he will use henceforth for the rest of his life.

After designing it in the Book of Ishness, he never actually used it again in his lifetime!

Is that because when he did use his monogram, such as in the dust-jacket for The Hobbit, it was at so small a scale that he could not use it?

There is also an argument that a version of the monogram first appeared on the dust-jacket of The Hobbit in 1937.

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Jul 24
2021/7/24 16:15:17 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

Vanyarin wrote:

In one of the earliest pages of the sketchbook, he tries out several versions of it before identifying the one which suits him best and which he will use henceforth for the rest of his life.

After designing it in the Book of Ishness, he never actually used it again in his lifetime!

Did he use the monogram, in any form, after 1937? I can't find any examples from the published materials. Hopefully your article will solve all the puzzles
Jul 24
2021/7/24 16:26:39 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Trotter wrote:

Urulókë wrote:

Vanyarin wrote:

In one of the earliest pages of the sketchbook, he tries out several versions of it before identifying the one which suits him best and which he will use henceforth for the rest of his life.

After designing it in the Book of Ishness, he never actually used it again in his lifetime!

Is that because when he did use his monogram, such as in the dust-jacket for The Hobbit, it was at so small a scale that he could not use it?

There is also an argument that a version of the monogram first appeared on the dust-jacket of The Hobbit in 1937.

I'm being slightly tongue-in-cheek - I don't think you will find two "monograms" that are the same, anywhere in his artwork or sketchbooks. He constantly was tweaking it. Even him putting the four letters overlapping isn't consistent.
Jul 24
2021/7/24 16:26:47 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Another question the monogram in the Catalogue states that it from the back cover of The Book of Ishness, but it is reversed from any later versions that I have seen. Is this a mistake in the catalogue or was it like this in The Book of Ishness?

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Jul 24
2021/7/24 16:29:28 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
You guys are going to piecemeal out most of the fun of the article I'm authoring!

Ishness matches the Catalogue. It has been reversed by the publisher ever since then. Hammond and Scull briefly touch upon this in Artist & Illustrator.
Jul 24
2021/7/24 16:56:12 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The monogram was reversed by mistake, as can be seen by the J curving the wrong way. It may have been an error made during the design of the catalogue.
Jul 24
2021/7/24 16:58:09 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Vanyarin wrote:

The monogram was reversed by mistake, as can be seen by the J curving the wrong way. It may have been an error made during the design of the catalogue.

Nope! Tolkien drew it this way. George Allen & Unwin decided to reverse it.
Jul 24
2021/7/24 16:59:34 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Before that period, his signature was completely different and he used a variety of designs. After he had settled on the correct monogram, if he chose to sign his artwork, the versions of the signatures he used are all based on this design. However, after the publication of The Hobbit, for which artwork had been specially designed and even commissioned, he did not sign his later work, save for the Tree and Leaf cover design, which had again been commissioned, and he only used his initials (see illustration). It could be because many were just sketches, not meant for publication, or perhaps because signing them would undermine the argument he had formulated in Appendix F of LotR that he was only a translator of the text.

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Jul 24
2021/7/24 17:05:17 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

Vanyarin wrote:

The monogram was reversed by mistake, as can be seen by the J curving the wrong way. It may have been an error made during the design of the catalogue.

Nope! Tolkien drew it this way. George Allen & Unwin decided to reverse it.

Except when he signed The Hobbit dust-jacket, it is what I think the correct way, so I am guessing he changed his mind and GA&U followed The Hobbit style of monogram not the Ishness style.
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