Tolkien Collector's Guide
12

The Exceptional Literature Collection of Theodore B. Baum: Part Two

Sep 15 (edited)
2021/9/15 15:18:14 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Lot 385
Lot385.JPG


TOLKIEN, J.R.R (1892-1973). The Hobbit. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1937.

First edition, first impression of what was "the world's best-selling single work of fiction" (J.R.R. Tolkien, Life and Legend, p.45), until Harry Potter. “In this Tolkien invented an entirely new mythological race of 'hobbits' who, like their representative Bilbo Baggins, are solid, respectable, anachronistically English, and, as appears when Bilbo is sent off by the wizard Gandalf to help recover the lost treasure of the dwarves from the dragon Smaug, capable of unsuspected resource. The Hobbit began as an amusement for the Tolkien children, and reached print rather unexpectedly, a typescript of it having been shown to Stanley Unwin by a former pupil of Tolkien's. Once published, however, it was an equally unexpected success” (ODNB). This is the first state of the jacket, with the "e" in Dodgeson lined-through by hand on the lower flap. Currey 476; Hammond A3a.

Octavo. Original pictorial cloth, map endpapers; pictorial dust jacket, both after the drawings of the author (mild sunning to cloth; jacket restored at edges and folds with two small areas of the spine panel in facsimile, front flap with lower corner replaced where price-clipped); custom quarter morocco clamshell box.

Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.

Auction closes on the 17th September 10AM (EDT)
Estimate USD 20,000-USD 40,000
Sold for USD 68,750

https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/exc ... oN-zmQcNtUtZTRQRElYbU9OY0

Serious issues with the dust-jacket restoration have been pointed out

Lot 386
Lot386.JPG


TOLKIEN, J.R.R (1892-1973). The Fellowship of the Ring. London: Allen & Unwin, 1954. [With:] – The Two Towers. London: Allen & Unwin, 1954. [And:] – The Return of the King. London: Allen & Unwin, 1955.

First edition of the greatest fantasy trilogy of the modern era. C.S. Lewis wrote of it: “no imaginary world has been projected which is at once as multifarious and so true to its own inner laws; none so seemingly objective, so disinfected from the taint of an author’s merely individual psychology; none so relevant to the actual human situation yet so free from allegory.” Tolkien, a noted scholar of Old English, conceived the idea for his tales set in “Middle Earth” while in the trenches of the First World War; its immense influence has been felt ever since. This copy is the second state of Return of the King, with the signature mark “4” present on page 49 and lines of type sagging in the middle. Hammond and Anderson A5.a.i-iii.

Three volumes, octavo. 3 folding maps after Christopher Tolkien, printed in red and black. (Minor foxing to text block and offsetting to endpapers.) Original red cloth (vol. 2 with faint soiling to front cover); pictorial dust jackets printed in red, black, and gold (spine panels a little toned, a touch of soiling along folds). Provenance: B.D. Tarr (ownership inscription to vol. 1) – Foyles’s London (bookseller ticket to endpaper).

Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.

Auction closes on the 17th September 10AM (EDT)
Estimate USD 12,000-USD 18,000
Sold for USD 37,500

https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/exc ... ellowship-ring-386/126689
Sep 16 (edited)
2021/9/16 7:34:40 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
A sharp-eyed collector on the f/book Tolkien collectors' page has pointed out that the runes on the bottom part of the Hobbit wrapper don't look right. Because parts of it had been replaced by facsimile?

10_6142fb7e82f3c.jpg 479X592 px
Sep 16 (edited)
2021/9/16 8:00:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
That's unfortunate, the owner should in this case have left the dust-jacket as is and bought a facsimile dust-jacket. I wonder if the shoddy restoration could be reversed.

Exactly the same reason why I don't get my 1st/1st dust-jacket restored and also possibly because 75% of it is missing

I have contacted Christies about this issue.
Sep 16
2021/9/16 8:31:14 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
thanks, Trotter.
Sep 16
2021/9/16 9:25:43 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

garm wrote:

A sharp-eyed collector on the f/book Tolkien collectors' page has pointed out that the runes on the bottom part of the Hobbit wrapper don't look right. Because parts of it had been replaced by facsimile?

Mark Terry's early - and completely wrong - facsimile strikes again!
Sep 16 (edited)
2021/9/16 13:53:08 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Christies have stated that they will put out a sale room notice stating "Restoration to dust jacket does not replicate the original runic borders precisely."

Not sure how anyone sees this notice but I suppose it is slightly better than nothing and may cover them if it ended up with lawyers involved.

10_614351005a26d.jpg 1280X1280 px
Sep 16
2021/9/16 14:21:46 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I wonder if they will inform the bidders who have bid this to $40,000 with a day to go?
Sep 16
2021/9/16 14:35:18 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
You would hope so. I'm sure the buyer would probably want to 'properly' restore the dust-jacket by either removing the existing restoration or using the correct runes in the restoration, but only if they aware that there is an issue in the first place.
Sep 16
2021/9/16 15:17:27 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I think it brings the value of the book way down. A twice restored dust wrapper is getting close to facsimile territory.

I would hope that if I'm the person who put up 40K for it, that I would be allowed to retract the bid if I wanted.

Also, as a side note, when items like this come up for auction shouldn't the houses run these by us first for an accurate evaluation?
Sep 16
2021/9/16 15:28:43 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Mr. Underhill wrote:

as a side note, when items like this come up for auction shouldn't the houses run these by us first for an accurate evaluation?

That would be a terrible commercial decision hehe. People here know what they are talking about
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