Lot 444 Adam Partridge Auctions Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00 AM GMT

You should always exercise good judgement and perform appropriate due-diligence when acquiring signed items to ensure that you are satisfied with the provenance and integrity of any item you bid on.


JOHN RONALD REUEL TOLKIEN (1892-1972), THE HOBBIT, first paperback edition, signed by the author in blue ink on the title page, Puffin Book No 161, 1961; sold with copy of the dust jacket design for the book, believed to be a design proof or an unused jacket , by Pauline Baynes and signed by the artist in blue biro to the name aperture, 35 x 35cm, framed and glazed; sold with two further copies of the 1961 first edition paperback (4)

Purchased in 2003 from St. Mary's Books & Prints of Stamford, with three documents from the bookseller, comprising a signed statement of verification from St. Mary's detailing that the autograph has been verified by 'a leading autograph specialist', a deposit invoice for the Hobbit book dated 15/02/03, and a further letter with information about hardback signed Hobbit from the booksellers customer Mr Postgate. Also, a photocopy of a typed and signed letter from the original owner of the book, Ian C. Postgate, detailing the circumstances in which the book was signed for him which are detailed below. This book was originally owned by Ian C. Postgate, a student at Malvern College studying Anglo-Saxon and Early English under Mr. George Sayer. Mr. Sayer was aware of his student's interest in Tolkien, Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, and, as he himself was a good friend of Tolkien's, arranged for Tolkien to sign the book while on a visit to Oxford and gifted this autographed copy to Mr. Postgate who kept it for forty years before selling it to St. Mary's. Mr. Sayer is credited as the person who convinced a depressed Tolkien not to burn the manuscripts of The Lord of the Rings when he was struggling to find a publisher, hence this book holds additional significance for Tolkien enthusiasts. It is possibly the only copy that Tolkien signed for his good friend Mr. Sayer. Mr. Sayer was also involved in the editing the Lord of the Rings manuscripts, and is believed influential in obtaining a publishing deal with Allen & Unwin. He regularly received Tolkien at his home and it was at his home that Tolkien recorded excerpts from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in 1952 which were later released as LP records.

This book was sold in auction by Adam Partridge Auctioneers on 5th November 2020, Lot 365. The buyer of the book has consigned it to this auction with the additional unsigned copies and the Pauline Baynes signed cover design which is believed to be a proof. There are four proof copies of the cover design in the Pauline Baynes archive held in the library at Williams College Massachusetts.

Also accompanying this lot is a signed letter detailing provenance for the Pauline Baynes book cover and signature. It was discovered in a scrap book relating to an exhibition at Corby Grammar School on the 20th and 21st November 1961, to encourage children to buy paper backs. From this album it has been framed with the signature and was purchased by the current vendor from the gentleman who has penned this letter.

Estimate GBP 4,000-5,000

Sold for GBP 4,000

https://auctions.adampartridge.co.uk/a ... False&sd=0&pp=48&pn=1&g=1

This was the previous sale in November 2020 and it looks like repairs have been made to the book since this sale.

https://live.adampartridge.co.uk/m/lot ... log%2Fid%2F211%3Fpage%3D8

Sold for GBP 4,000