Tolkien Collector's Guide
Christopher Tolkien signature
By Dior

Christopher Tolkien signature

Dec 12, 2008

I'm interested in what everyone thinks of ths signature. I have a British Edition of the Sil signed very much like this one. I picked it up quite cheaply, gut I was unsre of the signature. Your thoughts?


Dec 14, 2008
Off-hand, that looks pretty good, Dior. I will compare it with three well-provenanced signatures that we have.

- wellinghall
Dec 14, 2008
Hope so -since I won it!

No seriously, provenance (from private correspondence with seller) is good. They are going to (altho' obviously haven't seen anything yet) provide some written evidence of their employment at GA&U in the 1970's. They're also still in touch with 'several' old employees at GA&U, and are going to sound them out about some of the exact details regarding how many of these were given out etc. Sounds good enough.

As for the signature itself; I asked a few people for advice before bidding. I have a copy of that letter Christopher wrote to Carl Hostetter (that went with CoH's he distributed). In it he asks what kind of signature Carl wants on the stickers. One very like this, that he writes as an example, is described as 'my name written' i.e. not his signature proper (which he also gives for Carl to choose between). This (altho' thirty years ago) looks like a good example of this. Not a signature in the current CoH mould, just his full name basically.

I'll have a good look once I have the book in front of me. I thought £92 was a far better price than that US Silmarillion that went to David Miller (again) for £355. There was a US BoLTs I almost identical to this (except inscribed to 'John') on ABE for a good few years for $225. I didn't fancy either because they were personalised. However they are both good examples of a more ornate 'written name' (with the stylised 'T' curling underneath); but still not his signature proper. Possibly even firmer provenance tho'...

Dec 14, 2008
Hi Khamul,

I have a picture of some letters from C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien and Chistopher Tolkien that was sold by Lucius Books a while ago. It shows the bottom of Christopher's letter with the signature very similar to your Sil.

The quality is not all that good, but you can see the signature reasonably well. I tried uploading the picture here, but it didn't come up all that well (probably due to my poor understanding of uploading images).

I can also provide a pic of my Sil. I is also a UK Sil with the same signature. Mine did not come with any provenance when I bought it. I came form an Oxfam Shop and I took a bit of a risk when I picked it up, but I guess it paid off in the end.

Drop me an email if you want the pictures sent to you.

Dec 21, 2008
I will do Dior! Thanks, BH.
Dec 21, 2008
I wouldn't mind seeing the pic(s) as well! (as a side note, let me know what kind of image upload troubles you had, perhaps there is something I can fix. It may just be that your image was too large relative to the max file size I currently have set, but I can increase that now that spam is more under control).

Back on the authenticity question, I have a copy signed by CT of the US Monsters and Critics that looks identical to yours (given the very low-res scan from eBay) that has excellent provenance. CT was a guest at the Marquette event back in 1987 and signed quite a few items there for people. I would guess yours is perfectly legit with the evidence available.
Dec 21, 2008
Here is a sample of his signature from 2004. Hope this helps.


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Dec 22, 2008
Dior sent me his picture from the Lucius auction, seen below.

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Dec 30, 2008
When I asked Christopher at the Milwaukee Mythcon in 1987 to inscribe two books for me, he signed one with his more calligraphic signature (“Christopher Tolkien”) and the other with his quick signature (“C.R. Tolkien”), pointing out that he uses both. He always signs letters, etc. to Wayne and me with his full signature. Our signed 1982 Silmarillion also has the full signature, as did the souvenir cards Christopher signed for attendees of the Tolkien Centenary Conference in 1992. But our copies of the signed Children of Hurin, de luxe and super de luxe, both have “C.R. Tolkien”. We also have a volume of The Year’s Work in English Studies once owned by Christopher, who signed it in a very neat calligraphic hand “CJRTolkien” (I verified that this was Christopher’s copy by writing to him; he had sold it after acquiring his father’s copy of the same volume).

Jan 5, 2009
Here's a better (closer) picture; see what you guys think...


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Jan 20, 2009
Seriously guys, what do you think?

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