Tolkien Collector's Guide
Buying Tolkien
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By Peeta

Buying Tolkien

Apr 27, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Oct 23, 2007
Group:
Shirefolk
Posts: 84

Hi, it's been a few years since i've been on this site and i'm really glad i was able to find it again! I first started finding interest in LOTR in high school and early on in college starting a small collection of Tolkien books, now i've been married a couple of years and have found a renewed interest in my collection (mainly the obtaining part!). I never tried to get any early printings of the hobbit or LOTR, mainly because i was only interested in first editions. Obviously i wasn't going to entertain the thought of trying for a 1/1 LOTR and definately not the hobbit!! But recently i got a 1/7 TT and a 2/1 FOTR and ROTK and i love them! I like the history of the books and i think that that is something that has come with getting older and feeling like time is moving faster! So after that long ramble i'll get to the point of this forum (what i have in my mind at least). What should i expect with collecting early editions of LOTR and Hobbit? Are there things you guys with more experience can help me understand, such as when to buy (like with the new Hobbit movie coming out, what does that do to the market?), what is actually collectible, as in what should i want to buy (point being i see it faaarrr down the road to have a 1/1 set of very good LOTR with DJ...), and is there any way to set a value to the later printings? This is a late night post so i hope i made some sense! Thanks to all who read this and thanks to all who reply!
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By laurel

Re: Buying Tolkien

Apr 27, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Oct 30, 2009
Group:
Shirefolk
Fellowship
Posts: 516

Welcome – hope you become a more regular visitor again
Sounds like you have the Tolkien ‘bug’ again. Will try and give my views on some of your points.
Firstly if it's early LOTR &Hobbits you are after you will need two factors- a lot of patience and potentially deep pockets. As we have highlighted in this forum there are still bargains to be had though on various sites- you just have to find them and sometimes be very very quick and just in right place at right time. Even then it can be frustrating as sometimes a deal will get snatched from under your nose as a recent example highlights.
Q: When to buy? A: When it's right for you Id say? The film will have an impact but I think it will also draw lots onto the market. The LOTR film sent prices flying and whilst they have dropped in recent years I suspect this is recession Ied not a massive decline in interest but others may feel otherwise.
Q: What is collectible- A: Everything Tolkien (and NOT Tolkien!) by the looks of it. Suggest you choose an area and try best to stick to it but collect what you enjoy. It may be just Hobbits or the Silmarillion. Personally I like to try and find the ‘best’ copy of something and would rather not buy a book say without a dj and wait to find that elusive jacket copy.
Q Value? A: This has raised much debate in past and often we see crazy prices paid. Rarity and condition seems to drive this in the main as expected.
I would add one thought. Like you I thought I would never own that 1/1 set of LOTR but with persistence and not a lot of money you will still find bargains and find that set. ;)
Good luck in your search
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By Peeta

Re: Buying Tolkien

Apr 27, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Oct 23, 2007
Group:
Shirefolk
Posts: 84

Thanks laurel! i definitely feel the anticipation for the movie drawing a lot of ebay listings. And i know some people don't prefer ebay for adding to their collection, but i guess it's all about the bargains for me..but sometimes you wonder if it actually was a bargain...For example; the FOTR and ROTK i just bought were "correction" both the 1967 "2nd impression of the 2nd ed, and i got them for 14 pounds and 7 pounds respectively, and there was a TT 1966 1st impression of the second edition that i didn't buy and it went for 35 pounds, which was more than i would pay (i was looking at 9 pounds post each), but it left me confused how i could buy a 1967 ROTK for 7 and a 1966 TT would go for five times that all in the same hour. Also the TT i recently bought i paid 150 USD for, which i'm starting to feel thats the most it's worth from checking ABE and other places. But still i see a 7/5/4 box set for 895 pounds. I guess what i'm most curious about is this, is a later impression set of LOTR worth 500 pounds? are the later impression sets i see listed way over priced, or is it because they are a box set? Or is it all just relative to what you are willing to pay? Thanks again!


By Jlong

Re: Buying Tolkien

Apr 27, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Oct 6, 2008
Group:
Shirefolk
Fellowship
Posts: 592

Peeta,

Welcome. Personally, I don't think later impressions of LotR are worth a lot. If I had 500 pounds to spend, I would wait around and shop around for a 1st,1st.

If you are going to be buying later impressions, I personally wouldn't pay more than about 50 to 100 pounds per book (depending on the impression and condition).
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By Peeta

Re: Buying Tolkien

Apr 27, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Oct 23, 2007
Group:
Shirefolk
Posts: 84

Thanks jlong, it's good to hear some opinions!


Re: Buying Tolkien

Apr 30, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Aug 16, 2007
From Scotland
Group:
Shirefolk
Fellowship
Shirrif
Posts: 1898

People are still paying pretty high prices for any first edition sets in decent condition. For example, all the GA&U boxsets (with various 1960's impressions) that are really smart (i.e. VG or better) are still selling at £200+. Some of the finer sets are going for ~£400. I don't think this is bad.

But your best bet, if your going to go for a 1st/1st set, is to assemble it yourself, I'd say. RK 1st impressions (in various states) seem to be on eBay literally every week. I've recorded dozens selling this year. And they're not going for that much.

I agree with Jlong --I wouldn't personally go anywhere near £100 for anything less than 1955/56 impressions, in decent shape. After the first few years (i.e. 1954/55/56; and the 1st few impressions), you shouldn't need to spend much more than about £75 to get hold of a decent copy. Really fine examples always go for more though. Really depends on how keen you are on acquiring early impressions, & how much money you have...

BH
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BH

You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


By Peeta

Re: Buying Tolkien

May 1, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Oct 23, 2007
Group:
Shirefolk
Posts: 84

Thanks, that helps give me some better perspective! Older editions of LOTR is new to me but I've been collecting HOME books for a while and know generally what they're worth. But people's of middle earth I don't know so much about. Would a nice copy be worth £300? And does the DJ being priced or not matter? ( I assume unpriced jackets were copies that came to the US) thanks for all the help!


Re: Buying Tolkien

May 1, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Aug 16, 2007
From Scotland
Group:
Shirefolk
Fellowship
Shirrif
Posts: 1898

Prices for PoME have been falling quite a bit lately. This year in particular has seen quite a few eBay prices under £200. There is one up right now for £150 (Interesting eBay Auctions).

Ahh, the old domestic (priced) "export" (unpriced) dilemma. The simple fact, despite what the export copies were produced first crowd say --is that unpriced copies (or at least the jackets) were (regardless of any other market) definitely produced with the express intent of distribution to Book Clubs. Therefore, there is no way you can disassociate the unpriced copies from the Book Club taint. One can call them "export" copies if you like; one can claim they were produced first (& claim some sort of chronological superiority) --but you can't say they aren't Book Club copies. Of course, you might not care if they are Book Club copies --but the book market does, normally, seem to care about this.

BH
_________________
BH

You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


By Stu

Re: Buying Tolkien

May 1, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Aug 10, 2008
Group:
Shirefolk
Fellowship
Shirrif
Posts: 1564


Khamul wrote:
Prices for PoME have been falling quite a bit lately. This year in particular has seen quite a few eBay prices under £200. There is one up right now for £150 (Interesting eBay Auctions).

Ahh, the old domestic (priced) "export" (unpriced) dilemma. The simple fact, despite what the export copies were produced first crowd say --is that unpriced copies (or at least the jackets) were (regardless of any other market) definitely produced with the express intent of distribution to Book Clubs. Therefore, there is no way you can disassociate the unpriced copies from the Book Club taint. One can call them "export" copies if you like; one can claim they were produced first (& claim some sort of chronological superiority) --but you can't say they aren't Book Club copies. Of course, you might not care if they are Book Club copies --but the book market does, normally, seem to care about this.

BH


Agreed. A fine priced PoME shouldn't be more than 200 pounds these days. Unpriced perhaps a little less.


By Peeta

Re: Buying Tolkien

May 1, 2012 - in General Collecting Forum
Joined:
Oct 23, 2007
Group:
Shirefolk
Posts: 84

So you all are not going to be bidding on this copy huh?!



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