Tolkien Collector's Guide
Unusual Items

Unusual Items

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Nov 24, 2006
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I thought it might be interesting to swap tales on the more unusual items in our collections.

When I was in Oxford for Oxonmoot, I popped into Blackwells. Just as I was leaving, I picked up their "rare books" catalogue, and started leafing through it. My eye lit on this entry:

"Sir Stanley Unwin: The Celeration of his 80th Birthday and Golden Wedding Day; with allusions to 50 years of George Allen & Unwin Ltd under his direction; 40 years on the Executive of The International Publishers Association; and 30 years on The British Council."

I cajoled the assistant into hunting through the shelves with me, until we found it. It proved to be a beautiful little book - number 26 of only 50 published - with a signed note from Sir Stanley!

There is no mention of Tolkien in it, but I consider i a worthy addition to my collection of Tolkienalia.


Re: Unusual Items

Joined:
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From California, USA
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I was quite excited to receive a copy of Winter's Tales for Children a few years back - it has orange boards instead of the normal green boards (mentioned on Tolkienbooks.net now but it wasn't at the time). No mention of the board color until I had the book in hand, so it was quite pleasant to find!

Another, unique, item that I will always treasure in my collection is a hand drawn comic book of "The Hobbit" drawn by my wife when she was 15 years old (long, long before we ever met.)
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By remy

Re: Unusual Items

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I recently found an original School Register (January 1909 term) for King Edward’s School in Birmingham. It lists names and address of pupils for that term. JRRT and his brother Hilary are listed along with their address and of being under the care of Fr. Francis Morgan. Not of any bibliographical significance, but I thought it was a nice early item of Tolkien Memorabilia. It is a small softcover book, bound in dark blue soft leatherette with Gilt Titles.


Re: Unusual Items

Joined:
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O dear, I don't think I have anything very good (have I been collecting long enough?)

Best find (not online - aren't the best finds the ones where you physically come across the item?) was last year at Edinburgh book fair. Found a couple of Michael Tolkien's copies of the little 1979 Unwin paperback Silmarillion. One was from before publication (cut wrong) & the other was a better copy with a little headed note from GA&U stuck inside apologising for the previous copy; all with the usual Michael Tolkien name & address, and little notes about how it was sent back etc. I know Michael's books come up quite a bit but since my main focus is The Silmarillion - this was nice.

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...


Re: Unusual Items

Joined:
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From Essex, England
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The most unusual item that I have is my copy of the standard UK Children of Hurin, which I got from Foyles in London a week before the official release of the book.

Foyles must have had a about 30 copies of the book in the store which had been pulled from the shelves after HarperCollins found out they were selling them early. They were actually still in the store but had been turned around so you could not see the covers. I bought a copy took it outside and had a look at it, the first section of the book is bound upside down. I went back into the store and it looks like all the rest were the same.

I think that these books would have been pulped before the release 1 week later, so I suspect that my copy may be unique.


By Beren

Re: Unusual Items

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Jun 2, 2006
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This is fun thread... I have bought some very unusual items in the past which are always fun to talk about.

For example, I went to an event which sold old posters, postcards, stamps, and such and when looking through a box of postcards from South-Afrika (looking if I could find an image of the bank in Bloemfontein) I found a postcard with authograph by Arthur Tolkien which was sent to England some days before he died. Incredible find and for only 2 euro I believe it was like winning the lottery.

Another amazing story is when I went to England in 1991 or 1992 and went inside the oxfam store in Oxford in the same street as the Bird & Baby and found a 1st edition of The Hobbit signed by J.R.R. Tolkien. Don't know how it ended up there but I bought it for some pounds!

Something I picked up from ebay is also quit unusual... namely an original photograph from Exeter College 1914, which was used for John Garth's Tolkien and the Great War.

There are some other very unusual items, but as for now I believe these are the most interesting.
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By R Hunt

Re: Unusual Items

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I'm not a Tolkien fan per se.

I picked up a book for $4AUS at an antique shop in Rockingham, Western Australia where I live.

The book is 'Nova et Vetera' by ex-communicated, former Jesuit preist, George Tyrrell and was first published in 1897.

I am a practising Catholic and was quite excited about such a find however, further discovery has led me to post this message .

In the inside cover of the book is a coat of arms with several words that are unfamiliar to me (in Latin).

'Franciscus Morgan et Osborne' and 'Edgbaston' were easy enough to decipher as proper nouns that I could look up on Google.

On the next page, in faded fountain pen, 'Francis Morgan 1907' is written and then a word which looks like "theoratoby".

So I looked up 'Edgbaston' and one of the sites I found was the home page of The Birmingham Oratory. I looked up "Francis Morgan" and found the following page:

http://www.birmingham-oratory.org.uk/tolkien/

It might seem like a very slight thing but to me, it is fascinating to think that the book sitting next to me on my desk was once read by a) Fr Francis Morgan of the Birmingham Oratory (of John Henry Newman fame) and b) by the legal guardian of J R R Tolkien.

As a consequence of my petty research detailed above, I have come to read a lot more about Tolkien than I ever expected to in my lifetime and have been fascinated with his personal history.

Indeed, a fortunate find!



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