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Signed Lord of the Rings, Reeve's Tale, Manuscript Letters for Auction Sunday Nov 27 in Australia

| Filed under: Uncategorized — Urulöké | November 25, 2011 @ 11:31 pm (Views: 11418)

These three lots are being auctioned by Bay East Auctions in Sydney, Australia. These items have been secured in a bank vault since the 1970s, and have remained in the hands of the original family these were given to originally so this is the first time these particular items are hitting the marketplace.

Bay East Auctions
The Art & Book Sale
27 Nov 2011
7 Anderson Street, Double Bay, Sydney, NSW

Lot 389 Tolkien Inscription
Lot 389: Tolkien. J. R. R. The Lord of the Rings. octavo. 3 vols. The Fellowship of the Ring. The Two Towers. The Return of the King. folding map at the end of each volume. all with uncut dustwrappers. red cloth spines bumped but internally good. all signed by Tolkien. vol. 1 signed on free endpaper. inscription in Elvish which translated becomes 'With the very best wishes of JRR Tolkien. I wish that you need not go back "across so wide a sea."' also tipped in on inside front cover manuscript letter initialled on Merton College writing paper. vol. 2 signed on free end paper and dated November 1954. vol. 3 signed on free end paper. tipped in key to language. Allen & Unwin. 1954-1955. Provenance: Gift of the author to Muriel Margaret (Mollie) Cowling, 1955 Thence by Descent Private Collection, Sydney.

Estimate AUD$18,000 - 25,000
Hammer Price: AUD$31,000
Price including buyer premium: AUD$37,200

Lot 390 Tolkien Manuscript Letter
Lot 390: Tolkien. J. R. R. Two Page Manuscript Letter to G. H. Cowling. explaining his procrastination and horror of letter writing. Thanking him for a copy of Chaucer and wishing him Happy Christmas. dated December 23 1934 from 20 Northmoor Road Oxford. Provenance: G. H. Cowling Thence by Descent Private Collection, Sydney

Estimate: AUD$1,500 - 2,500
Hammer Price: AUD$2,900
Price including buyer premium: AUD$3,480

Lot 391 Reeve's Tale
Lot 391: Tolkien. J. R. R. Chaucer as a Philologist. reprint from the Philological Society's Transactions 1934. original wrappers initialed. spine weak with some marking. presentation copy from J.R.R.T. with The Reeve's Tale. a version prepared for recitation at the 'summer diversions', Oxford 1939. original wrapper spotted. initialed presentation copy. tipped in note from the author regarding where to locate the full discussion. with a letter from Priscilla Tolkien on the death of her mother dated 1971 and two aerogrammes and a letter to Mollie Cowling from Edith Tolkien discussing family matters dated 1967 and 1970 respectively. Provenance: G. H. and Muriel Margaret (Mollie) Cowling, 1955 Thence by Descent Private Collection, Sydney.

Estimate: AUD$400 - 600
Hammer Price: AUD$2,800
Price including buyer premium: AUD$3,360


  1. Comment by Jlong:

    What a nice collection of items! I haven't ever seen this letter before. Early letters seem more difficult to come by. The mention of Bingo in the post script is interesting.

  2. Comment by Urulókë:

    That was a great catch on the \'Bingo\' mention! I had missed that in my first pass. Also did you see the key to language included with the set of books? (For translating the inscription).

  3. Comment by Jlong:

    Yeah, very interesting material. Would love to own it all but too much as usual.

  4. Comment by Urulókë:

    I added final prices (hammer and including buyer premium). As expected, they way underestimated the Reeve's Tale lot.

  5. Comment by laurel:

    anyone here go for any of them. I went for the Reeves lot but came no where close - worth a try though i guess

  6. Comment by wellinghall:

    There's a related article here:

    - wellinghall

  7. Comment by Urulókë:

    Thanks for the article link wellinghall.

    I don't think his set is directly comparable to that $160,000 set - that one was in immaculate condition (this one is tanned and missing chips at the very least), and was personalized to the "Queen of the Hobbits" Elaine Griffiths. Just saying.

    I am sure he will find a buyer for it, though.

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