|Subject 2:||Science Fiction & Fantasy||Special Attributes:||1st Edition, Signed|
Updated note: I have set the price of the book at £8500 and removed the best offer tag. This is the final reduction on this book. Any future appearances on this site will also be set at this price.
This is a first edition / first Impression of The Hobbit published in 1937. The book comes complete with Dustjacket and rare signature which has been tipped (stuck into) into the book.
The book is in good condition, especially for its age. The binding is tight and for the most part the pages are clean although have yellowed with age, there are no tears. All pages and illustrations are present. There are however a number of faults, some of which can be seen in the photo’s provided.
1. The green cloth cover appears quite dirty and stained especially on the spine. The cloth has split in a number of places exposing the boards beneath it. All ends are bumped.
2. Foxing can be found on the endpapers to page 11 (the first page of the story) although they do not detract. Stains the size of a fingerprint (actually looks like a fingerprint, greasy fingers?) can be found on pages 26, 27, 46, 47, 49, 79, 82, 83, 87, 206, 209, 213, 275
3. On pages 63, 72, 246, 247 it appears pages have been scuffed ie stood on with slightly dirty shoes, pages are perfect though, no folding, tears etc.
4. A small faded brown spot (foxing), right at the bottom of the page, away from text runs from pages 88-94.
5. Pages 106, 107, 108, 134, 135 have foxing at the top of the page.
6. Page 155 has a 2mm triangle cut out at the bottom of the page.
7. You can see the binding between pages 176 and 177 but pages are secure.
8. A larger 2cm faded brown stain (foxing) in the form of a semi-circle can be seen at the bottom of the page between pages 218-223.
9. Foxing stains 1cm at the bottom corners of pages 279, 280, 281.
10. Slight leaning to the book.
11. On the front map someone appears to have tried to write their name in pencil in the top left hand corner of the map. Indented into the board is J.S. In a lighter pencil (hardly noticeable) again in the top left hand corner is the name Janet Blackford, you really have to look to see the name. The front flap of the dustjacket covers both names.
The dustjactket has been professionally restored. It is original apart from the front flap (which has been replaced with a facsimile) and the top an bottom of the spine around 1cm both ends where the spine had been chipped. Rips and tears have been restored so the jacket looks to be in perfect condition. Note it has the requisite ink correction of the 'e' in Dodgeson.
The signature tipped into the book
I bought this from a respected Tolkien bookseller (Tolkien Bookshelf). I have had the signature independently verified by a graphologist who deemed the autograph an original. I will provide the paperwork along with the book. Apparently the signature was written on stationary from the Miramar Hotel in Bournemouth where Tolkien stayed with his wife. Below is some correspondence from the seller to myself describing the autograph, note that the seller received two signatures on the same piece of paper (of which I bought one of them):
The old Miramar Hotel stationary was printed on Bonded paper that had the 'Chariot' watermark. I had a couple of other notes in the past (that were on a complete sheet of Miramar stationary), and for some reason or another I was checking the paper, to make sure they were the same, and noticed the watermark. The only thing left from the Miramar logo at the top of the paper, was the tiny portion of the letter 'e' from Bournemouth, which happened to be the lowest portion of the actual printing. Just a couple of little points that helped to confirm the authenticity of the signatures. Also reaffirms the notion that Tolkien was a notorious hoarder of paper. Another interesting note, Tolkien was always reluctant to sign his books. But quite often, he would return correspondence from readers and fans and include an extra signature to 'stick in' the books. This practice used up a lot of scraps that he saved, and were used for about anything and everything. Many times his paper's were written in pencil and then corrected or over written with ink. Makes it very difficult to read sometimes. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
So, there you have it, an original, extremely rare copy of the first edition, first edition print of The Hobbit along with the original dustjacket and signature to boot. Note that on Abebooks you will not find the same copy (without signature) for any less than £12500. In fact only 2 original copies, that have not been bound in leather and hence without dustjacket, can be found on the site. Also, the film is out soon and prices will no doubt rocket. Whilst this is a best offer only auction be aware that I do not want to part with book for any less than £9750 but all reasonable bids will be considered.
Updated note: The book has all the requisite errors as cited by Hammond. I have removed two photos and replaced with pages 14 and 215 which highlight two of the errors (P14 - 'find morning' instead of 'fine morning' and P215 - 'door step' instead of 'doorstep').