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Details about  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit 1st Edition to 10th Impressions, w/ original jackets

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J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit 1st Edition to 10th Impressions, w/ original jackets
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05 Jan, 2015 11:01:49 GMT
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Item location:
Machynlleth, United Kingdom

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Last updated on  21 Dec, 2014 20:32:45 GMT  View all revisions
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Item specifics

Seller notes: please ask for catalogue
Format: Hardback w/Jacket Printing Year: 1937
Special Attributes: 1st Edition Subject: Fantasy

Please note, EBay picture costs have become too expensive. Please email us to receive a photo catalogue and detailed description of these books on 

This set is appearing on TV, to see the clip visit our website-

George Allen & Unwin. Perhaps the most unique offering to Tolkien book collectors ever: the first 10 impressions of The Hobbit, all with original matching jackets. (Unused previous impression jackets were sold on the next impression in some cases. These are matching impression books and jackets). While all ten may all be together in a private collection, this is the first time we are aware they have been available for sale as a single lot. It took more than five years of painstaking effort to collect them all. Another five year search may possible yield the same copies in some cases, but not at this price as the new films stimulate demand from a whole new generation of collector. The first edition alone could cost as much as this whole collection in near fine condition or signed.  From time to time the individual impressions come up for sale with jackets, but even later impressions are now rare with the original unrestored jackets. None of these jackets have any restoration and remain in the charming original state. It’s not always understood by new collectors the value is more in the jackets than the book, as the jacket are more scarce due to wear, loss and handling.  Each book and jacket impression is unique;  different ads on the flap, prices, impressions and text changes and corrections. The condition of each also makes this a unique collection.

These were children’s books and the jackets suffered wear and tear even when the books were new, but over the years the paper has become brittle and delicate with age. Even with gentle handling they suffer further damage each time with small chips falling off. Some have closed tears, tears to cover seams or detached and in section in some cases, but this isn’t evident in the protective mylar.  All jackets have tattering to spine ends, some paper loss, chips and scuffs to varying degree. Some are better than others as the paper was changed.  The early impressions have some paper loss in particular, but this also makes them more affordable. Most have faded/ darkening to the spine colours. All are good to very good, near fine in a couple cases.

The books are in very good condition considering they are well love and read often. Some have slight lean and gift inscriptions, some of the middle impressions have “ghosting” on the book spine/covers where the white of the image is burned on the spine/book cover from the sun. All are complete, bindings tight, no serious stains, marks or damage.  These comprise first and second editions, but are commonly refer to the overall impression in printing order 1st thru 10th. Up to the 3rd edition 1966 is considered scarce so there are three more books to complete the 2nd editions. However we stopped at 10 is a nice round number!

These ten books are:

1937 1st Edition/ 1st Impression. 1937 1st/2nd. 1942 1st/3rd. 1946 1st/4th. 1951 2nd Edition/ 1st impression, 5th overall impression. 1954  2nd/2nd, 6th. 1955 2nd/3rd, 7th. 1956 2nd4th, 8th. 1957 2nd/5th, 9th and finally 1958 2nd/6th, 10 overall impression.

We first started selling Tolkien ten years ago. We have had early impressions, often series of later impressions, but never all the first 10 book copies together. I doubt we will ever have them together again.  We felt with the 75th anniversary on September 22nd it was appropriate to offer these as one complete set.

This set appears on the UK History Channel program, Pawn Stars UK, Pawn Stars is one of the History Channel’s most popular programs. The new UK series was filmed at Regal Pawn Shop in Chester, UK.  Rodney Matthews and his agent Mark Faith appear on an episode airing September 9th, 9 p.m. Mark Faith, owner of Festival Art and Books, also appears on a second episode with his rare set of the first ten Hobbits impressions on Monday, September 23rd.  The schedule or a clip of the program on-line can be found on our website. In addition, Mark Faith recently appeared on an episode of Channel Four’s Four Rooms program which aired July 26th with a first edition set of The Lord of the Rings. Watch the episode here if you missed it. Note, it cannot be viewed on devices outside the UK.   Tune in or watch on-line to find out what happens with these rare books and fantasy art on these popular programs. 

Restoration and other fake dust jackets

These dust jacket have NOT been restored or altered in any way.  We do not deal in facsimile or restored jackets. While a  future buyer may decide to have it restored, we advise against it if they intend to resell it someday. A book without an original jacket is worth a fraction of one with. A restored jacket is worth a considerable less, even if the work was very minor.   “Restoring” is nothing more than a deception to make something damaged look artificially new. It’s a fake and most serious collectors and dedicated fans want an item as close to its original condition, any warts and all.  It adds some value to a jacket-less book if the restoration is very, very minor, but nothing close to a book with an original unrestored jacket. Don’t be deceived into buying restored jackets as buyers now trying to sell their restore jackets now have been. A fake is fake! The rule is simply the closer to the original condition, the better and more valuable. Adding anything artificial, even if undetectable, seriously reduces the value to serious collectors. Don’t waste your money with false economy. Hold out and buy the best you can find!

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Festival Art and Books

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