J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings
Up for auction is my meticulously kept and stored copy of VERY EARLY IMPRESSIONS of the First Houghton Mifflin, American Edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings. Specifically this is a 2nd/2nd/1st set in its own custom slipcase with each book in its original, unclipped dustjacket!
Separately, each edition in such a low impression with original dustjacket is a difficult find for the collector, but this set has been together and was owned by the same owner from the mid-1950s (evidenced by a personal library plate on the inside cover of each book - see pictures). I acquired them many years ago and have carefully stored them ever since.
Notably, these early impressions are very hard to identify because their printing was done by the English publisher (Allen and Unwin) and shipped to the US for binding - Houghton Mifflin didn't start printing these until much later and, at that time, they made sure to indicate the impression number on the copyright page. I did a lot of research to determine which impressions I had, and for any interested buyer, I'm happy to send you a copy of an article from "The Tolkien Collector" which describes how they are identified.
The Fellowship of the Ring
2nd impression (made from 3rd impression sheets printed by the English publisher and sent for binding in the US, but the Second Print release in the US). No date on Title Page. Only 3,000 copies issued!
This copy is in its original dustjacket, with the correct issue points for a 2nd impression: i) the number "11" on p.11 is blurry/ghosted; ii) the bottom borderline of the picture of Tolkien on the back cover has a "V" shape; and iii) the Auckland address on the last page is for Haddon Hall (changed to Wyndham St. on 4th impression sheets printed by the English publisher). The unclipped dustjacket shows some wear (see pictures) with a small tear on the top of the spine and back cover, and comes protected in a clear book cover. The book itself is in near mint condition considering the age - binding is tight, little/no soiling, no inscriptions other than the library plate mentioned above, and boards look untouched! The original map is present, unmarked, and in mint condition. Overall, an excellent example of a very rare and very, very desirable book.
The Two Towers
2nd impression, no date on Title Page. Only 1,200 copies issued!!
This copy is also in its original dustjacket with the correct issue points for 2nd impression: i) white stripe at top and bottom of dustjacket; ii) gap in print of rim of the hobbit's hat on the dustjacket front cover; iii) words "fire and flood" on page 118 were changed to "fire and death" in the 4th impression; iv) map folds downward (as of 4th impression, map folds upward); v) on page 104, line 33, the word "Nine." was changed to "Nine!" as of the 3rd impression; vi) on page 230, line 41, the words "Not far" have an unmatched indent which was corrected by the 3rd impression; and vii) on page 263, line 9, the words ending the sentence, "said Sam" had no period which was corrected by the third impression. The unclipped dustjacket shows some wear (see pictures) but no major damage or fading (colors are bright and clear), and comes protected in a clear book cover. This book is also in near mint condition considering the age - binding is tight, little/no soiling, no inscriptions other than the library plate mentioned above, and boards look untouched! The original map is present, unmarked, and in mint condition. Overall, another excellent example of a very, VERY (only 1200 copies in the world!) rare and very, very desirable book.
The Return of the King
1st impression, title page is dated 1956. Only 5,000 copies issued!
This copy is also in its original dustjacket with the correct issue points for 1st impression: i) "1956" on title page; ii) oversized "5" in the price on the dustjacket with double slashes in the dollar sign; and iii) there is an out of place "4" on the bottom of p. 49 with slipped type. The unclipped dustjacket is the best of the three, in very nice condition, with bright colors and is fully intact (see pictures!). The book itself is also in fine condition - good, clean boards, tight binding, etc. The map is present, clean and bright and is near mint. The text block is clean, with no markings or folded corners. Another very nice copy of an extremely collectible book.
Disclaimer: this extremely rare and collectible set is my own and I am not a book dealer, just a Tolkien fan. Please study the pictures carefully and feel free to ask for additional pictures as I am happy to provide them. These books are nearly 60 years old, so no matter how well I have kept them, they're not new nor perfect. In my opinion, they are in great condition with the sole exception of the dustjacket on FOTR which has the above mentioned tear at the top of the spine and back cover. I will not accept returns on this item, so be sure that you want it before you bid!
Last but not least, I am offering this amazing set with NO RESERVE, a low opening bid, and will include FREE, insured shipping within the United States; serious international buyers please inquire, but I will pack and ship at cost.
And really last but not least, see my feedback and bid with confidence! Good luck!!