An affordably priced above average set. More fading to spine colors than my other set for sale, but much less paper loss and tears to jackets. We recently acquired another 1.Set following two earlier acquisitions over the last 12 months. A very good set and a good set. Many fans would love to own a 1. Printing set (impressions are printings) which is unfortunately very expensive. They therefore try and get as close as they can to a 1.
/1st with later printings of the first editions in hopes of someday owning a first. Trouble is prices keep rising, even with later printings, while the overall condition quality declines over time as collectors upgrade to better sets and/or sell on their previous sets or individual titles on-line. The difficulty today is to find a set of jackets and books that match each other in their general wear and tear, particularly the dust jackets, so they will look nice displayed.
(Miss-matched sets without uniform jacket wear dont keep their value as well). While often find a set has been kept together for decades, increasingly you see only sets pieced together. Set in the day as all first printings of the three titles were released separately from 1954 to 1955.There is no first edition set, only the first printing of each book. It is easy to tell the impressions numbers as it is printed in the books and on the jackets 2. Return of the King had some printing errors in the book creating different states to be collected. There are actually five books which have been published as three volumes. This was to keep them more affordable as printing was expensive back then.
The cover price of a single hardbound volume would have been prohibitively high to most people in the 50s. Early fans who might have recognised Tolkien's work as a masterpiece bought the first of each book as released, or by chance found all three books together that happened to be the 1. By late 1955, sets of titles available in shops would have likely been mixed impressions or 3,2,1 (in order of the three titles) or 4, 2, 1 or 5,4,3 etc.Sets have always been pieced together from the start. Individual books acquired in the early days and kept together all this time typically have uniform fading and wear to the dust jackets, both from use and the environment. Sometimes Fellowship of the Rings is found more worn from being partly read, with the other two titles hardly read at all. The books are generally found in good condition if kept protected with dust jackets.
The jackets being originally light grey have mostly faded to shades of beige, which look white in on-line photos. (The flaps give away the true colour). The second edition was dark grey in keeping with the firsts. Most other set have an array of minor flaws, natural and unnatural damage.
If they look new, they are likely restored dust jackets. No 60 plus year old books survive without some damage. Note that 90% or more of the a 1st/1st set value is in the condtion of the dust jackets. Worn books, those with damage like loose bindings or stains are really only for re-binding as far as re-sale value.
Note that a common flaw is the red from the cloth cover leaching onto the back of the jackets or finding white patches (old mould damage) on the book clothe covers. Its sad, but many houses in Britain in particular didnt have heating and books suffered from damp. This is also why you find foxing, which are brown dots and patches on the end pages and edges. Some of this is treatable.
The benefit of being a specialist dealer for 17 years is we have seen first-hand some hundreds of early printings as well as a dozen 1. And can access the relative condition to other copies you are likely to find, now or later, not simply comparing to new condition, (which is a bit pointless). Our descriptions and prices reflect the condition more accurately than novice or non-specialist sellers.Most often the decision for collectors is not always cost, but trade-offs, more tattering and tears to the jackets, but less fading or more fading/ darkening to spines. Again, as you are mostly paying for the dust jackets with modern collectable book any book with serious damage is not really collectable even though its rare. Some collectors are concerned about handwriting, bookplates etc. When it comes to a fine/fine set, these minor issues become bigger differences to the value as such books have to be flawless to command the highest price.
Ooks and jackets with dozens of little minor flaws like a previous owners name, book plate or clipping to the jacket price is personal preference and has little impact on the value. The overall condition on balance matters most. R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 1st/1st Set, No Restoration" is in sale since Friday, June 22, 2018.
This item is in the category "Books, Comics & Magazines\Antiquarian & Collectable". The seller is "dogfark" and is located in Machynlleth. This item can be shipped worldwide.