A first edition set published by Allen and Unwin in 1954/55. This is a 2/2/1 impression set with The Return Of The King being a first impression. The Fellowship Of The Ring.
423 pages plus publisher page to the rear. Contains original foldout map attached to last free endpaper.
Published in december 1954, just 6 months after the first impression. This book is in almost perfect condition. The only exception is a light crease running down the half title page which also has a strange indentation to the foredge side, running an inch or so inwards. This shows through a couple of the following pages. It looks like the book may have been held with a clip or something similar at a previous time.On the reverse of the half title page there is a fingerprint mark see last photo. More can be sent on request.
Other than this the book is clean and unmarked throughout. 352 pages plus original foldout map attached to last free endpaper.The first impression was published in 1954 and this second impression came out the following year. This book is clean and unmarked throughout. The Return Of The King.
Original foldout map attached to last free endpaper. A rare first impression of this title.
All maps contained are the originals that came with the books. All are in excellent clean condition without tears. Originally the second impression of The Fellowship Of The Ring was around 5mm shorter than the other two books. This was due to an error upon publication the second printing being needed was unexpected!
I had to make the hard decision whether to leave the set mismatched like this or to trim down the other two books to the same size. After some thought, I opted for the latter to make the set more balanced, and also because the books needed trimming a little anyway in order to have them gilded. This has not affected any of the margins etc. All in all, a very good set of very early editions.
The set, together with the slipcase weigh 2.2kg. All three books have been fully bound in hand dyed calfskin. The leather I have used to bind these very rare LoTR books came from a calf hand reared on a dairy farm in Gloucestershire in 2017. Here are a few words which my leather supplier wished me to quote - The farm is certified'Organic' by the Soil Association and is well known for its exemplary standards of animal husbandry and the quality of its agricultural produce. The calf skin has been tanned naturally, using bark extracts at a small artisinal tannery in the UK (one of the only tanneries still using this method).
This process takes much longer to complete than one applied in a traditional industrial tanning facility and exemplifies an approach which seeks to work with nature rather than impose our will upon it. Calfskin is widely recognised in the bookbinding world as the best and most luxurious leather with which to bind books and as such is a very expensive material.
The handmade marbled endpapers were created by Jemma Lewis, a master marbler based in the UK and internationally renowned for her art. They were commissioned by myself to be of the same design but of different colours to match the books. The endpapers are divided with black cloth'joints'. This enables the front and back boards to be fully opened without putting strain on the books. The skins themselves were dyed using both spirit based and water based leather dyes.
I then applied the'craquele' technique to them, creating cracks across the leather using black dye. After a long period of applying dyes, cracking, washing, drying and finally application of waxes and balms, the leather was'blocked' with gold to create the designs you see upon the covers. To the front of all three books the ring design has been applied with gold, and Tolkiens monogram to the back. Titles and author have been applied to all three spines. The books were removed from their original covers and re-strengthened with bookbinding glue.The spines were realigned and rounded and then strengthened even further with linen and Oxford hollows. The heads and tails of the books have been capped with double end bands. The slipcase which houses the books has been made from strong book board and covered with black goatskin leather. The inside is lined with black suede. The front edges are curved allowing a little more of the books to be seen and making it a little easier to pull them out.
I believe the shape to be more elegant than a standard square edged box. Again this box has been stamped in gold with the authors monogram. Slipcase measures at 228mm x 155mm x 105mm.
All three edges of the books have been gilded with gold. About The Binder And The Binding. I currently work full-time for family owned Ludlow Bookbinders Ltd (also multi award winning). I was trained to hand bind books by master bookbinder Brian Settle.
In my time at the company I have, among many other things, managed a large project for the SAS and made books for Prince Charles and the Bamford family. Our work at the bindery is extremely varied but we generally specialise in leather bound editions, usually with presentation boxes. We often make books for VIP's including the Royal family and the Pope as well as producing short runs of limited edition books for small and large publishers. Recently, we have been commissioned by the publisher to create the handful of special leather bound copies of new Tolkien books (Beren and Luthien, Children of Hurin etc) for Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien family.Outside of work I make my own creations as Lyra's Books. At the end of 2017 I won the prestigious Elizabeth Soutar award for my binding of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The book is now a part of the permanent collection of The National Library Of Scotland. The other copy I made is in the hands of the author himself who has told me is very happy with it! Recently I have been making a lot of Tolkien books, focusing mainly on the Folio Society editions as these lend themselves very well to rebinding and are handsome reproductions of the text with quality illustrations. For this first edition set I decided I needed to do something very special, something very different and I also decided to take a more modern and painterly approach. I knew that this set had to be truly one of a kind. I had learned the technique of'craquele' a few years ago and had never really had the chance to try it on a full binding until now. The technique requires that calfskin is used as it will not work properly on other leathers. Due to the many different processes and the way they are applied the outcome is always different, making the patterns created truly unique. If you would like to see more photos of this set or have any questions regarding them then please contact me and I will be happy to help. The item "The Lord Of The Rings JRR TOLKIEN First Edition 1954/55 IMP 2/2/1 REBIND Rare" is in sale since Sunday, July 22, 2018. This item is in the category "Books, Comics & Magazines\Antiquarian & Collectable".
The seller is "lyrasbooks" and is located in Ludlow. This item can be shipped worldwide.