Allen & Unwin, First printings. Fellowship of the Rings 1954, Two Towers 1954, The Return of the King 1955 all with outstanding, original dust jackets.
These books need no explanation to any Tolkien collector and fan. Most contemporary book collecting generally is the pursuit of fine dust jackets/ wrappers as these are now the rarest aspect and considered to "complete" a rare first edition.
In the day, their purpose was only to protect the cloth covers and to advertise the publishers other books. The books have various age and use related marks, scuffs to cloth stains and foxing, especially to front end pages. FotR has the most wear, as usual. Bindings tight, curved spines, but no lean. Yes, maps are fine (they always are).The wear varies between the books, especially to red top of pages. The dust jackets are amazing. FotR has had some repair done to the top section of the spine. You can make out the section of paper by the line in the photo which has been repaired/ restored (a little of both). We have been a professional dealer for over 20 years. All our photos are the actual item!
Why is book this so expensive? As Tolkien book collecting grows in popularity, the availability of collectible/investment original condition books and jackets disappears.
It is not just the printing/edition that matters to the value, but that serious collectors want only the best condition. Books with damaged jackets or even no jackets at all, are now increasing in price, driving up the price of complete and better condition copies. Unlike other genre's, the market for Tolkien early editions is quite mature and well established. It is not a matter of waiting for a better copy to come along. There aren't going to be any!
There are no more hiding in the attic or charity shops. People sell off their more worn copies and now leave their collections to their children. We've been a specialist dealer for 20 years.
Some examples that were plentiful just two years ago are now completely gone or only the dregs appear. As time goes on, you'll pay more for less. First edition The Lord of the Rings and Hobbits remain the most in demand. By the way, no serious book dealer would ever sell facsimile dust jackets!
They are wrong on every level! This item is in the category "Books, Comics & Magazines\Antiquarian & Collectable". The seller is "dogfark" and is located in this country: GB. This item can be shipped worldwide.