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Signed, First-Edition 'Hobbit' on Antiques Road Show

News From Bree

Jun 19 2011, 6:54am

Post #1 of 4 (1093 views)
Signed, First-Edition 'Hobbit' on Antiques Road Show Can't Post

Fans of PBS's 'Antiques Roadshow' will want to catch the upcoming El Paso episode, just filmed yesterday in the historic Texas City. From the El Paso Times:
A book by J.R.R. Tolkien and an Andy Warhol pop art collection were among the most expensive items appraised at Saturday's PBS "Antiques Roadshow" at the Judson F. Williams Convention Center.

"The most expensive item appraised (Saturday) was a first edition of 'The Hobbit' with original dust jacket and the signature of J.R.R. Tolkien," said Judy Matthews, for the "Antiques Roadshow." "It was appraised at between $80,000 and $100,000."

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Jun 19 2011, 12:03pm

Post #2 of 4 (251 views)
*sigh* [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been looking for a 1st edition for about 30 years now... the more beat up (I mean well-loved) the better. My chance of ever finding one I can afford grows dimmer and dimmer ;)

sample sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.

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Grey Havens

Jun 19 2011, 12:36pm

Post #3 of 4 (282 views)
Whoa! [In reply to] Can't Post

Awesome find! I would love to have something like that in my collection.

"I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge"
--J.R.R. Tolkien

Tol Eressea

Jun 19 2011, 3:30pm

Post #4 of 4 (344 views)
Hmm.. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a pity that they don't show a picture of the jacket (the book in the picture has been re-bound), nor the signature. I'd like to hear a bit more about the book's provenance, too.

First edition copies of TH can be found today for around the $2000 dollar mark, but signed copies will always fetch a premium, esp. if they also have their dustwrappers. Elaine Griffith's copy of TH was sold at Bonham's in London, on March 18th 2008. I went along on one of the viewing days, with my old mate Charles Noad. We had the opportunity of actually handling the precious thing, along with one or two other, very rare, items. Elaine was a student of JRR's, and later became a great friend of the family. She was one of the select few who'd read TH in typescript, and it was she who suggested that Tolkien show it to Susan Dagnall of Allen & Unwin. The rest is history.

Tolkien inscribed her book; 'To Elaine Griffiths, with best wishes from JRRT'. I've seen other books from Elaine's library; she kept them in lovely condition. The dustwrapper on this book is still crisp, and the covers and pages are beautifully clean - a delight to hold.

the book sold for 50,000 plus a commission of 20% - that is, 60,000 in total. Wow!

(This post was edited by entmaiden on Jun 19 2011, 8:01pm)


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