October Auction Is Open For Bidding
Our Current Auction Closes Oct 14  
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About US   Featured Lots 
Bidder Login
Bidder #

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

Current Auction
Ends October 14th
Featured Items (24)
Presidents (163)
Notables (191)
Aviation (9)
Declaration of Independence Signers (8)
American Politicians and Leaders (23)
Activists and Social Leaders (11)
Supreme Court (3)
American West (5)
Notorious Figures and Lawmen (8)
Businessmen (17)
Scientists and Inventors (32)
Intellectuals (13)
Religious Figures (5)
World Leaders and Politicians (52)
Royalty (15)
Titanic and Maritime (1)
Explorers and Archaeologists (6)
Military (67)
Weapons, Uniforms, & Artifacts (18)
Space (85)
Space Artifacts (6)
Literature (75)
Signed Books (50)
Art, Architecture, and Design (42)
Comic Art & Animation (11)
Classic Music (49)
Modern Music (75)
Classic Entertainment (102)
Sports (47)
All Auction Items (942)
Space and Aviation Auction Preview
Begins Oct 15
Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Chronograph (1)
Aviation (20)
Path to Space (4)
Cosmonauts (21)
X-15 & “X-Plane”
Program (7)
Project Mercury (35)
Project Gemini (37)
Project Apollo (70)
Apollo 1 (3)
Apollo 7 (6)
Apollo 8 (11)
Apollo 9 (12)
Apollo 10 (8)
Apollo 11 (52)
Apollo 12 (28)
Apollo 13 (21)
Apollo 14 (15)
Apollo 15 (25)
Apollo 16 (16)
Apollo 17 (23)
Skylab (5)
Apollo-Soyuz (7)
Space Shuttle (28)
Space Shuttle
Challenger (7)
Viking (1)
Miscellany (11)
All Preview Items (474)
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2015 Auction Calendar
Jan 14
Jan 22
Feb 11
Feb 18
Mar 11
Mar 18
Apr 15
Apr 23
May 13
Jun 17
Jun 24
Jun 25
Jul 15
Jul 23
Aug 12
Sep 16
Sep 27
Oct 14
Oct 22
Nov 11
Nov 19
Dec 9
Dec 17
  More Dates & Deadlines

Item 553 - J. R. R. Tolkien Catalog 351 (Nov 2009)                Back To Previous Page

(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $500.00
Sold Price: $3,049.20


Scarce, outstanding-content TLS, one page, 7 x 9, blind stamped personal letterhead, July 29, 1966. Tolkien offers a wealth of information concerning various editions of his famed works of Middle Earth. In part: “I do receive many letters, but I was particularly pleased by yours. If you wish for a decent edition that will stand up to reasonably hard wear I recommend buying the hardback edition in England or America. The minor corrections and alterations made in the Ballantine edition could then be put into it by hand. There will be a new edition of The Lord of the Rings in England coming out this autumn, which has been more carefully revised and will contain a revised index. These hardback editions are, of course, expensive, but nothing like so expensive, I think as first editions would be (if they can be found). I don’t think that it is possible to find a first edition of The Hobbit or of the second impression which had the coloured pictures. The stocks went up in flames in the Battle of Britain. The first edition of The Lord of the Rings could possibly be obtained.” Accompanied by the original mailing envelope. In fine condition.

If Tolkien was cognizant of the value of The Hobbit in 1966, then the 2008 selling price of a first edition, more than $95,000, certainly would have sent him heading for the Shire. A London firm published the first edition of The Hobbit in 1937 with a run of 1,500 copies. The book sold out within three months due to enthusiastic reviews. This first printing was illustrated with many black-and-white drawings by Tolkien, who also designed the dust jacket. An American edition, released early in 1938, replaced four of the illustrations with color plates, a technique accompanying a second printing at the end of 1937.

Following his retirement in 1959, Tolkien received steadily increasing public attention and literary fame, and enjoyed sending occasional enthusiastic answers to readers' inquiries, such as this very response in which he mentions his most famous literary contributions. As time passed, however, he became more suspicious of Tolkien fandom, reducing the number of such replies. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RRAuction COA.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.