J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling fetch high prices at Sotheby's auction (14.12.07 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

a book by J.K. Rowling called The Tales of Beedle the Bard Yesterday a lot of fabulous Tolkien books and one letter were sold at an auction held by Sotheby’s in London. While the Tolkien books and letter fetched very high prices, the real highlight of the auction was a book by J.K. Rowling called The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

The book of five wizarding fairy tales, referenced in the last book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is one of only seven handmade copies in existence.

Amazon.co.uk purchased the book for £1,950,000, and Ms. Rowling is donating the proceeds to The Children's Voice campaign, a charity she co-founded to help improve the lives of institutionalized children across Europe.

Auction results of the Tolkien items sold by Sotheby's at 'English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations' auction - London, New Bond Street - 13 Dec 2007:

The Hobbit LOT 300

TOLKIEN, J.R.R.
THE HOBBIT.
GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LTD., 1937

Estimate: 10,000—15,000 GBP
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 11,875 GBP

DESCRIPTION

8vo, first edition, first issue ("Dodgeson" corrected in ink on inside lower flap of dust-jacket), 10 illustrations, pictorial end-papers in red and black by the author, 2 pages of publisher's advertisements at end, rebound in sumptuous full green morocco and signed by bayntun-riviere with morocco onlays on both upper and lower covers of Smaug the dragon in red and brown together with mountains in brown and black, spine with morocco onlays of mountains in brown and black together with lettering and runic symbols in gilt, upper cover of original binding trimmed and bound at rear, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, sewn head and foot bands, full green morocco folding box duplicating spine of volume in gilt and onlays.

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES

Hammond A3(a)

CATALOGUE NOTE

The original pictorial dust-jacket by the author is retained in a folder within the velvet-lined folding box. The dust-jacket is soiled and frayed with extensive loss and tears (including 40 by 53mm. section at head of spine and 34 by 40mm. section at foot of spine).

a clean copy presented in a extremely fine binding.

The Hobbit 1st UK Dust Jacket LOT 301

TOLKIEN, J.R.R.
THE HOBBIT.
GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LTD., 1937

Estimate: 8,000—10,000 GBP
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 12,500 GBP

DESCRIPTION

8vo, first edition, first issue ("Dodgeson" corrected in ink on inside lower flap of dust-jacket), 10 illustrations, pictorial end-papers in red and black by the author, 2 pages of publisher's advertisements at end, original pictorial green cloth, original pictorial dust-jacket by the author, collector's green morocco-backed folding box, internally clean with some very minor finger-soiling on a few leaves, head and foot of spine very slightly bumped, dust-jacket with some professional restoration including restored sections at head of spine (10 by 25mm.) and restoration to some other minor chips and tears at extremities, some minor staining.

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES

Hammond A3(a)

CATALOGUE NOTE

an extremely fresh copy

The Lord of the Rings 1st UK Edition LOT 302

TOLKIEN, J.R.R.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS. GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN, 1954-1955

Estimate: 2,000—3,000 GBP
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 2,750 GBP

DESCRIPTION

8vo, 3 volumes, first edition, first impressions (volume three in first state of first impression), illustrations, maps including folding maps at end of each volume, original red cloth lettered in gilt on spine, dust-jackets, some light browning or soiling to endpapers, bindings worn with extremities bumped and occasional staining, upper hinge repaired in volume one, soiled dust-jackets frayed at extremities with adhesive tape repairs, staining from adhesive tape.

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES

Hammond A5(a)

The Lord of the Rings LOT 303

TOLKIEN, J.R.R.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN, 1960-1961

Estimate: 4,000—6,000 GBP
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 9,375 GBP

DESCRIPTION

8vo, 3 volumes, tenth impression [volume one], seventh impression [volumes two and three], each volume signed by the author on title-page ("J.R.R. Tolkien"), illustrations, maps including folding maps at end of each volume, later full green morocco featuring Tolkien's 'Ring and Eye' device in gilt and black on upper covers together with Tolkien's 'certar' lettering in black at top edge, spine with title as written by Frodo in The Return of the King ("The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King Together with extracts from Books of Lore translated by Bilbo in Rivendell") in black and gilt, gilt edges, some minor browning to endpapers

CATALOGUE NOTE

an attractively bound set of a signed set of "the lord of the rings"

The Lord of the Rings LOT 304

TOLKIEN, J.R.R.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
GEORGE ALLEN AND UNWIN LTD., 1969

Estimate: 2,500—3,500 GBP
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 5,625 GBP

DESCRIPTION

8vo, 3 volumes in one as issued, presentation copy inscribed by the author ("Christmas | 1969 | E.M. Jebb | with best | wishes and kind re- | membrances | from J.R.R.T.") on slip laid-down to front free endpaper, first 'india paper edition', 3 maps (including 2 folding) printed in red and black, later full red morocco by Bayntun-Riviere with design on upper cover in gilt together with grey and black morocco onlays, spine in compartments, gilt edges, colllector's red morocco folding box

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES

Hammond A5(h)

CATALOGUE NOTE

a sumptuous binding of the first india paper edition

Tolkien letter LOT 305

TOLKIEN, J.R.R.
FINE AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED TO MR [DR DERRICK] PARNUM

Estimate:1,000—1,500 GBP
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 5,625 GBP

DESCRIPTION

Noting ill-health, apologising for not having written earlier and presumably responding to the correspondent's omission of his title ("I have now been a 'professor' so long (since 1924 in fact) that it no longer seems at all important. It never has been regarded as important in Oxford, anyway...")

Discussing birthday dates the author notes "I, like many males, cannot convince myself that they are important, and so cannot remember them..." and also the process of suggesting presents ("...hints amounting almost to plain statements go ignored... while a casual remark may produce (now and again) some staggeringly costly present, hardly really dreamed of...") Tolkien then tells of having received a pair of binoculars following "a casual remark about a blackbird friend of mine..."

tolkien then states his feelings about the lord of the rings and provides a statement of intention ("Nothing irritates me about my book not even abusive reviews or patronizing ones. But I have to try not to be absorbed myself by it. In primary intentions it is, of course, meant just to be a good tale in its kind, written first of all for my own satisfaction, there being very little of that kind of literature available, and I need more. But a lot of things have got caught up in it. It is not an "allegory", all the same. Though one soon discovers that the more you put into any story the more capable it becomes of being generally or particularly applied to other matters... It was imagined as a 'plot', and largely written before nuclear physics became political and mixed up with power...")

4 pages, 4to, 76 Sandfield Road, Oxford, 2 March 1955, some browning to edges and minor soiling

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