The Lord of the Rings - Original 1963 UK Deluxe Set, in Original Pauline Baynes Triptych Slipcase, Signed By the Author.
London: Allen & Unwin, 1963.J.R.R. Tolkien. 1st Edition, Hobbits, Lord of the Rings, Original Cloth. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Very Good Plus / No Jacket, as Issued. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, published by George Allen & Unwin in 1963. The true 1st Deluxe Edition of the 3 volumes of the Lord of the Rings, comprised of "The Fellowship of the Ring", "The Two Towers", and "The Return of the King". The Fellowship of the Ring is signed by the author, J.R.R. Tolkien, to the title page. A wonderful provenance on this signature, as it comes with a note signed by Merlin Unwin, the son of Rayner Unwin. It states that The Fellowship, "belonged to my father Rayner Unwin (Tolkien's editor and publisher) and was kept in his personal library at our family home in Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire. After his death in 2000 it remained there until the death of his widow, Carol, in 2012. Merlin Unwin". The young lad whose book report was instrumental in the publishing of the Hobbit, kept this signed copy for many years. Has the initials A.R.R. to the back of the free endpaper. It has been added to this partial set, which had the original slipcase and the other two books, to complete this lovely set. I know of only one other signed set of this Deluxe Edition, which was given to Pauline Baynes, and recently sold for an extremely high price at auction. This set is bound in the original Black Buckram cloth with gilt titles, author and publisher to the spines of each volume. Each volume features Bevel-Edged boards, gilded page edges, and the original silk bookmark sewn in. The books are in Very Good Plus condition showing some light rubbing and marks to the covers, with almost no marks or rubbing to the gilded edges, Initials to the back free endpaper, with no other writing or inscriptions in any of the books, except for the authors signature. The textblocks are clean and unmarked, with a very tight binding. The original maps are all present, and have no tears or misfolds, nor any browning to the folds as often happens. The spine of the Two Towers is only slightly lighter in color, less so than the common flaw with this edition. Seems to only occur with the Two Towers, and rarely the other two books. The books are housed in the very scarce original publishers slipcase featuring the Pauline Baynes color "Triptych" artwork. This case has some minor splits starting to the entry corners, but very little rubbing to the back corners, and no bumped corners as is often found. Clean and bright, one of the nicest I've run across in many years. The scarcest of all the original Allen & Unwin 1st Editions, as well as the Houghton Mifflin issues, with the signed copy added, makes a marvelous set for the Tolkien enthusiast. According to publishers records, 1000 or less sets produced. Briefly mentioned in the Tolkien bibliography by Hammond and Anderson on page 98. The outside of the slipcase show some superficial rubbing, one small scuff to the back side edge, but whole & complete, without any major stains or faults. A rare opportunity for this scarce signed set with it's original Pauline Baynes illustrated slipcase. Digital images available upon request. Other Tolkien sets, original and rebound are available. Inquire if interested. A wonderful addition to anyone's Tolkien collection. Item #1228