Allen & Unwin 1957, 57, 58, Impressions 7,5,4 with matching jackets impressions. Now our earliest printing set we have for sale. These are now so rare in any condition, it seems unkind to be critical of condition at all.
FotR has old water stain on the cover, edge and flap, which hides well in the Mylar. All the jackets have spots, stains and darkening, but again are similar condition overall.
The books are clean, no lean, bindings tight, small owners name to RotK and light tape marks to inside cover of FotR. We have seen better condition sets of these printings, but not for several years now. This likely as good as you will find this early and with nearly matching books and jackets.By the later first edition printings, collectors knew to take better care of them and did. The print runs also got bigger with each later printings. Nicer early printing sets simply aren't coming on the market anymore.
They go into collections and never come out, passed from one generation to the next. It's listed on other sites and being offered to our client base. 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.
That's how important condition is to value. 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 when they upgrade 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. First editions The Lord of the Rings and Hobbits remain the most in demand.
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.