(Better photos to come) Allen & Unwin 1957, 57, 58, Impressions 7,5,4 with matching jackets impressions. It has more jacket wear than our other sets, thus lower price. The wear and aging to the jackets and books is uniform though FotR books and jacket has more wear which is common as it is read on its own without finishing the other two books. These are now so rare in any condition, it seems unkind to be critical of their condition at all.
The dust jackets are grubby and spotty (old mould), paper lose to FotR spine ends, with closed tears at the lower seams which have been held together with clear acid free archival tape. There is a crease across the front cover as shown. FotR book has more darkening to the clothe spine than TT and RotK. Why such a price difference in Lord of the Rings Sets?
You will notice in some cases we have the exact same printing sets, but a huge difference in the asking price. This is because the condition of the dust jackets becomes a bigger factor to the set value, than even the books. We have long warned that sets with collectible/ investment condition jackets were disappearing from the market. As collectors "upgrade" to better conditions sets, the sell off their poorer quality sets, which then become those more commonly available. We are approaching the time where only dregs or jacketless copies will be available.
Torn, severely stained or missing large amounts of paper are not only not very nice to look at, they are more common. Rare thus also means rare condition in the degree of wear of what is likely to come on the market in the future. There's no point comparing books to their new condition. What you want to know is a better copy likely to come along cheaper? The answer today is: unlikely.As supply diminishes and collectors number grow, values of nicer copies remaining grow exponentially in value, not linear. The copy with 10% less wear becomes 50% more valuable etc. With new films and fans numbers growing, we are reaching the point where even jacketless books are growing in value, but not at the appreciation rates as those with original, unrestored jackets.
Facsimile jackets are worthless, do not be fooled they add any value to a jacketless book, they don't. We will see more restored jackets as sets with original jackets disappear from the market completely, even restored jackets will grow in value among certain collectors. Note that the difference between restored and repaired is a defined standard in the museum world. A repair can be removed, leaving the item in its close original state. Restoration involves rebuilding, usually a severely damaged or missing section and can't be removed with damaging the original state.
The percentage of the restoration compared to the original will then determine the value. However, the original unrestored in nice condition will grow even more exponentially in value the more restored books come on the market. Some collectors rightly think of restorations as fakes. The driver of new higher price levels are those collectors willing to pay more for authenticity, not the lower end popular market.
It is complex set of fundamentals and best to deal with a specialist Tolkien dealer like us on high value sets. In our 21 years as a specialist Tolkien dealer, we have seen other trends determining values and collectabilty. Authentic aesthetic also matters, matching looks in sets for example. There's a difference between normal use/age wear and outright damage. Most wear is on the jacket spines.
After you've seen hundreds of copies as we have, you can spot the differences and what is normal or not. As old Tolkien books were cheaply printed, there are certain patterns of aging/ wear mostly caused damp and mould. In particular, houses in Britain, where the early copies were printed, were not centrally heated and most jacket discoloration is caused by mould. Once dried out, the damage remains even though the mould is dead.
To our mind as a fan, natural aging and use wear i. Frequent reading by a beloved fan, make the books equally authentic.
People were once proud of book ownership. Even a good job of restoration somehow detracts from the spirt of a books' fan history. Original and authentic is always best, even with warts and all. 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.