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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1937, First Edition with Tolkien Illustrations



The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien

First Edition, Second Impression Published by Allen & Unwin, London in 1937

First Edition with Tolkien's Illustrations 

Signed Full Leather Custom Binding and Clamshell Box

FINE Condition

Binding Details:  An elegant signed custom full morocco leather binding that features Tolkien’s original 'Mountains and Dragon' design in gold gilt on the covers and spine. All page edges are trimmed and gold gilted. The original maps are retained as pastedowns and endpapers. The book is housed in a custom-made clamshell box that contains the same gold gilt “Mountains and Dragons’ design as the binding.

Book Details:  The first printing of The Hobbit was published on September 21, 1937 with a print run of only 1500 copies. The book was an immediate success and sold out within months. This second impression was printed in December of the same year in an edition of 2300 copies (423 of which were destroyed at the warehouse of the binder Key and Whiting in the bombing of London on November 7th 1940) and was the first printing to include the author’s four color plates, initially commissioned for and later published in the American edition. [Hammond and Anderson]

The Hobbit was the first of Tolkien's works of fiction to be published. The Hobbit began as an amusement for the Tolkien children, and reached print rather unexpectedly, a typescript of it having been shown to the publisher by a former pupil of Tolkien's. Once published, it was an equally unexpected success and Unwin pressed Tolkien for a sequel, which grew into the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Condition Report:  The binding and slipcase are in FINE condition. Internally, the book is very clean with a few minor finger smudges scattered through the book. There are no signs of previous ownership.

Photographs of the binding, clamshell box, maps, and Tolkien’s color illustrations appear in the photo section of the listing.