Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
1954 – The Fellowship of the Ring, First Edition, Second Impression
1955 – The Two Towers, First Edition, Second Impression
1955 – The Return of the King, First Edition, First Impression
Published by George Allen and Unwin, London
Unique Full Leather Custom Bindings and Slipcase by Richard Tong
Binding Details: Unique full hand-dyed calfskin leather bindings by Richard Tong that feature a design of 'craquele' technique treatments to each of the different colored volumes. This treatment is remarkably time consuming and involves a multi-step process that involves dying the calf skins with both spirit based and water based leather dyes and creating cracks across the leather using black dye. After a long period of applying dyes, cracking, washing, drying and finally application of waxes and balms, the leather is 'blocked' with gold to create these stunning designs. Each volume has gold gilt titling to the spine, Tolkien’s ring design on the front cover and monogram on the rear cover, and all page ends are gold gilted. There are hand-marbled endpapers designed by Jemma Lewis that match the leather color of each of the volumes. The books are housed in a curved full leather slipcase lined in black suede. Tolkien’s monograph appears in gold gilt on the front of the slipcase.
Book Details: These are first editions of the 3 books that comprise J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece “The Lord of the Rings” published by Allen & Unwin, London. The following are the details of each of the books:
The Fellowship of the Ring is the first edition, second impression published by George Allen and Unwin, London in December, 1954. The first impression was released six months earlier. The book contains 423 pages as well as the publisher’s page in the rear and the original foldout map attached to last free endpaper.
The Two Towers is the first edition, second impression published by George Allen and Unwin, London in 1955. The first impression was released in 1954. The book contains 352 pages plus the original foldout map attached to last free endpaper.
The Return of the King is the first edition, first impression published by George Allen and Unwin, London in October, 1955. The book is 416 pages as well as appendixes and the original foldout map attached to last free endpaper.
Each volume measures approximately 8.75” x 5.75”
About the Binder: Richard Tong is an award winning binder based in Shropshire, England who was trained by master bookbinder Brian Settle and currently does work for Ludlow Bookbinders as well as his own company Lyra’s Books. In 2017, he won the prestigious Elizabeth Soutar Award for his binding of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The book is now a part of the permanent collection of The National Library of Scotland.
Condition Report: The bindings and slipcase are in FINE condition with no flaws. Internally, the books are exceptionally clean with the only fault of note being a very light crease to the back of the half-title page of The Fellowship of the Ring. Overall, this is a wonderful opportunity to own first editions of one of the great works of the twentieth century that are housed in stunning, unique full leather custom bindings.
Photographs of the bindings, slipcase, the endpapers for the red volume, and a stock photograph of one of the maps appear in the photo section of the listing.