Item Details

Lucius Books Ltd

Fine books on all subjects with an emphasis on modern first editions, literature, science, economics, children's illustrated, original artwork and detective fiction.

THE HOBBIT or There and Back Again


First edition, second impression. Signed by J. R. R. Tolkien. Publisher’s original green cloth with dark blue titles and illustration, in dustwrapper. Illustrated by the author with 4 colour plates, first published in this edition, 9 black and white full page plates and double page map illustrations to the front and rear. Housed in a bespoke full green morocco solander case. A very good or better copy, the binding square and firm with minor bumping at the extremities, the cloth clean and fresh. The contents with faint spotting to the prelims, more so to the closed text block edges, and the lightly penciled name of a previous owner to the front blank endpaper are otherwise clean throughout. Complete with the rubbed, nicked and spotted original dustwrapper that has several short closed tears and is chipped with loss at the spine tips. Price-clipped to the front flap. Both the book and dustwrapper remain in entirely original condition. Signed by the author in black ink on the front blank endpaper. A rare and highly desirable example of this important edition of Tolkien’s masterpiece. We have been unable to locate any other signed copy of the second impression sold at auction since 1982 (a ”worn” copy, without dustwrapper sold at Sotheby, Parke Bernet and Co). The first printing of The Hobbit was issued on 21st September 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 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 is notable for being the first printing to include the author’s four colour plates, initially commissioned for and later included in the American edition. [Hammond A3a.]