From The Buy Guy: Rare, Signed “Lord of the Rings” Boxed Set

Hi, Everyone! This is the Buy Guy, Steve Leach, reporting from the Buy Counter. Today I have exciting news! Kerry West, Store Manager of the Mentor, Ohio location, had something very rare and exciting cross her Buy Counter recently.

“We recently acquired a three-volume ‘Lord of the Rings’ in slipcase, each signed by J.R.R. Tolkien. We bought it from a woman who inherited it from her grandfather.  It is a second American edition; all three books are signed, and the first volume has an inscription.  The condition is not great, but the appearance of signed Tolkien items is so rare that the item’s value is great.” 

  This inscription (above right)reads, “Allen, 4000 m (miles) is a long way to travel for my dubious company.” J.R.R. Tolkien. It is dated December 15, 1966.

A few different factors were evaluated when determining the value of this Lord of the Rings boxed set. Very few American editions were signed. According to a website that specializes in Tolkien, another boxed set sold for $9,000 with only the first volume signed. The description noted that Tolkien very rarely wrote anything other than his name. Other signed copies of any individual books (not as a boxed set) start at $7,500. Because this boxed set includes signatures on all three books plus a personalized inscription on the first volume, Kerry and Steve are estimating the value at $25,000-30,000.

Contact Kerry at if you are interested!

Happy Buying & Selling!

— Steve


(Note: Thanks to our Sales Inventory Manager Kim Freeman for providing these pictures!)

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