George Allen & Unwin. London. 1954/55.
FIRST EDITION, first printings of Volumes 2 and 3, 1st volume is 1963 13th impression. THREE VOLUMES. 8vo. (9 x 5.9 inches). Top edge of the fellowship dyed red, the others plain. Fold out maps at the end of each volume are all in bright and crisp condition with no tears or damage. Original red cloth bindings with gilt lettering to the spines. This is bright and sharp on the Fellowship but dulled on the other 2 books. Some very light offsetting and spotting to the blank endpapers otherwise very good copies throughout. In correct original dustwrappers which are uniformly a little toned to the spines and have some minor creasing but are overall in very good condition. The books certainly look like they have been together since the early 1960's. An attractive set which shows very well on the shelf. ------ Return of the king has signature number 4 present and mostly straight text on page 49, with a few letters just starting drop. It is thought that the printers noticed that the signature '4' was missing from the page soon after printing had begun. They stopped the presses and, while inserting it, knocked the text block, resulting in the sloping lettering along the bottom four lines, which is quite bad in some copies. This copy having just the mild sloping would suggest it was printed very soon after the 4 was inserted.