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Copies of The Tale of Gondolin were printed in 1994, however, they were bound on demand as sales went along. By the end of 1995, 28 of the 50 copies were sold. Technically, these copies should be referred to as "First State" of the second edition. First state books bound have been confirmed to be copies numbered 1-25 and 31-33 inclusively.

It wasn't until 2004, that the remaining copies were bound. Since the original book binder had passed away, Alex Lewis had the remaining copies hand bound by another book binder in Manchester. The binding was done in 2004. These copies are referred to as the "Second State" of the second edition. Books bound include copies numbered 26-30 and 34-50 inclusively. 'First State' and 'Second State' books were NOT issued with a dustjacket, slipcase or clam-shell case.

First and Second State versions.

1) First and Second State books were bound by a different binder, so the construction of the book covers are quite different. The 'First State' book, pictured on the left, has a coarse, almost artificial leather look and feel to it. The front and back boards are thick and sturdy. The 'Second State' book pictured on the right, has red cloth over thin front and back boards.

2) The gold-gilt title on the cover of 'First State' book is in one continuous line. The 'Second State' book breaks the title into two lines.

3) The gold-gilt title on the spine of 'First State' is in CAPITAL LETTERS. The 'Second State' uses upper and lower case letters. Size and location of text is also different.

Spine comparison.
Spine construction comparison.

4) The construction of the spine is noticably different. Each binder uses their own preferred method. 'First State' books have a rounded spine, 'Second State' books have a flat spine.

Front endpaper comparison.

5) The endpapers of the 'First State' books are white. 'Second State' books have cream coloured endpapers, the same colour paper as the rest of the book.

6) All the First State' books have a thin ribbon marker....made from fabric that is 1/2" wide. This fabric was imported from the United Arab Emirates. This thin ribbon marker was also used in at least two of the 'Second State' books. The remaining 'Second State' books use a thicker ribbon, that measures 3/4". This ribbon was bought in the UK.

Rear endpaper comparison.

7) The 'First State' book has a gold sticker mounted on the rear endpaper, identifying the book binder. 'Second State' has no mention of book binder.

Comparison of illustrations

8) Probably the most radical difference in the two 'States', are in the way the illustrations are presented. In the "First State' books, 14 of the 33 full page illustrations appear on the left, facing the page of text. In the "Second State', ALL illustrations are on the right...(a modification to eliminate the back to back blank pages that appear in the 'First State'....). These 14 illustrations appear in reverse to the 'First State'....that is they are mirror-images of the 'First State' illustrations, some with corrections to the text as shown. In this picture, the 'First State' book is on the right.

9) The last point worth noting, is the additional attention given to the "Second State', and final copy number 50 of 50. What makes copy number 50 unique.....first off, in addition to the signed bookplate, it is inscribed on the the front free endpaper by Alex Lewis..."The sun shall shine upon your path."....written in English AND in Elvish! It is also signed a second time here by Ruth Lacon.

The GREATEST addition is the inclusion of a FULL PAGE COLOR ILLUSTRATION....a one-only limited edition print, signed again by Ruth Lacon!!!

The Seven Gates of Gondolin by Ruth Lacon

First and Second State versions with custom leather case

'First State' and 'Second State' books were NOT originally issued with a dustjacket, slipcase or clam-shell case. However, in 2005, six custom leather clam-shell cases were built by Handbridge Bindery Inc. out of Austin, Texas. Many thanks go out to all who helped in the design and manufacture of these incredible cases!

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This is a PRIVATE PUBLICATION and has NOT been endorsed by
The JRR Tolkien Estate, The JRR Tolkien English Settlement, nor The Tolkien Trust.

'no-ogopogo' books
Kelowna, B.C. Canada
Email Address : smaug@Hobbit.ca
URL: http://www.Hobbit.ca
Revised -- Jan. 2/07