I'll start with original publication dates....
This deluxe slipcased edition of The Hobbit, printed and bound using superior materials including a silk ribbon marker, features the definitive text, plus Tolkien's paintings and drawings in full colour, and a special fold-out version of Thror's Map. Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home; then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services - as a burglar - on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo's life is never to be the same again. Seldom has any book been so widely read and loved as J.R.R. Tolkien's classic tale, The Hobbit.
This deluxe slipcased volume contains the definitive version of the text, featuring for the very first time full-colour facsimiles of pages from the Book of Mazarbul, illustrations by Tolkien that he intended for inclusion in the 'Bridge of Khazad-dum' chapter. Also appearing are previously unpublished family trees and two full-size fold-out maps. Since it was first published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings has been a book people have treasured. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, its sweeping fantasy and epic adventure has touched the hearts of young and old alike. Over 100 million copies of its many editions have been sold around the world, and occasional collectors' editions become prized and valuable items of publishing.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of first publication, a new de luxe edition of The Silmarillion, featuring the revised, reset text, a colour frontispiece illustration, bound in special materials and presented in a matching slipcase. The Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien's world. It is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, and in whose events some of them such as Elrond and Galadriel took part. The tales of The Silmarillion are set in an age when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle-Earth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils, the jewels containing the pure light of Valinor. Included in the book are several shorter works. The Ainulindale is a myth of the Creation and in the Valaquenta the nature and powers of each of the gods is described. The Akallabeth recounts the downfall of the great island kingdom of Numenor at the end of the Second Age and Of the Rings of Power tells of the great events at the end of the Third Age, as narrated in The Lord of the Rings. For the first time, we are publishing a deluxe edition of this pivotal work, featuring the revised, corrected text and including, by way of an introduction, a fascinating letter written by Tolkien in 1951 in which he gives a full explanation of how he conceived the early Ages of Middle-earth. Quarter-bound, and set in a matching slipcase, this attractive edition will prove a fine addition to any Tolkien collection.
Deluxe collector's edition featuring the definitive edition text and containing a full-colour reproduction of Tolkien's painting of the dragon, Glorund. The book is quarterbound, stamped on the front board with a gold motif previously seen only on the first edition hardback, and is presented in a matching slipcase. Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring, and provides those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories. The book concentrates on the realm of Middle-earth and comprises such elements as The Quest of Erebor, Gandalf's lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End; the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand; and an exact description of the military organization of the Riders of Rohan. Unfinished Tales also contains the only story about the long ages of Numenor before its downfall, and all that is known about such matters as the Five Wizards, the Palantiri and the legend of Amroth. The tales were edited by Christopher Tolkien, who provides a short commentary on each story, helping the reader to fill in the gaps and put each story into the context of the rest of his father's writings. This deluxe collector's edition includes a full-colour facsimile of Tolkien's painting, 'Glorund Sets Forth to Seek Turin', which illustrates his narrative 'The Children of Hurin', his colour design of a Numenorean tile, and a fold-out reproduction of the definitive map of Middle-earth drawn by Christopher Tolkien. The book is foil stamped with a Numenorean helmet design by J.R.R. Tolkien that appeared on the first edition hardback and is housed in a matching slipcase.
THE CHILDREN OF HURIN
This de luxe collector's edition features the first edition text and eight full-colour plates, with an exclusive colour frontispiece illustration. The book is quarterbound with a special gold motif stamped on the front board and is presented in a matching slipcase. There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World. In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Turin and his sister Nienor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves. Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Hurin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Into this story of brutal conquest and flight, of forest hiding-places and pursuit, of resistance with lessening hope, the Dark Lord and the Dragon enter in direly articulate form. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulated the fates of Turin and Nienor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled. The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterwards, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book Christopher Tolkien has constructed, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.
TALES FROM THE PERILOUS REALM
This de luxe collector's edition includes the first edition text and features an exclusive colour frontispiece illustration on a fold-out sheet. The book is quarterbound, with a specially commissioned motif stamped in three foils on the front board, and is presented in a matching slipcase. The five tales are written with the same skill, quality and charm that made The Hobbit a classic. Largely overlooked because of their short lengths, they are finally together in a volume which reaffirms Tolkien's place as a master storyteller for readers young and old. * Roverandom is a toy dog who, enchanted by a sand sorcerer, gets to explore the world and encounter strange and fabulous creatures. * Farmer Giles of Ham is fat and unheroic, but - having unwittingly managed to scare off a short-sighted giant - is called upon to do battle when a dragon comes to town; * The Adventures of Tom Bombadil tells in verse of Tom's many adventures with hobbits, princesses, dwarves and trolls; * Leaf by Niggle recounts the strange adventures of the painter Niggle who sets out to paint the perfect tree; * Smith of Wootton Major journeys to the Land of Faery thanks to the magical ingredients of the Great Cake of the Feast of Good Children. This new collection is fully illustrated throughout by Oscar-winning artist, Alan Lee, who provides a wealth of pencil drawings to bring the stories to life as he did so memorably for The Hobbit and The Children of Hurin. Alan also provides an Afterword, in which he opens the door into illustrating Tolkien's world. World-renowned Tolkien author and expert, Tom Shippey, takes the reader through the hidden links in the tales to Tolkien's Middle-earth in his Introduction, and recounts their history and themes. Lastly, included as an appendix is Tolkien's most famous essay, "On Fairy-stories", in which he brilliantly discusses fairy-stories and their relationship to fantasy. Taken together, this rich collection of new and unknown work from the author of The Children of Hurin will provide the reader with a fascinating journey into lands as wild and strange as Middle-earth.
THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN
This de luxe collector's edition features the first edition text and contains a facsimile page of Tolkien's original manuscript. The book is quarterbound with a special gold motif stamped on the front board and is presented in a matching slipcase. "Many years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien composed his own version, now published for the first time, of the great legend of Northern antiquity, in two closely related poems to which he gave the titles The New Lay of the Volsungs and The New Lay of Gudrun. In the Lay of the Volsungs is told the ancestry of the great hero Sigurd, the slayer of Fafnir most celebrated of dragons, whose treasure he took for his own; of his awakening of the Valkyrie Brynhild who slept surrounded by a wall of fire, and of their betrothal; and of his coming to the court of the great princes who were named the Niflungs (or Nibelungs), with whom he entered into blood-brotherhood. In that court there sprang great love but also great hate, brought about by the power of the enchantress, mother of the Niflungs, skilled in the arts of magic, of shape-changing and potions of forgetfulness. In scenes of dramatic intensity, of confusion of identity, thwarted passion, jealousy and bitter strife, the tragedy of Sigurd and Brynhild, of Gunnar the Niflung and Gudrun his sister, mounts to its end in the murder of Sigurd at the hands of his blood-brothers, the suicide of Brynhild, and the despair of Gudrun. In the Lay of Gudrun her fate after the death of Sigurd is told, her marriage against her will to the mighty Atli, ruler of the Huns (the Attila of history), his murder of her brothers the Niflung lords, and her hideous revenge. Deriving his version primarily from his close study of the ancient poetry of Norway and Iceland known as the Poetic Edda (and where no old poetry exists, from the later prose work the Volsunga Saga), J.R.R. Tolkien employed a verse-form of short stanzas whose lines embody in English the exacting alliterative rhythms and the concentrated energy of the poems of the Edda." -- Christopher Tolkien
THE FALL OF ARTHUR
Deluxe collector's edition featuring the first edition text and containing a facsimile page of Tolkien's original manuscript. The book is quarterbound with a gold motif stamped on the front board and is presented in a matching slipcase. The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur King of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skilful achievement in the use of the Old English alliterative metre, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur's expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere's flight from Camelot, of the great sea-battle on Arthur's return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle. Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that he abandoned in that period. In this case he evidently began it in the earlier nineteen-thirties, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him 'You simply must finish it!' But in vain: he abandoned it, at some date unknown, though there is some evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of the publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that 'he hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur'; but that day never came. Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem's structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and very significant if tantalising notes. In these latter can be discerned clear if mysterious associations of the Arthurian conclusion with The Silmarillion, and the bitter ending of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which was never written.
The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book. From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel's terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot. But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf 'snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup'; but he rebuts the notion that this is 'a mere treasure story', 'just another dragon tale'. He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is 'the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history' that raises it to another level. 'The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The "treasure" is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.' Sellic Spell, a 'marvellous tale', is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the 'historical legends' of the Northern kingdoms.
THE STORY OF KULLERVO:
No over artwork or deluxe info available yet, but it;s being published in October, and its ISBN for the deluxe edition is: 9780008166724
So once again, should you want to grab these, check out tolkien.co.uk, amazon.co.uk, bookdepository.com, waterstones.com, or Blackwell's.
Please note, that there are some videos of some these on the web, should you desire more info. There was a boxed set of some the deluxe editions published, however you can get them separately (missing the slipcase of course, though you can always find custom slip cases makers). The user's comments below the provided link may provide additional sources or info.
THESE VIDEOS FOCUS PRIMARILY ON THE HOBBIT - THE CHILDREN OF HURIN. They do give you an idea what to expect, though.
And, another, from the same YouTube user:
"I bought this from Tolkienlibrary.com
I paid 400 euro for them at the time, I see how now charges 550 euro (this set is getting harder to find now I suppose)
Another place to get it is perhaps http://www.tolkien.co.uk or http://www.hobbit.ca/Deluxe.html
If you search for them by ISBN number, you can still find them at a lot of places and even on Amazon:
Harper Collins Deluxe Slipcased Edition of The Hobbit Published Date: 18/10/2004 ISBN: 978-0-00-711835-9
Harper Collins 50th Anniversary Deluxe Slipcased Edition of The Lord of the Ring's Published Date: 18/10/2004 ISBN: 978-0-00-718236-7
Harper Collins Deluxe Slipcased Edition of the Children of Hurin Published Date: 17/04/2007 ISBN: 978-0-00-725223-7
Harper Collins 30th Anniversary Deluxe Slipcased Edition of The Silmarillion. Published Date: 05/11/2007 ISBN: 978-0-00-726489-6
Information about the books:
The J.R.R. Tolkien Deluxe Edition Collection: The Children of Hurin, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
A unique set of never-before-collected deluxe editions in original publishers slipcase.
Limited to 500 pieces only.
Not available to US customers, but now availbale through the Tolkien Library Store.
Since the 50th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings in 2004, HarperCollins has published a series of new deluxe editions of the principal Tolkien works. The series is completed in November this year with the release of The Silmarillion to commemorate the 30th anniversary of that book's original publication.
For the first time ever, you can buy the complete collection of four books as a set.
* All four books are quarterbound in textured paper in a slipcase with a curved edge and are embossed with Tolkien's own motifs on the books
* The books have sewn bindings, silk ribbon markers, and include a number of exclusive features unique to these editions
* This collection is double-slipcased: a matching slipcase houses the four individual slipcased editions
The books that make up the collection - all in mint unread condition, still in shrinkwrap:
The Hobbit (2004) - 1st edition 1st impression
Features Tolkien's drawing of the dragon Smaug embossed in gold and red foil on the case. This is the only edition of The Hobbit to feature all 13 of Tolkien's own illustrations for the book reproduced in full colour, together with his original maps reproduced as he originally intended but not previously achieved in nearly 70 years.
The Lord of the Rings (2004) - 1st edition 2nd impression (might be 3rd impression, but am unable to verify since it is still in original shrinkwrap)
This 50th anniversary edition is embossed with Tolkien's "Eye of Sauron" design in two foils and features for the very first time the pages from the Book of Mazarbul, illustrations done by Tolkien and intended for inclusion in the famous "Bridge of Khazad-dum" chapter but previously never used. Also appearing are previously unpublished family trees and the two original fold-out maps by Christopher Tolkien. For this edition and for The Hobbit, the text was checked by Tolkien experts against the original first editions and manuscripts, and more than 400 corrections were made to make this the most accurate and definitive version ever published.
The Children of Hurin (2007)- 1st edition 1st impression
Matching The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, this first edition deluxe printing of The Children of Hurin includes a ninth colour plate by Alan Lee not featured inside the standard hardback, with Hurin 's golden helm designed by Alan Lee embossed on the cover.
The Silmarillion (2007) - 1st edition 1st impression
Published for its 30th anniversary, this newly reset edition of Tolkien's masterwork The Silmarillion features an exclusive full colour frontispiece The Halls of Manwë painted by J.R.R. Tolkien, the only scene from the book he painted, and is embossed with the delicate heraldic symbol he designed to represent Luthien, The Silmarillion's greatest heroine, which is also reproduced inside the book in colour. This edition also includes Christopher Tolkien's two-colour maps, including a fold-out map of Beleriand, and as a Preface, Tolkien's original letter of 1951containing his account of the mythology of Middle-earth."