The Albin Schram Collection of Autograph Letters
More than three decades after his death, a letter written by J.R.R.Tolkien to his illustrator Pauline Baynes, has resurfaced. Dated 4th June 1949, Tolkien writes:
“I ought to have written to you before to tell you of the great pleasure that your drawings in illustration of “Farmer Giles” have given me. My friends, very justly, said after seeing them that they had reduced the text to a commentary on the pictures. I am hoping soon to get some larger works published, and in a more ample fashion; and if so, I hope you might be interested, or at least have time to consider them. One, a long romance in sequel to The Hobbit, is finished after some years of work, and is being typed.
It is held up at the moment, since I am immersed in examinations and other weary business; but when it’s done, I wonder if I could prevail on you to glance at it.”
After being in the keeping of Albin Schram’s private collection at his home in Switzerland for almost 30 years, the letter will be auctioned off at Christie’s on 3rd July 2007, and is expected to fetch a hammer price in the range of GBP 3000 – GBP 4000.
Bilbos Last Song – Illustration by Pauline BaynesPauline Baynes was undoubtedly Tolkien’s favourite illustrator. She painted the covers for several British editions of The Lord of the Rings and also illustrated the maps found in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Her work can be seen in several Tolkien books such as Smith of Wootton Major, Farmer Giles of Ham, Tree and Leaf, and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Her original illustration for the poem Bilbo’s Last Song is one of the most rare and sought after Tolkien-related manuscripts.