Tolkien Library Store - Rare Tolkien Items - Books from the library of J.R.R. Tolkien

Diplomatarium Islandicum. Íslenzkt fornbréfasafn. Volume One 834 - 1264. Kaupmannahöfn, 1857 - 76. Signed by J.R.R. Tolkien on a bookplate stuck on the marbled front end paper.

Bound in contemporary half calf. With the bookplate of the historian Charles Plummer, who died in 1927.
tolkien's note reads "bt from" and "by J.R.R. Tolkien" in ink.

The medieval historian Charles Plummer was one of the electors to the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon on 21 July 1925. Tolkien was elected. This book belonged to Charles Plummer and was bought by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Loosely inserted are a couple of scraps of paper with notes by Tolkien.
The transcription of the bigger notes reads as follows:

"The appearance of the _Ethiopians_ at this point in the account is clearly, in part at least, due to a comparison of Psalm lxxiii with the book of Exodus. It is probable too that v. 16 of the psalm ("The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun") was brought into relation with the mention, in Exod. xiii 21, of the pillars of cloud and fire immediately after _Etham_.

_byrig_ is probably plural, as noted above: 'the cities of the region of Etham'. See quot. in note p. 32. In any case, of course, _Etham_ (_Æthan_) is taken not as a city or place, but a region; _Æthanes byrig_ in O.E. does not mean 'the city of Etham', where city = Etham, but 'the city belonging to or in Etham'.

67 _mearelandum ón_ : a good example of a manuscript accent indicating emphasis and stress (here properly borne by the 'postponed' _on_ in archaic word order) and not quantity. The words render _in extremis finibus solitudinis_. [Vulgate Exodus 13:20]

68 _nearwe genyddon_ : it is a little difficult to interpret these words with"

The other paper holds some other notes by Tolkien, but since these papers are cut in half no transcriptions have been made so far.

Bound in contemporary calf. Ornately gilt spines, marbled end papers.
Text block and top edge (now dusty) matching the marbled end papers.
Very nice looking and rare book, difficult to find in any state.
The text has sporadic foxing and some stains around the edges.

While recent reprints of Diplomatarium Islandicum are available, at the moment there is no other copy available online of the original book. it is a rare book in fine condition, signed by J.R.R. Tolkien with original mansucript notes by the author.

Digital photo's available, inquire if interested.

Other Tolkien books available, include both the UK and US editions, original cloth bindings, custom fine bindings, and Signed/Numbered/Limited Editions.
Pictures (click to enlarge):
Terms of sale: Prices are only indications, always inquire if books are still available. We accept Money Orders, cash, or Credit Cards (paypal) for immediate shipping.  Checks will delay shipment for 10 days for checks to clear. Please inquire for shipping quotes.
Interested: Please send email to