If you’re reading Gizmodo — and it would be truly wild if you weren’t — you most likely have a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings somewhere around your place. I regret to inform you unless you act very quickly, chances are you’re not going to get your hands on this unbelievably high-quality, extremely limited edition set of the books from the Folio Society. But here are all the reasons you’ll likely want to try.
The tasteful (yet lavish) covers.
The three books of the trilogy will be quarter-bound in leather, with cloth sides featuring new illustrations by Alan Lee, the English artist who did conception art for Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation, and who won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction for his work in 2004. It’s a little hard to see in this image, but the page sides are silver, and there’s a satin ribbon page-marker bound into each book.
Even the title page is striking.
Lee worked closely with the Folio Society to create this set, creating three new frontispieces (that’s just the fancy name for the art opposite the book’s title page). He also wrote the foreword and individually numbered each copy.
All the fantasy-art eye candy.
The three books contain 50 full-colour, classic Lord of the Rings illustrations from Lee inside, but reworked by the artist himself. He also created new illustrations for the book’s endpapers (those are the two-page spreads attached to the opposite sides of the covers).
We promised eye candy, didn’t we?
Here’s Lee’s art for the cover folio of The Two Towers.
In case you don’t know the way to Mordor…
The set also includes two maps of Middle-earth done by The Lord of the Rings’ steward Christopher Tolkien, along with an art print by — you guessed it — Lee, which come in the cloth case pictured previously.
Even the inside of the box is a work of art.
The three tomes fit inside this cloth-covered slipcase with this “secret” illustration inside.
It’s precious (quite literally)!
Here’s the deal: there will only be 1,000 of these The Lord of the Rings limited edition sets made, so you’re going to want to pre-order it quickly. Previous Folio Society special editions of novels like Dune have sold out quickly — and let’s face it, that was Dune, not The Lord of the Rings. Congratulations to a thousand of you! The set is on sale now at this link and will set you back a cool $US1,500 ($2,082).