Rare First-Edition Copy of ‘The Hobbit’ Auctions for Record-Breaking $210K
LONDON, June 4 (UPI) — A first-edition copy of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s “The Hobbit” sold at auction Thursday for a record $210,336, Sotheby’s auction house in London said.
The rare book sold as part of Sotheby’s “The Library of an English Bibliophile, Part IV” auction Thursday afternoon at the company’s London location.
The book nearly doubled its pre-auction estimate of between $76,800 and $107,600. It also set a record for the most fetched for a copy of the fantasy novel at auction.
The previous top price for the book was $76,765 when a copy went on the auction block in 2008, ArtNews reported.
Tolkien autographed the book and inscribed it with a verse in his fictional language of Elvish. He had gifted it to one of his first students at Leeds University in the 1920, Katherine (Kitty) Kilbride. He stayed in touch with Kilbride throughout his life.
Tolkien’s nephew said the woman was “an invalid all her life and was much cheered by his chatty letters and cards … books were given to her as they were published.”