First edition of ‘The Hobbit’ sold at auction
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
The first edition of ‘The Hobbit’ dates from 1937 and the price it fetched beat the previous auction record for ‘The Hobbit’ of 50,000 in 2008.A first edition of “The Hobbit” accompanied by a handwritten note in Elvish by British author J.R.R. Tolkien was sold by Sotheby’s at auction on June 4 for 187,000 euros.
The book was a gift from the author and is dedicated to Miss Katherine (“Kitty”) Kilbride, one of his first students at Leeds University in the 1920s.
The lines in Elvish, a language invented by Tolkien, are extracts from a verse in “The Lost Road,” a time-travel tale that Tolkien never completed.
The book dates from 1937 and the price it fetched beat the previous auction record for “The Hobbit” of 50,000 in 2008, Sotheby’s said in a statement.
Kilbride was an invalid and Tolkien sent her letters and cards throughout his life, as well as supplying her with copies of his books as they were written.
Kilbride’s thank you letter for the volume sold on June 4 is in Oxford’s Bodleian Library and notes “what fun you must have had drawing out the maps.” The popular book, which introduced characters such as Bilbo Baggins who would re-appear in the “Lord of the Rings” epic, was turned into film series.