The rare first edition of The Hobbit sold for £137,000 ($213,000) at Sotheby’s auction house in New York, last week. This sale doubled the world record for a copy of the author’s first novel. A first edition of JRR Tolkien’s classic fantasy adventure The Hobbit had been given to Katherine Kilbride, one of Tolkien’s former students in 1937. She had been a student of the author while attending Leeds University in the 1920s.
It contains an inscription from Tolkien written in Old English, based on one of his poems, making it an exceptional collector’s item.
The sale of this first edition breaks the world sales record for The Hobbit. The book was initially expected to fetch up to £70,000 ($109,000). The previous record had been set in 2008 where a first edition had gone for nearly $95,000!