Hobbit under the hammer

A 1937 first edition of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit has been sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for £60,000 – twice what it was expected to reach.

Hobbit

Joy Asfar, of the auction house Bonhams, is pictured examining the 1937 first issue. Photo: AP

The Hobbit was Tolkien’s most successful book, establishing his name as an author, and came before the longer Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Maps, photographs and manuscripts will also be sold at Bonhams in London.

The copy of The Hobbit is inscribed to Tolkien’s friend Elaine Griffiths, who had originally helped get it published.

Tolkien had intended the book for his children but after reading it, Ms Griffiths recommended it to publishers George Allen & Unwin.