A rare first edition of J.R.R Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' is set to fetch £10,000 at auction.

The fantasy novel, a prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, will come up for auction on Thursday (May 24) after being discovered by Moreton's Kingham's Auctioneers.

It tells the iconic tale of Bilbo Baggins, who accompanies the wizard Gandalf on a heroic quest to reclaim dwarvish property from the dragon, Smaug.



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The critically acclaimed book was first published in 1937 by George Allen & Unwin, with a mere 1,500 copies circulated that quickly sold out by December.

The first edition, distinctive for Tolkien’s monochromatic illustrations as well as dust cover designs, features a notable manual correction on the rear inner flap for 'Dodgeson', better known as Lewis Carroll.

Scarcity during the war due to paper rationing heightened its value.

The market for rare first editions are driven by collectors and enthusiasts, with auction prices ranging from £6,000 to over £20,000.

Signed versions of first edition have historically made up to £60,000 at auctions, a mark of their overwhelming demand and value.

The copy is now located in Berkshire and owned by an anonymous inheritor, and is expected to yield a handsome sum between £7,000 and £10,000.

The auctioneers run frequent free valuation events for a variety of items, including rare books, silver, antiques, watches, pictures, jewellery, and collectables.

The company also offer nationwide home visits for item appraisals.

Potential bidders can contact Kinghams on 01608 695695 or enquiries@kinghamsauctioneers.com for further information.