A first edition copy of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit has sold for more than £10,000 after being discovered in a charity shop.

The rare copy of Bilbo Baggins’ tale was stumbled upon by a manager of the Cancer Research UK superstore in Dundee. As the store only sells items for £5 or less, the book was put up for sale on eBay, where it made £10,099.50 for the charity.

The book is one of the first 1,500 copies of the children’s literature classic, which sold out soon after publication in 1937 due to rave reviews. These editions include black and white illustrations by Tolkien himself.

The copy of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit sold by Cancer Research UK.
The superstore manager Adam Carsley told PA Media that the “well looked after” copy “was not really sellable on the shop floor due to its age.”

Carsley had been at the Dundee store before it opened for the day to assist with the training of new managers and the organisation of stock, including hundreds of books in the backroom, when he came across the fantasy novel.

“I opened the first page to see it was a first edition and thought it may be worthy of sending to the eBay team,” he said. “I thought we’d get a maximum of £500 if we were lucky so I couldn’t believe it when I heard a few months later it had sold for over £10,000.

“To my knowledge this is one of the most valuable items donated to our stores. Most definitely the highest price achieved on our eBay site for a single item,” he added. “Donations like these help to fund lifesaving research across the whole of the UK.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023 ... ?CMP=twt_books_b-gdnbooks